Thursday, July 05, 2007

House about town

I am trying out a new cafe in the nearest market town. It has armchairs. This may sound like nothing very much but believe me, an armchair to drink a decent cup of coffee in, is right up there among my priorities alongside "Bring up the children to be decent human beings. Stop my mother getting any frailer. Make friends" and "Learn German".

Perhaps I will not need the armchair. I had an idea. The newly refurbished kitchen, at least the half refurbished kitchen has a high window. I have decided to buy two bar stools, tile the windowsill in black granite to match the work surfaces and acquire one of those large china coffee mugs that want to be a Starbucks paper cup. When particularly desperate, I could ask the nice man who drives the big red bus for golfers and tourists to come round and park in front of the kitchen window. I could stare out; pretend I am back in the city. I have it all planned. I will do the school run in the morning, buy the newspapers, and head for my little piece of London. I will turn on the Gaggia coffee maker, perhaps I will queue up by the sink for a while and leave some money in the children's toy till. I think that would work. The other advantage to my sill cafe is you do not need friends in Starbucks. If you sit there on your own, you feel not odd, but urban and busy. "Too busy for friends right this minute. Too busy thinking of romance. Too busy planning my career. Too busy writing this screenplay. I only just have time for this latte and one more piece of caramel shortbread." Alternatively, if my lonely coffee stop palled, I could always say to another mother: "Come round for a coffee. I will meet you at my windowsill. Ten'ish."

God knows, I need more coffee these days. I blame the osteopath for telling me to cut down on caffeine. If people stopped telling me what to do, I would not have the urge to go out and do the opposite. I also blame my caffeine cravings on the fact that we are due to move on Wednesday. We were due to move on Tuesday but pushed it back a day to buy our way back into the builders' affections after making them shift the bath. I went up to the cottage this morning. In fact, I went up to cottage three times within five hours. I suspect the builders have started hiding in my pantry when they see me coming. The plumber moves more slowly than they do. Or perhaps he cannot fit. I said to him: "Thank you for moving the bath." He did not say anything in return; at all; he just looked at me. He could have been thinking: "In this light, when she stands like that, she looks like Kate Moss" but I do not think he was.

There seems to be so much to do. Every problem knocks on to create another problem. Damp has started coming through the walls of the family living room and the kitchen. They have only just been painted. They have to be repainted with a silicone product. The decorator was already miserable because he painted everywhere several weeks ago, then electricians and plumbers ran cables down his walls. He said to me this morning: "This has been my worst job for 10 years. I am three or four weeks behind. " I felt quite guilty. So guilty I could not bring myself to ask him to repaint the two walls of the hearth which he lovingly tinted a warm pinkish colour to match the red square tiles underneath the stove. Yesterday, I picked out beige and duck egg green curtains. I think the curtains may insist on the hearth being beige. I am going to let them tell him.


jane said...

Why don't you let your husband ask the decorator to re-paint the hearth sides beige? They could then roll their eyes, shake their heads and sigh "ah women, you know what they're like mate" and get on with it, with a slap of the back and a conspiratorial wink.

The decorator will still love him best and you could turn your back on them all and sip coffee at your trendy coffee sill. Ha!

Iota said...

Hey, you could open a drive-thru.

Turning Into My Dad said...

at the Hampton Court Flower Show today, one of the gardens was meant to look like a cup of coffee, and the nice lady from the British Coffee Something gave me a leaflet telling me that a 'recent report' suggests coffee is good in moderation..... What is the world coming to when the British Coffee Something is trying to get people to cut down?

I'm new to reading your diary, but love it.

mutleythedog said...

Why not go to McDonalds, shut your eyes you could be in Islington...!!

Seriously,I have problems, my electricity hasn't worked properly for a week (rain flood in the walls), and I am running everything of extensions round flat. Shall we go for a curry one night this week?

Jeff said...

Documented moderate coffee consumption benefits:
- Lower risk for type 2 diabetes
- Lower risk of developing gallstones
- Discourages the development of colon cancer
- Improved cognitive function
- Lower risk of liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease
- Lower risk of Parkinson's disease
- Improved endurance in long-duration physical activities.

(Mutley, don't even start...)

Miss Thistle said...

I am up far too early, planning how I will get through my work before the end of the day as I'm off to Northumberland on holiday tomorrow. The weather WILL improve. Talking of Kate Moss, a man on a motorbike wolf whistled me yesterday, when I was 20 I would have called him a chauvinist pig. Now I'm closer to 40 than 30; it made my day; sad but true. I came home and told my husband, I didn't tell him the bike had 'L' plates. Latte in moderation, and tell them about the paint, you know you'll regret if you don't.

@themill said...

I would've cut out the fags years ago if the thought police hadn't kept telling me I had to. Drink more caffeine - screw them all. And agree with Jane about husband telling decorator to repaint.It will annoy you every time you look at it if you don't.

mutleythedog said...

Documented moderate coffee consumption benefits:
- Lower risk for type 2 diabetes
- Lower risk of developing gallstones
- Discourages the development of colon cancer
- Improved cognitive function
- Lower risk of liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease
- Lower risk of Parkinson's disease
- Improved endurance in long-duration physical activities.

(Mutley, don't even start...)

I am pretty sure I could do with all these especially the cognitive function,the liver one and the enhanced duration/physical activity. What?? I do marathons..OK? (Lie)

Kaycie said...

I read this entry with a mixture of jealousy and dread. We're due to move this month, and while I'd like to be in the new house, I dread all the preparations for moving to the new house. And I am seriously procrastinating. It is really much more pleasant to read about your move and only imagine mine.

Strickley said...

How about getting some hands on experience of renovating and painting the walls yourself (in between coffee breaks of course)?

rilly super said...

wifey, I understand your wanting to imagine you are still in London darling. A friend of mine works at the BBC and has promised to save me the Newsnight set background the next time they change it so I can put it outside the kitchen window. I just hope it doesn't make my husband come over all jeremy paxman, although someone told me the other day it's too late for that, whatever that's supposed to mean, sigh...

The thinker said...

I was feeling really blue and thought I'd pop in to read my favourite blogs. The vision of your builders all rushing (bar the poor slow plumber) to hide like sardines in the pantry had me LOL. thank you.

merry weather said...

Wifey, I've just walked up your path to come and say good-bye. Ah, this virtual world - I wish your coffee bar was open...

It's fitting that I had my (thankfully short) blogroll alphabetically ordered and that you begin with W..... Gosh I do need some caffeine. Just a mo -

Ah! Coffee - that's better. As I was saying, I've visited all my peers this morning to say good-bye and I've come to you last of all. You were the inspiration for me to look at Blogger in the first place and I opened a blog in order to be able to comment here.

I think you do a splendid job: blogging, reading, writing, running a building project, living in a rented home, being a wife and most significantly - mother to three lively children. You are an inspiration - very well done.

Will you be publishing a "How To Guide" as well? I can't possibly do that many things at once and so I'll say good-bye for now, it's been fun sharing your life. I'll have to come back for updates... Looking forward to that,

Merry x

catcrazy said...

You could get these builders to do anything..just takes a bit of womanly charm and a strong cup of tea with a big chunk of home made cake and a big smile..I know because I was a builders wife for 20 years and understand how it works with them..good luck..enjoying your blog thanks a lot..

laurie said...

from one who has remodeled far too much, here's a bit of hard-earned wisdom:

confrontation with builders is short

regret over peeling formica countertops is long

ask them to repaint, Miss Moss.

Lord Straf-Dresden said...

An armchair to drink coffee from "nothing"? It certainly is not nothing - it's vital!

Minx said...

My kitchen is more like a McDonalds but sometimes I pretend it's a gin shop.

Have you asked the hearth what colour it wants to be. Empowerment is all.

Jo Beaufoix said...

I agree with Jane.

Maybe you could explain your concerns to your husband and sigh a bit.

Then he might come up with the idea of asking them himself.

I always think it's good to let them think they're making their own decisions.

Heh heh.

Motheratlarge said...

Wifey, may I ask why are you learning German? I know the North is another country in many respects, but it is not, in all fairness one where they speak a foreign language. Some may disagree. Of course, if you were to venture a few miles further north and cross the border, you could enjoy non-stop Gaelic television. Quite a treat, I think you'll agree.

jane said...

Sorry to be cheeky, but could I just mention that rather than continuing to clog up WITN's blog all the time with my lengthy and frequent droning, I have as threatened started my own blog called "swearing mother", you'll understand why if you choose to drop by.

Visit if you fancy it, you're welcome any time.

Norman said...

Motheratlarge, have you ever seen Northumbrian or Geordie in written form? It can look like something vauely Scandinavian.
If ye divven knaa worram seyn heya, ye'll evan idea. Translated as "If you don't understand what I'm saying here, you'll see what i mean.
No WITN, go for the German. It makes a useful distraction methinks.
I rather think the buildres et al and yourself have something in common: You#ll ALL be glad when the renovation of you new place is complete. But once you've moved in and the proverbial dust has settled,what then? Will there still be enough material for your blog?

Norman said...

Too many typing errors, sorry folks. Its getting late. "Aal gan' gerra bit kip." Good night all!