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What is it about tradesmen?  Why do they get to play by different rules than the rest of us?  I’m sure you recognize a rhetorical question when you see it, so I don’t expect an answer.  Besides, I’m pretty sure the phrase “supply and demand” would figure prominently and I don’t want to know.  I’m also sure that you can see a big moan coming.  I’m in the throes of some renovations at the moment and my brain is seizing up.  I’ve spent altogether too much time sorting and schlepping; shifting and shoving stuff from one end of the house to the other. I just came home from taking a truckload of stuff to the tip (dump).  I’m using the occasion as a catalyst for major ‘streamlining,’ especially in the study.  Now my TV room resembles a Closing Down! Last Chance!  sale.  Or a Branch Office of the Cosmic Cupboard.  My bedroom and study just resemble a hard hat zone following a bomb blast.

Let me explain.  Please.  I’m having a new floor put down in my bedroom and study.  I won’t even describe the hassles I had getting someone to actually do the work.  Suffice to say that the word “runaround” would feature in any such account.  Anyway,  the delays in getting somebody here to do it sort of played into my hands a bit as it gave me loads of extra time to Prepare.  But, as I had loads of time, I took my time doing it.  Hence, I’m still not all that Prepared.  But, hey.  It doesn’t really matter, because there isn’t any tradesperson here to be bothered.  To be fair, I should explain that my floor man, who I’ll call David, because that’s his name, arrived Monday morning.  He was due at 8:30, and at 8:35 he actually phoned to say he was running late as he had to go into town to get some glue and stuff.  “This augurs well,” thinks I.  “A tradesman who actually phones ahead to say he’s going to be late. ” I was impressed.

Right, said Fred (You definitely must click on this!  And for those who don’t have an ear for the cockney and want to see the lyrics, click here.)

He arrived a little while later, surveyed the job, unloaded all of his equipment (numerous assorted saws, workbench, clamps, ghetto blaster, broom, acres of plastic sheet, hammer, trowels, lunch, measuring tape, and so on) onto the balcony outside my bedroom.  He then ripped out the carpet, then moved all the above-mentioned equipment into my bedroom, and departed.  That took one hour and fifteen minutes.  Work-in-earnest then began yesterday (Tuesday).  He got most of the bedroom floor done, and much of the hall outside between the bedroom and study.  It was all scheduled to be completed today.  He arrived this morning at 8:40, and got right to work.  I had to leave to go swimming at 9:30, and my visitors (Did I mention I have house guests here from Melbourne staying with me this week?) left a little after ten.  I returned home at 11:30 to an empty driveway and a note on my dining room table:

Mrs Coates (we aren’t yet on a last-name basis)

I’m sorry I had to leave early today.  I not feeling well.  I couldn’t stop throwing up.  I’ll be back first thing in the morning.  Sorry again.

Just in case it wasn’t all chaotic enough around here, I also had a fellow in yesterday to set up the TV and sound system.  (Part of the shifting and schlepping I’d been doing involved swapping the TVs between the bedroom and the TV room.)  I was fed up with sorting out the 847 cables so I thought I’d have a pro do it.  Much better.  And I didn’t have to stand on my head once!

I have to pause here and give enormous credit and thanks to my visitors.  Ken and Lynne have been a great help, moving things here and there,  holding my hand, saying “there, there.”  And they’ve been wonderful sports, putting up with all the chaos like troupers.

The cats, on the other hand, aren’t such good sports. They aren’t allowed in the part of the house where the action (or inaction) is taking place, and they’re annoyed.  And just in case they aren’t annoyed enough, they’re going to the vet to get  vaccinations this afternoon.  No one said life was fair.         MM