Two reds and a grey

Tuesday August 8, 2006

When you get two red letters on one day you really can’t complain if, alongside them, there’s a single black one. Well, slightly grey, anyway. Red letter days are good even if, like buses, they do tend to keep you waiting and then come along in pairs.

“Well, little house,” I said, “that’s the first room, done at last.”

I’ve taken to talking to the empty house, you see, to encourage it, and me. I’d be worried that I might be going dotty if I weren’t perfectly happy to be dotty already.

I’d just applied the last dab of top coat to the walls in the study, closed and sealed the paint bucket, and scrubbed my brush. With the last of the day’s energy supply running out fast, I pulled up the dust sheet, piled it on top of the little painting table I bought from the remaindered corner in Focus at the start of the painting phase, and lugged it up to the top back bedroom.

When I got back to the ground floor I walked back into the study to admire my handiwork, took a record photograph, and took myself off into the kitchen to brew a cup of coffee and review the situation.


Done at last


Graham has determined that we need to bring our moving-in date forward as much as possible. While I’d planned to paint the downstairs cloakroom, and the outer hall, we’ve decided that those are jobs which can wait—there’s no furniture to go into the cloakroom, and it’s more sensible to leave the outer hall until after the removal men have blundered in and out carrying our effects into the house. I’ve scrubbed the walls in both, and they really don’t look bad as they are.

The ground floor is done. Graham has claimed the wall painting in the living room as his own part of the project so, as far as I’m concerned, the middle floor is done. All that remains for me to do is to finish the top floor by painting the walls in the back bedroom and the ghastly pink bedroom at the front. Based on my current rate of progress, I’ll be able to phone the removal firm sometime next week to fix a moving-in date. The actual moving-in date will be determined by the work load of the Taunton branch but is unlikely to be more than a fortnight after my call.

“We’re getting there, little house,” I said as I locked the front door. “Won’t be long now. Quite a red letter day, eh?”

Back at the caravan Graham and Dolly were in the latter stages of their afternoon nap so I crept in, unpacked, and stretched out on the sofa with the intent of snoozing until they woke. I was just dropping off when my phone rang.”

“Hello, Mr Bailey. This is Karen at British Telecom. Your broadband order has been processed and schedule for August the 14th. All I need is to fix your email address.”

Wow! All those long, long phone calls have yielded a result at last! Now, I’m confident that the new wireless hub and other broadband gubbins will, along with the line enabling procedure, happen on Monday. That doesn’t mean it’ll all actually work on Monday. That remains to be seen and, while I’m daft, I’m not that daft.

Even so, another red letter day.

The slightly grey element arose when I struggled back to wakefulness as Graham woke and started getting himself ready for his evening stint. It was a hard struggle.

“Oh dear,” I said. “I’m feeling bone-weary. I think I shall have to pass on my evening laundry session today. Sorry.”

“Don’t be silly. The rule is that, when you’re tired, you put your feet up. I’m not in the least bit surprised. And I don’t want you working yourself into a standstill. Open a bottle of plonk, settle yourself down, and watch TV. I’ll see you later.”

“As you say, so shall it be.”

I wasn’t inclined to argue. I’ve been pushing myself along day by day, close to but not beyond my limit and Graham’s right—it’s not surprising in the least that my body should ask for a pause now and then. And it asked for one this evening. Not a black letter day, exactly, just a touch on the grey side.

I rested up this evening, and shall take a day off on Saturday. All in all, not a bad day at all. Two reds and a grey are, to me, perfectly satisfactory.


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