Monday October 16, 2006
To Focus DIY, early, in search of fixings so’s Graham can begin the task of applying things like mirror cabinets, towel rails and such on the walls of the bathrooms. Another grey, featureless day by the look of the sky; rain, rain, come and play/it might as well be wet today.
From Focus, bearing Rawlplugs and such, to Sainsbury’s. I’d sort of planned to take advantage of Graham’s strong back to carry out a major provisioning along with daily food, stocking my cupboards properly with staples. As I get back into cooking properly after the long intermission I find myself reaching for things like herbs and spices that aren’t there yet. In the event, when we got to the supermarket, I found I’d left my brain back home, still asleep like as not, and I couldn’t apply myself to the task of selecting store cupboard goods.
Hey ho. That’s a job for another day. I grabbed routine food stuff while Graham disappeared in the direction of the decorations aisles where I found him a little later, making up a big bunch of silk flowers and leaves of the autumn kind to replace the summer bouquet on the side table in the little outer hallway.
An autumn bouquet
“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’ve got money to pay for these.”
“Just as well, chook. I’m sailing close to the wind again this month.”
“Bad, is it?”
“Maneagable. It’s the dental fees that are doing it of course. No matter, I’ll get through to payday and then it’ll begin to get easier. Nothing to spare for luxuries yet, though.”
“You do know you’ve only to say the word?”
“Of course. No need yet, though.”
“Just so long as you’re sure.”
It’s a self-inflicted condition of course. I’m determined, if I can, to meet my dental fees out of monthly income rather than dip into savings. I know it’s an old-fashioned view but I will do almost anything rather than dip into savings. And it does no harm at all to spend a couple of months now and then being careful, watching the pennies. I’m rather enjoying it, in a perverse kind of way. And if I can come out of it with a gleaming set of gnashers and my savings intact I shall count it truly worthwhile.
Graham caught me dropping my change into the Save the Children box on the way out.
“You can’t be so very hard up if you can do that,” he said.
“Of course not. It’s all relative.”
“Hmmph,” he said. I caught sight of him as I walked on, though, dipping into his own pocket. I don’t thing the “Hmmph” was serious.
Back home Graham set to the task of stacking the new bouquet in the vase and then moved on to the task of assembling flat-pack cabinets. I stowed my shopping and then resumed my morning writing tasks that’d been necessarily interrupted by our early excursion.
And so the day went on, a routine day, all of us getting stuff done, happy to be together and to be industrious in our own quiet little ways.
I finished my competition story and zapped it off to the online writer’s group, where it appeared anonymously a little while later. No feedback yet but then I don’t really expect much if any. That’s another problem of writing for an anonymous competition. When you don’t know the author of a piece you tend to shy away from criticising it for fear of offending him or her. Some folks, like me, welcome criticism, good or bad. Others don’t see it the same way.
At intervals through the day I popped out into the back garden to take the air, leaving the door open for Dolly to join me and spend a little while mooching around, plodding over the long grass, filled to the maximum of her disapproving feline capacity with a ‘you call this a garden?’ attitude. “Give us a chance, Dolly,” I said. “We’ll get there, slowly but surely.” Didn’t make much difference. She sniffed, glared, and continued her mooch, radiating ‘where have all the flowers gone?’ vibes at me. Just as well I don’t take offence at criticism.
Where have all the flowers gone?
Late in the evening, just before dinner, Graham called me up to see the results of his labours in our bathroom. A row of gleaming mirrored cabinets was there to greet me, and all our bathroom stuff had been stowed neatly inside them, out of view.
“Oh, wow!” I said. “There’s a difference. Well done, chooky boots. Another step towards the resumption of civilised living.”
“Thanks. I can’t see it myself yet.”
“You will do. Let’s have dinner and finish off that bottle of plonk.”
Later on, quite a lot later on, he did see it. And woke me to tell me so.
A row of gleaming mirrored cabinets
Bathroom work in progress