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Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Being Mostly About Doors

The house is breeding, rooms have appeared and while the two parts might have seemed small, the sum of them together far exceeds our expectations. Money – lots of it, naturally – well spent.
We are now eyeing, with envy, T10’s “suite,” which joins to his brother by means of a shared bathroom (and yes, we are treating the ingrates to some juicy glass tiles for which I have driven to furthest westest Wales: not my greenest outing, my carbon footprint trembles).
Our quarters seem sad and shabby by comparison and piled high, still, with oddments of possessions we have grown to loathe.

For the woods we ain’t out of yet.

The banging continues. The obstacle course to get out of the gate gets more interesting and limb-threatening each day.
The kitchen has been knocked into the new dining room, which is the old outside, and into the old dining room which we used to call the caravan (evening sun meaning you have to wear sunglasses to eat, people drifting past on the Right Of Way at the back of the narrow garden, etc).
It’s bloody enormous.
E, or Bill, as perhaps it is easier to call him, had an awkward moment when I was in Wales. He was making tea, a strawberry punnet already full of sodden bags, it being ten in the morning.
Jase leant on his axe. “Big room, this,” he said, “as big as my whole house.”
Bill stiffened at his kettle. Actually that sounds obscene, he just went still and quiet and a little red in the face.
But help in the form of a “No,” was at hand.
“No,” said Gaz.
A pause.
“Your house is only as big as this bit here.”
Bill stirred his spoon briskly, eyes averted like Princess Di, praying for Scotty to beam him up.

As Bill has said in his blog, he is busy with doors.
Doors, things you open and shut in normal life, which the children let slam in your face when you’re struggling in with all the shopping. But also things which have another use which the kind passing of time causes you to forget: choosing them; getting them; getting handles; buying handles from the fourth place you trail round, all close to tears; realising once home that these cheap handles are cheap since there are no “keeps”; going out again rather brisk and bad-tempered to buy keeps - whatever they are; varnishing them; them getting stuck when the floor shifts and cracks appear upstairs.
Hours of recreational purpose meted out by a door.
Starting with getting them.
Last week, Gaz barged into the kitchen waving a screwdriver.
“These doors, Carmeel. Chippy’s here to hang ‘em.”
I went wide-eyed.
Had I been warned that I should have 21 doors hanging around to be placed on hinges within 20 minutes?
I don’t think I had.
I whittered about having found some "cheap" ones but that I had to get them delivered yet.
"Good," says Gaz, "damnfool go spending fifty pound on a door." He and his son chortled at the idiocy of the middle classes.
I gulped. My "cheap" ones were over a hundred. Smoothing of the way required to produce a middle path in that antsy ground where sensible son of toil meets mimsy Mrs quasi-Posh, but prior to that was another quandary.
"Oi, Carmeel," he said, "you having artex in these here ceilings or what?"
I blanched.
"No, I think not," I said, appearing to give the idea some consideration.
His eyes rolled evesoslightly heavenwards.

His lovely son meanwhile had gone off in the truck to get themselves a hot dog from the stand on the by-pass.
“Give us-selves a treat, Carmella, well tidy that van, nice, yeah” I can report, with yet another tiresome and patronising stab at a full-on Gloucester accent. I can do nothing to convey its up-beat cheeriness which is a shame because he is a sweetie. Or well tidy.

Outside the house is Gaz’s wife’s motor. I thought he was calling it a hearse. Well it is black, and an unlikely Chrysler.
Unlikely in a horribly judgemental sort of way: this goes without saying.
Given the tum, the tats, his dislike of any fancy frippery which might have led one to believe that a truck was the natural recreational vehicle of choice, with or without high heels, in or out of normal building hours. I'd sort of read his tastes into hers. But then I've never claimed to have any imagination.
I frowned, “I sort of see what you mean,” I mused, looking it up and down, edging Lolly off from nipping my ankles.
“You what?” he said.
“Calling it a hearse,” I said, “kind of long, I suppose, dark.”
Needless to say it was “the hers” he meant. The motor what belongs to Mrs Gaz, the car being hers.
“Ah,” I said. “OK.”
Gaz gave me the look he reserves for the skip monkey, (another cheerful little soul, with his asthma inhaler in one hand and a full wheelbarrow in the other tottering along a rotten plank).
I hastened to the kettle.


Pipany said...

Morning Milla. Still getting over the shock of Bill (I mean you being married to). Didn't realise doors brought so many problems. Having said that, I am steadfastly ignoring the fact that I have five waiting patiently to be painted by me, while Dave steadfastly does not ignore the fact that I have not done them when he sanded them about a year and a half ago! xx

Bill said...

Well, I can report that all doors currently hung are varnished, and jolly nice they look too. Of course, because the builder didn't prop the house properly when he put in the supporting steels, all the doors need to be rehung, which means revarnishing bits of them.

ChrisH said...

One of these days I'm going to find out that everyone at CCW is one person with a multi-personality disorder. But, oooh, doesn't your house sound smart.

Suffolkmum said...

Love Chris's comment. Giggled childishly at the stiffening by the kettle bit. And the builders. And the hearse. Doors - I've decided I want a stable door to replace the back door in the kitchen. Nothing flash. But my God the expense.

Jaynebeth said...

Builders are from a different planet, strange alien creatures that take light-years to get to you in an emergency.

Elizabethd said...

Oh , builders...ours sings non stop, has a wonderful 60s repertoire, and being from Bristol we get 'Arreeverderchy Romerl'at full blast , most of the day.

ChrisH said...

The other thing they did for us at girls schools in the seventies was to make us - well me - go a bit a faint at the sight of the local boys's school blazer (with the boy in it, of course, - even I wouldn't have fainted at just the blazer!).

KittyB said...

Bonjour, flippin eck. Oh, gloustershire (I can't spell it, the chianti you know), I thought it was a Mr T accent - with the damnfool bit and all.
Love to Bill (well, at least I can put a face to the name now) and boys with posh bathroom. Glass tiles sound so lovely. I bet yours don't have to put up with ugly turquoise paint, sob, hic.

CAMILLA said...

Hello Dear Milla,
I adore your writing, such wit, loved the bit about Her's or was that HEARSE! Do you know dear girl, that I think you and Exmoorjane should get together and write a book, yep, I can here you say, is she Mad Camilla. Can I have your bathroom with those beautiful tiles, mine is deepest blue paint. Oh, and forgive me Milla, but are you really married to Bill, the one and only? I am quite confused!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Deary deary me . . .Bill . . Milla . . .you should both be in the naughty corner . . . tsk tsk . . .homework . . berludy hell . . . .

Doors - poo had all ours made - cottage style - they've all warped - teriffic and now we've got mice . not that that the warped doors and mice are linked . . or are they . . you just never know these days. . . . Bill and Milla tsk tsk tsk.

Pondside said...

Gawd - renovations - shudder! I remember one work man who for some reason went into my closet only to be horrified by the number of shoes he found. He asked if I was going to open a shoe shop!

DevonLife said...

£100+ for a door! Can't wait for the house-re-warming so we can all stand agog and stroke them with reverence.

I bought the cheapest of oh cheap wooden doors from B&Q for our last house and then had to spend £££££ on getting someone to fill, sand and paint them with diamond chips to make them look half decent.

Oh rotten expense these doors. Let's all tear them down and walk free

Zoƫ said...

arrrrrrrrrrgh, not a PT Cruiser... OK hands up, I had one when they very first came out on a Y plate (long long ago now), I got it as an antidote to all the BMW, Volvo and Merc Mummies here, teenage rebellion if you will , I started rebelling age 11 and havent stopped!! brilliant her's hearse pun, they do look like one in black, mine was silver, grey leather, sort of refined gangsta (yes it did have mock bullet holes along one side). Please don't go, this place will be lessened if you do, and I for one will miss your wit and intelligence.

countrymousie said...

Milla/Bill - I would so appreciate it if you didnt leave - lots of us had other "id's" on CL including me for posting comments -it helped me to sort out Susy white sofa et all.
We all hide things - does she think I am a ruddy mouse - maybe.
Being a lot older than others on the site I can say what I think.
Some are probably not as street wise and it is all a shock.
That is life. We had all got too laid back with the picture posting etc, me in particular though I think/hope I only used real names in e-mail. I have made lots of like minded contacts and I will be so sorry if you feel you need to leave. Please reconsider/ I didnt seem to have your e-mail - or perhaps I did but didnt know who you really were!! love mousie xx
e-mail me a countrymousie@hotmail.co.uk for further information if you like

annakarenin said...

Yes it did sound obscene but it made me laugh anyway and why on earth did you have to go to West Wales for tiles ? Beaches yes tiles????

Naughty naughty allowing Bill to stay in hiding for sooo long. Still don't know who Mongoose is though I seem to have missed that bit as for a little while I though it may have been you.

Inthemud said...

Glad to hear you renovations and extensions are coming on. I don't know what to do about ours, after 2 years we got planning but for something much smaller than we wanted, we wanted 2 new bedrooms with bathroom in btween , like you have done for boys, but planning would only allow us 1 room and tiny ensuite and downstairs it's not as big as we wanted and it will cover my kitchen window because planner had this odd idea that it had to be set back from main house, so now not sure i want to do it!
Doors, I had some lovely hand made French Oak ones made for downstairs, they look great cost me £1000 for 3 doors!!

Milkmaid said...

Artex indeed, we must have the same builders in here, as we've got bloody artex on two ceilings, it is quite subtle and or for the mo it's staying, as for the wood chip, if I could face the mess it would leave behind, i'd strip, may try that smooth over stuff, hope you stay, seems like a storm in a tea cup, one of your builders presumably

elizabethm said...

whole building thing sounds nightmare and reconciles me every time I go into my gloomy and hideous 70s kitchen - it works, there are no builders in my house, it costs nothing to leave it be. Don't expect I can keep up this sort of self management for very long though.
loved the hearse!

Himalayan Blue said...

Ah the joy of builders and trying to understand them. When I brought my house it had to be rewired and I didn't understand much of what the electrician was saying as he had a very strong Devon accent. I have sockets in the strangest places!

@themill said...

Lovely to return from hols and see you around again. Wonderful as always - and I was right - you had run off with Bill!

Anonymous said...

Hi Milla - just wanted to say thank you for your comment on my blog re Amy's bullying incident and you are not rambling. It's wonderful to get excellent advice and support and I appreciate your comments very much. Thanks.

Crystal xx

CAMILLA said...

Hi Milla & Bill, thank you so much for your kind comments, hoping that you will soon have a sigh of relief once renovation has finished. I am excited to know that you may be here again, such wonderful news for me. Milla - when is Tim Henman going to get to the semi-finals, or indeed finals, I think he just ran out of energy today, and how strange about the other player taking so much time out over a P! My tip for favourite this year - Roger Federer I think.

Woozle1967 said...

Milla AND Bill, get back in the common room this instant! Ragrug, Elizabethm, Snail Beach, Country Craft Angel and yours truly met up yesterday and we all want you both back! We miss your wonderful wit and I am about to start my extension and need a shoulder to cry on from someone who knows exactly what I'm going through.xx PS - Will Bill come and sort my doors out too?x

Grouse said...

You have doors! LUXURY!!!!!!!!

Eden said...

Oh Milla, this is such a good read. Really delightful.

CAMILLA said...

Hello Dear Milla,
Thank you for your comments, most kind. The Pic of Cat & Dog was sent to me to my computer from my 12 year old Granddaughter, then she does have a sense of hunmour, glad you like it. How is Lol?

CAMILLA said...

Hi Milla,
What the heck have I just typed! it should read HUMOUR, I have'nt touched a drop, honest!

Exmoorjane said...

Late as always....yup, I too giggled at the kettle (how predictable I am)....glad you have doors. Glad Bill is happy with them. Also glad you have a huge room (quite right too - all the more room for jolly gatherings).....
Still have silly grin on my face about being here....you were SOOOO right.....and yes, you CAN say 'told you so'. jxxxxxxx

CAMILLA said...

Hello again Milla & Bill,
Hope you are both okay, so too family, and Lol.

Fab day of tennis, did you watch it? Sending you my very best wishes.


Anonymous said...

hello milla hope you are well just catching up jep xx

CAMILLA said...

Hello Dear Milla,
Thank you for your comments on my List and Poem, most kind. I am so glad that you are about here, at least you have not disappeared completely, dont think I could live with that, you know Dear girl that you are very special to us.
Hope Bill, children and Lol are okay. Sending you my very best wishes.