Descent into hysteria + this week’s mystery object.

Do you love a bit of a mystery?

Oh good, here it is:


Moreover, because I like you, here’s the other side.  Before I show you, I’d just like to point out that this bit of junk is utterly crucial to my life just now, in fact I can’t do without it.  What do you think it is?  (Answer at the foot of the column.)


There you go!  Have you ever seen one of these before?  Where was it?  What were you doing at the time you noticed it?  (How exciting is this?) (Not very.)

Meanwhile, whilst apologising profusely for the extreme randomness of postings lately, I’d like to offer some pictorial evidence.  What I will not show you are the cupboard doors.  It’s too depressing.

Entering upon the kitchen makeover, having been promised that it would all be over by the start of September, having explained my need for a kitchen in which to pour porcelain and outlined the importance of Miniatura and my desire to start the makeover afterwards if the time frame was impossible; I was assured confidently by the builder, the electricians, the plumber and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all that it would be done and dusted in plenty of time to stem the rise in blood pressure that attends the need for work coupled with the impossibility of doing it.

Well, the builder moved house in the middle of it.  I wondered why his wife was waiting on the drive while he finished the pointing on the front wall with a dustpan and brush; a trowel, apparently, being out of the question.  It was to knock off early so as to go and sign the papers.

Then the cupboards.  Because of a need for greenness, looking after the planet and rampant localised poverty, we are reusing the old bottom cupboards.  The only reason we are not also reusing the top cupboards is that we didn’t have any.

I can paint.  There are many things I can’t do but I can paint.  So when the other half had planed and sanded the doors I did a great job of the varnishing, even leaving the holes clear for the new handles we’d chosen that would cover the bleached area where the old handles had been.  Having carcased we were consulted as to whether we would prefer the excess door cut off at the top or the bottom.  We agreed upon the top whereupon the merry builder cheerfully sawed a suitable amount off each no-longer-made pine plank door and the other half made a router table for himself and bought an appropriate bit to make a fancy edge.  Triffic.  The doors hung and the merry builder upon his way, the beleaguered writer (me) noticed upon the eve what had been wrought in the busy, busy day. Subsequently, not the following day, for that was when the builder moved house, but the day after that, the B.W. (me) invited the builder to insert a door knob into the door knob hole. ‘Like this’ he said confidently, of the first door.  ‘Ah’ he said of the second and the third…………..  In some cases he had sawn the tops off and in some, excitingly, the bottom, leaving one handle hole at the top, the others, elsewhere.  They cannot be turned inside out because of the giant holes for the patent hinges, cleverly designed to be welded to the holes for all eternity but shatter at the touch of a damp cleaning cloth.

Whether my painting skills are up to the job of disguise, I shall discover this afternoon when I do them all again.  I would be priming the worktops for the tiles but……….

Are you ready for an uplifting picture?  Here is the view along the hall.


Such a joy. Oh look! There are the rubber gloves I couldn’t find last Thursday.  A couple of nights ago, fed up with instant food and with a garden full of rapidly going-over cauliflowers I decided to have cauliflower cheese.  Having decaterpillared the caulis which didn’t leave much for me (I’m putting butterflies into the world, it’s a Good Thing) all I needed was the cheese, got it, and a grater.  Ah.  And some flour.  Hmmm.  So in the end I had cauliflower, and chopped cheese.  It was horrible.  The flour is in here, somewhere.


I would go to the charity shop with boxes of things but as BT have dug up the road in front of the house I can’t get out.  That’s a pity because some lucky charity shop is about to receive this:


It’s a block of resin with embedded Canadian coins.  Handy for anyone who wants one of those.

Now this:


is almost certainly a 1970s boiled egg lifter, though if you have another use for it, (nose wear? tennis ball handle? heel lifter for getting supermodels on to donkeys? apple bobbing implement for the fastidious?  school custard lump remover?) it will be in the children’s charity shop as soon as the telephone engineers have finished digging up the road.

I would scream and tear my hair out but it’s just a waste of energy.  Meanwhile the thing I most need, to tackle the film of mixed plaster and sawdust which coats every surface in the house, is the vacuum cleaner from which the wheel broke off this AM twice. 


Once before I had mended it with two part epoxy


and once after.

I would buy a new one but the other half has just bought the table saw we require, which would cost twice as much to hire, for turning the left over bits of cupboard into the pill drawers to accommodate the tranquilisers we’re going to take when we find the drinking glasses. – over the edge in a barrel with brackets and fancy glass knobs.

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