Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Here comes another winter in Grottsville

Current mood:  distraught

I am in a bit of a bad mood right now, so please excuse another ranting blog.
First of all, I looked out of the window this morning to see two rough-looking men IN OUR GARDEN.  They walked all the way around the hire car, peeking inside, obviously trying to figure out if there was anything inside worth breaking in for.  Eventually, they wandered off, looking back at the house, and whispering to each other.  I am now petrified that they're going to come back and actually do something to our property.  I almost jumped out of my skin when the postman came, for instance!
David had agreed to go and see my grandparents' old neighbours in the late afternoon to pick up some ponies they had kindly got from a charity shop for me, so Mum and I asked to go to Woodberry while he was there, so that we could discuss colours and furniture without him interfering for once.
All the way there, Mum was moaning about how I'd badly hurt her yesterday during that stupid fight we'd had.  Strangely, she hadn't mentioned her "awful injury" last night, or this morning.  She seemed to only remember when she got back in the car.  And yes, according to her, I have definitely given her breast cancer.  (What?  With a slap to her arm that half missed, and didn't hit her very hard at all?!)  Meanwhile, I still have three huge stinging cuts on my left arm.  Oh dear, maybe she gave me cancer of the arm!
When we finally got to the house, we made an awful discovery.  Well, our first impression was good.  The front wall is half built now, and looks really nice.  They've broken a few paving stones in the street outside though, so no doubt we'll be charged for that now.  Then Mum saw something in the skip.  It was some kind of large stone with an old imprint in it.  We figured it must be from the paving stones, and were studying it with interest when David called out that we couldn't get in the house for a huge cement mixer that the builders had dumped in the hall.
Just then, I noticed tiles in the skip, and realised the old pattern in the stone matched the pattern on the base of the tiles.  My initial thought was that it was our fireplace, but I realised the tiles weren't big enough for that.  Then, with horror, I realised where they came from.  I peeked in the front room window, and my worst fears were proved to be correct.  The floor has been totally removed (despite the fact Chris Picton told us those floorboards were all right) - and where were our beautiful Edwardian floor tiles, which the architect promised could stay after the builders threw out the ones from upstairs?  THOSE WERE THE TIILES IN THE SKIP, OF COURSE!!!  I flipped, and told David to go across the road and get Picton, to ask what the heck he's playing at.  And this time even my father didn't argue.  Meanwhile, Mum and I scrabbled around in the skip trying to save what remained of our broken tiles.
David returned with Chris, who seemed genuinely annoyed.  Supposedly, he specifically told the builders to work around those tiles this morning, and they ignored him.  Of course, Picton is not supervising the project, as he is spending all his time trying to fix the mess he made of the nearby school I told you about.  Apparently, there are now massive holes in the walls of the reception area at the school, and has been condemned!  It really fills you with confidence over our house, doesn't it?
We had a conversation with Chris, who took us in the house (having moved the cement mixer) and proudly showed us the replacement period ceilings which they started to put in today.  Of course, if he hadn't smashed out the originals we wouldn't still be waiting for the new ones now anyway.
We were standing outside talking for a while when one of our new neighbours walked past and asked when we were likely to be moving in, and Chris looked really awkward.  Mum answered, sarcastically "Oh, September 29th, but we were meant to be a month ahead of schedule, so I'm not sure what's happening now."  "Oh, but that was before!" Picton cried.  Before what, I thought?  "We stopped work for a while..."  HUH?  You never stopped work, DID YOU?  We've been paying you all the time, so I should hope you haven't.  David started speaking loudly over Chris before he could finish what he was saying though, so goodness knows when we're moving now.
He did say it's going to take two weeks to decorate it though, and considering there are only three weeks until the supposed moving date, I think it's quite easy to see we're not going anywhere in the timescale we were promised.   All I want is a bed, a chair and a table to sit up to and eat my dinner.  I'm sick of eating sitting on the floor with my plate on my lap!  I gave myself awful stomach ache leaning over trying to eat without spilling gravy all over myself today.  Try holding a plate steady in your right hand and eating with a fork in the left, while sitting cross-legged in a little patch of floor.
Oh, and winter is well and truly setting in here in miserable England now too.  All of us are freezing to death in this house, and yet I really don't want to put the heating on again, because the patch of the floor where I sit is right by the radiator, and I just don't want another winter of misery.
Oh well, I shall leave you all alone now.  I've given myself an even worse backache sitting in the same position on this hard floor for too long now. 
Yours in despair,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

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