Sunday, 1 April 2007

Garden room

We're preparing for Nanjo to come to stay. Everyone is challenged with clearing up. Squirrel is told to go round the house and find all the jigsaw pieces she's hidden - and which I've thought are missing because I only ever buy jigsaws at the RSPCA shop for 25p a box. Shark has the job of sweeping the floor in the schoolroom and removing the soil from the freezer which I found this morning. Dig has to put up the mirror in the cellar bathroom and Tiger is told by everyone to do her violin practice in her room. I get to clear out the garden room.

The garden room is Shark's old bedroom. Once upon a time it was the gardener's hideaway. Tacked onto the back of the house, it has a stone step down and a view onto the garden. It's not big, but it's cute, with a tiny en suite which makes it good for guests. In the past we've put an original Edwardian bed in there, stenciled the walls with flowers and hammed up the country interior with earthenware jugs of daffs and soft flowery cushions.

Shark, of course, trashed it. Mostly because Shark is into fish, big time, and wants to live under the ocean. Stupidly, we tried to oblige. Up went a cardboard mermaid, five foot high. Her head kept lolling about and I had to nail it to the wall. The curtain looked much better painted like the ocean, thought Shark, which we all promptly did. We made a cardboard screen for the window with fish shapes cut out and coloured acetate put in to look like stained glass. For her fifth birthday we hung up a giant fish net from the ceiling with foam fish hanging down. And when we moved bedrooms in February, all of it came steadily down. But of course the room bears the scars.

To be fair, the distress isn't all Shark's doing. The builders sank the hot water pipe to the en suite in concrete, which ate away at the pipe, which in turn sprang a leak. The only way we could quickly resolve it was to seal off the hot water, so now only cold water is available for the overnight guest. Then someone, probably aged three, went bonkers with a permanent marker on the carpet in the toilet. In the end it didn't matter much because the toilet sprang a leak. Now the safety of the entire floor hinges on a well-placed margarine tub.

By about five in the afternoon, I've got the garden room mostly sorted. It's been mucked out, bleached, the margarine tub's been cleaned, the bed's had new sheets, and a vase of flowers and extra pillows make it look cosy. Squirrel's done quite well, and there's only two pieces missing now from the woodland jigsaw: the owl's eyes and a pine martin's foot. Shark's not bothered at all with her job but has kept Tiger busy with some dinosaurs in her room, so she's forgiven. Dig's locked himself in the cellar bathroom by accident after taking the door handle off and managed to cut through the ring main on the electric circuit, plunging most of the house into silence and darkness, but he has got the mirror up, so progress overall has been made.

Now we just wait for Nanjo to come and organise us all, which she'll do within hours. She'll have the children occupied, the dishes washed, lunch cooked and the house tidy. Bliss. I might just take the next three weeks off.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I've just realised, you were fully up to date with blogging as opposed to your blog life trailing real life by about 4-5 days! Very impressed. Especially as Nanjo isn't here yet.