Friday, 13 April 2007

Preparing the cellar

I've been in the cellar. I've taken a carving knife to the mattress that the children were using as a trampoline and I've cut it into bits so I can smuggle it out the house while they're occupied watching UK TV History, which they're obsessed with.

I've also collected a big bag of plastic toys which don't match and, if they're not misfits, then are probably broken. They're in the hall waiting for Emmie the freecycler who says I make the planet a nicer place to live in. She only knows me as an obsessive freecycler. Dig might give her a different opinion: Emmie hasn't been on the receiving end of Grit's acidic tongue-lashing and some heavyweight door slamming.

Anyway, I've boxed up the toys down in the cellar, and been down to the tip where I got two trendy metal framed chairs for a fiver. I've recovered the seat cushions and then gone back to Ikea. This time I've bought a table shaped like an egg. I wanted the one shaped like a peanut but they didn't have it because, Ahmed says, they are changing supplier and if I really wanted a peanut shaped table they could give me information in about a week.

Well, we need a table a lot quicker than that. Because when Nanjo comes again on Monday we want her to move into the bedroom-cellar, which has been the children's playroom; we want her to sleep in the Ikea bed I put up yesterday, and we want her to do some of her studying-studenty work at the table shaped like an egg. Then she can have a shower in the broken down shower that Dig has nearly mended but which still leaks a bit into the cupboard.

This is all part of a grand plan. Nanjo has very gamely agreed to be the equivalent of the experimental mouse in the cellar because soon I am picking up Sasha from the airport who's coming over from France to be grilled by Shark, Tiger and Squirrel for her potential qualities as an August holiday au pair. And she's destined for the cellar bedroom. So we want to know this room's shortcomings, benefits and possibilities for a homesick au pair who locks herself into her room with her MP3 player and refuses to come out. We want to know whether she'll still be happy there despite her misery.

I should say at this point, just in case Sasha is reading, that the cellar is not dark and dingy and manky (although thanks to Grit's non-cleaning routine, it is not presently cobweb-free). It is a lovely bright space with a tiled floor, a strange corridor that runs outside the main house and which provides sunlight through three wide Velux windows, an Ikea bed that looks like a sofa but is really a bed, two terribly trendy chairs, and a table shaped like an egg.

No comments: