Why is it that tradesmen have to live up to their poor reputations? Why do they find it SO impossible to actually do what they say they're going to do?
Two years ago, at the time of the removal of the woodchip wallpaper, we also had a hideous (and redundant) gas wall fire removed from the living room by the chappie who comes to service our boiler. The gas pipe feeding the fire came up from the garage below our living room and my chappie tapped the pipe off about two inches above the floor.
We now want to lay the new floor so this will entail having the gas pipe re-tapped off below floor level, preferably in the garage. I tried ringing my usual chappie only to find he's away on holiday until 1 September. The Husband has work in September, probably for most of it, so we don't actually want to wait that long because if we do, then the floor won't get put down until, probably, October, and we want it down NOW (or even sooner).
So, on Wednesday this week, the ringing around to try and find a local plumber or gas central heating engineer who can nip over to do a 10 minute job began. I hate doing this sort of thing, but so does The Husband, so, quite often, I end up having to do it anyway. And then The Husband listens to my side of the conversation and I can tell by the angry/confused/sad/frustrated face he pulls that I've said something wrong, which always leaves me shouting in my head 'Well, why didn't you make the call in the first place? You know more about what you want than I do, you know the technical terms, I don't.....!' and feeling inadequate and stupid [Sorry, Husband, I know you read this blog but this is just the way it is, 'mmmkay?]
So the whole think is fecking stressful even from the start. Then, if you're lucky, you might get one to answer the phone. I explain, in my cumbersome way, what is required. "Okay", he replies "We'll give you a ring when we're in your area, it'll be either tomorrow or Friday", "Lovely," says I "we'll be in all week so I'll wait to hear from you". 'Brilliant', I think, 'Job sorted'. And smugly put the phone down.
Thursday came and went. I had to visit my mum briefly but The Husband was in. No phone call.
Friday (yesterday) - got to about 4pm when The Husband suggested that I ring the plumber again to find out exactly when they'll be calling round. I rang the same number, eventually got an ansaphone, left a message. The Husband asks if I rang the plumber's mobile, I said I hadn't got that number so I'd rung the only one I had. The Husband declares the mobile number can be found on the plumber's website (which is not the website I'd gone to) and points at it. So I ring the mobile. It rings....and rings....and rings....and is eventually cut off. Didn't even get to voice mail. I think that's as clear a 'Fuck Off' message as I'm likely to get.
All this now causes The Husband to curse and rant, which makes me stressed as well because (as always) the way my psyche works means that whatever causes him to be angry and upset is invariably my fault in some way (I know, I know - it isn't, but it's hard to retrain yourself when you've always been like this). So now, of course, we have to try and find another one. And probably go through the whole bleeding rigmarole all over again because the job's such a small one that they can't be arsed to come and do it, even though it's massively important to us and holding the whole redecorating malarkey up.
On the upside, this week I ate this:
It's a plate of ribs. I'll remind you I'm in England and you don't normally get something that looks like half a dinosaur when you order ribs! The Husband had a 10oz steak which you can see on his plate, for size comparison. Actually, looking at the picture, it looks like his actual plate is much smaller but they were both the same size - the angle of the picture has made it deceptive. Needless to say I didn't manage all of it!
Also, we put up the Indian textile wallhanging:
And the ceiling light:
So despite the best efforts of Britain's tradesmen, things are coming together.