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Impossibly overexcited

Not sure whether this is a symptom of lockdown, or just a result of my normal household inertia, but this weekend marks a rare domestic high point and I have spent a morning of ridiculous overexcitement.

Not only have we agreed in principle the works (VAST!) which are required to bring our house up to the standard I seem to require (- ie replacing a ceiling which is about to fall down and a carpet which was ruined by the previous household’s children and dog (we moved in 17 years ago); dealing with several patches of damp and filling in the related investigative holes which have arisen over the years; putting in a downstairs loo (something we have disagreed about for ever) and reconfiguring our kitchen/dining space to allow us to sit at the dining table and look at our garden – (this last is admittedly not critical, but has been something I have wanted to do for some time, and our kitchen is definitely past its best) BUT, we have just installed a replacement front door bell and a new washing machine! On the same day!

The workings of the washing machine have propelled me to the laptop to rave about it. After spending a night in the middle of the kitchen floor, no doubt allowing it to acclimatise to its new surroundings a little before subjecting it to the indignity of being shoved under an old worktop, the machine was duly tested and I descended from my office to find it majestically foaming (internally – thank goodness) at 95° as it ran a pre-use cleansing programme, still in the middle of the floor. As I write, it is now completing its first ever wash and I can barely hear it at all. It seems to have accepted quite readily its under-worktop space – and had the good grace not to break any of the floor tiles in the process of relocating there (unlike its grumpy predecessor which, on its arrival, immediately ruined part of our then-lovely new floor and had, in more recent years, put on a dreadful howling show as its bearings went, and staged dirty protests on regular occasions – most particularly when new white bedding came near. I know there are things you can do about some of this – we did them sometimes, to no avail).

This new machine is also a dryer! I don’t really believe in those, but realised that it would sometimes be useful to have one. I promise not to use it much. Honest.

The front door bell has not worked for at least two years. I still don’t understand why, but as I didn’t like the old one much anyway, I had given up trying to get it to work and, instead (and in light of the much increased number of deliveries during the pandemic) I had placed a piece of paper underneath the bell push with ‘Please knock loudly. Bell not working” on it, eventually finding a marker pen that did not fade after a week. This resulted in an interesting variety of knocking methods, some of which were completely silent (delivery drivers, you know who you are! – or perhaps you just arrived before I found the good marker pen, and faced a completely blank piece of paper which might have once said ‘This bell works perfectly, and you only have to look at it to operate it’) and some which were so spectacularly and successfully loud that we would greet the perpetrators with laughing congratulations. 

The other person in this house has worked tirelessly over the past couple of weeks to order the correct parts (all the necessary correct parts, several deliveries required, each heralded by variable front door knockings) for a replacement and more satisfactory bell. Yesterday, being ‘the day of making huge domestic progress’, saw the installation of this new bell. Only small amounts of accompanying swearing seemed to be required. It actually looks like a proper bell, and somehow I love it. 

Mind you, the first time someone used it for real – a beer delivery, yay – I immediately began to look for my pencil case and satchel to pack up my school things and head home.

Yes, it is different, but hopefully effective in reaching all parts of the house whatever noise we are making elsewhere.

Now to go and see if the white sheets and pillowcases are ok…

‘Stops writing while the going is good…’


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