Sunday, September 18, 2005

My Flat. Episode I: The Inside Story

I went to a blogmeet in London yesterday and without exception every single person who reads my blog asked me the same question.

"So Laura. How's your flat coming on?"

At first sobriety enabled me to hide my true feelings about my "beautiful" abode. Alas by drink number four I reacted to this question by covering my face with my hands, putting my head between my knees and hyperventilating.

You see the thing is, if I'm absolutely honest, the flat isn't quite as progressed as I would have hoped. At first glance the place doesn't look so bad. The living room is finished bar the carpet and the lampshade; the bathroom is finished bar the cabinet, the loo-roll holder and two light fittings; and the bedroom is finished bar the plastering, scraping, sanding, papering, painting and the bare floorboards with nails that rip my feet to shreds in the morning. Oh, and I've lost a couple of radiators along the way and it's getting a bit chilly.

That's the good part.

Some time ago (18 months give or take) I had to have the kitchen completely gutted, its dodgy walls knocked down and its rotten floorboards pulled up and replaced. Miss Millwall and I then set about the task of tiling the floor, a process that involved more tea, fags and sunbathing than it necessarily required and in consequence the three weekends we'd allowed ourselves to complete the task stretched into three months. We both had lovely tans though!

My dextrous and ingenious father then took the baton from Miss Millwall to help me put together a makeshift kitchen so that I could move back. He brought over a double camping stove complete with a half full Calor gas bottle. He gave me a microwave that he and Mum bought in 1989, a microwave so unbelievably enormous that it takes two people to carry it and requires its own special supersized table. Then we popped to B&Q to buy a few cuts of wood, some two-by-four, a plumbing kit and, hey presto, my Dad conjured up a sink-unit out of thin air. Brilliant.

Thus it was that I moved back in. I had no kitchen units or oven and was chopping vegetables on top of the washing machine, but I was back and it was my "home, sweet home." Naturally, I started to get excited. I knew that I was going to release some equity when I re-mortgaged and so I was looking forward to choosing my new kitchen.

That was until John the Builder delivered the cruel and shocking blow last month... both my bay windows appear to be rotten to the very core (a fact he demonstrated by ripping a chunk of wood away and crumbling it between his fingers) and my back door is about as secure as Jordan's chastity belt. These all need to be replaced by the winter (*checks calendar and panics*). Cost? £3,800.


There goes the kitchen money. I've just given up a well paid job to go back to college. ETA of next well paid job? September 2008. ETA of kitchen? January 2009.

Arse... again!