Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Summer Holidays – Part I
Wolf's child minder went on holiday last week, so I had to stay home to take care of the little guy. My initial dreams of playing with my son and going to various places – the zoo, the beach, the tram depot (he is very fond of trams and trains at the moment) – were quickly and efficiently torpedoed by Mrs.B though. The living room wall-to-wall carpet was an eyesore she wouldn't live with any more. It just had to go, and besides: laying a new laminate floor would only take a weekend, wouldn't it.
I was a bit apprehensive right from the first mentioning of the idea. Granted, the old rug did look like it had been rotting on a cold and stormy sea shore for a number of years. But nothing ever 'only takes a weekend' in this house.
First of all, the floor wasn't exactly level. In fact, there have been requests from various cycling teams to use it for mountain practice in preparation for the Tour de France. Our cupboard on one end and the shelves and nappy changing table on the other were situated on some 'véritable cols de première catégorie'. In between lay a deep valley that opened to the part of the floor that's above the cellar. This part has wooden floor boards and is somewhat more level. But all in all it was easier to go from the kitchen to the TV set than the other way round.
After the first weekend, it was clear that this job would really take some time. Taking out the furniture already took my a whole day. Then leveling the floor was a long and arduous job. Meanwhile, I also took it upon me to hide the truly hideous yellow bricks of the chimney under some plasterboard, which I then gave an additional layer of plaster to get everything more or less straight and level.
Laying the laminate floorboards was pretty straightforward in itself. Also because I'd bought me some new toys/tools: a miter saw and a saw table. But then again the weekend was over and I had to babysit on Wolf in the morning, until it was time for his afternoon nap. Then I could hush-hush silently fire up the electric saws to cut the boards and hammer them in place. 'Click system' my arse, those things needed a good pounding to fit into place.
By 4.30 PM Wolf would wake up, and I had to babysit again until Mrs.B came home from work. Then I'd work on until 9 or 10 in the evening. This went on for the whole week, but on Friday the weather was just fine enough to dash off to the zoo with Wolf. But in the weekend, it was work-work-work again. On Saturday we bought the skirting boards and on Sunday I finished installing those. Then we had just enough time in the afternoon to put all the furniture back in place. At 6 PM on the Sunday evening, I could finally relax and enjoy the rest of my summer break.
When the alarm went at 6.30 AM on Monday morning, I had a moment of doubt: would I whack the alarm clock or the person lying at the other side of the bed?