Today, we are having new carpets fitted in half of Tense Towers, to replace the ones ruined in a burst pipe incident during the Summer (yeah, I know, burst pipes are more of a Winter thing, but we like to go against the flow).
I recall writing on this blog, years ago, about a carpet fitting in another time and place. A swift search of the word 'carpet' produced a couple of pages of results, mainly featuring swathes of wild flowers, but also an intriguing one about habitat loss (here) and also the post I had in mind (here)*.
So, 2009, eh? Just as Middlesbrough Football Club were relegated from the Premier League. And here we are, seven long years later, Boro newly returned to the top division and the imminent arrival of cosy floors at the latest Tense Towers.
Well, I say 'imminent'. The day booked for the fitting was tomorrow, but a call earlier in the week asked if we could re-arrange for today. As this wasn't a huge problem for us, we agreed, and I adjusted my preparations to ensure that rooms were empty of furniture 24 hours sooner than planned. Now, the original start time was eight o'clock sharp, and one of our number didn't check whether this timing was the same for today's rearranged appointment. Hence, we were up, showered, dressed and breakfasted by the required hour (quite a shock for Our Lass, as she's still recuperating from her knee operation and quite partial to a lazy morning in her PJs). It's now 09.15 and I'm beginning to suspect that we're not first on the To Do list.
[... a bit later, after a trip to the local shop for a pint of milk and a few packets of scrumptuous biscuits]
Orcadian custom seems to dictate that hot beverages and ample crunchiness are on offer for any visitors. At least, that is the impression I have garnered, following several years of carrying out work in other folks' homes. Refusing the offer of refreshment is not an option, and on several occasions, my colleague and I have had to sit at a lunch table groaning under the weight of bread, sandwich fillings, home bakes and a huge teapot. Yep, some days it's a tough job.
Oh, speaking of visitors, we had one the other night. Our Lass and I had spent the evening emptying most of the furniture out of the guest bedroom and the study, cramming stuff wherever we could in the lounge, kitchen and garage. By bedtime, half the house was rather echoey... echoey... echoey and the other half was very, very snug.
The visitor? Oh, we didn't find out about that until yesterday morning. When I opened the lounge curtains, I was greeted by the sight of a trail of small black droppings along the window sill. In my befuddled, just awake, state, I mused on the options: bat or mouse, as their respective droppings look similar. Then, realising that not even the approaching 'festivities' of Hallowe'en would produce an indoor bat, I trudged off to break the good news to a somnolent Our Lass. For the avoidance of doubt, when crushing the droppings, they didn't crumble to dust to reveal a myriad of insect body parts. Definitely a mouse, then.
Whilst watching Autumnwatch on television last night, we were incredibly pleased to be told that a mouse urinates 3000 times a day. Thanks, Chris, that was a fact I would've happily not known in present circumstances.
To be fair, it's that time of year. The harvest's in, the weather's deteriorating and all a wee beastie wants is a warm, dry place to be. Unfortunately, our lounge, complete with additional double bed, boxes of paperwork, a filing cabinet and sundry other bits and bobs, wasn't in the ideal state for a quick game of Hunt the Rodent. Despondently, we dug out the peanut butter and a couple of traps and opted for patience over proactive. This morning, there's not a sign of said mouse. Nothing in the traps, no more droppings, narda. Oh, ok! So our house isn't good enough, eh? Offski'd at the first opportunity and not even a "Goodbye"? Humph!
Well, on the plus side, the carpet fitters have turned up, Our Lass has manned the kettle whilst I went on a twitch (sadly so, dear reader, more info in due course) and then I took over tea and biscuit duties whilst Herself was whisked off to the sprawling megatropolis of Kirkwall for a 'Ladies who do lunch' session with Sian from Life on a Small Island.
* Please note, for this blogpost, you have been spared the awful carpet-y puns of the 2009 version.