house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

44 days, 2

Wake up with two thoughts burning deep furrows on my forehead: CHEETA. And Grouting. I agree by the way, 'grouting' is an awful word, vulgar, grating... In the course of today, it becomes a long slow nightmare. The grout itself proves easier to make, so I envisage 2 hours max, to finish everything. Walking into the living room with my bucket of grrrrout, I find a lunar landscape of fine dust over a white grid (aliens? NASA?) that unsettles me... still, I press on (grout MUST be used) and soon the whole floor joins the jolly grid-game, and half of the hallway (grout WAS used up!)...

Now, to the next step: wiping away the white lines of dry grout. Whereupon I discover that THEY WON'T BE WIPED. I imagine sending you a picture of the ghastly grid, caption: 'How do you like our new floor, dearest?' - and this sends me straight to 'Multy-China', in search of sponges, scourers, toxic floor cleaners, bleach, anything. (The 'anything' – in this case – proved to be a pen I couldn't resist because you can blow bubbles when you stop to think between sentences, but – bubble, bubble - that's beside the point. Bubble...)

Scourers at hand, I get on with it. It's 4 pm (what happened to that '2-hour' task? It's taking the whole day... is that familiar?). 4 tiles on, it's 4.27 and my shoulder aches. I stop and count the tiles. 24 rows of 14 tiles each. Is that 336? Plus the half-hallway.

I stop at 8 p.m. for dinner, go back at 9. Kira does one-line-and-one-tile. I bring a stool because my kneecaps creak and scream. I try the wet method (bucket of water) and the dry method (scourer only). The dry works better but also coats my nostrils, mouth and lungs in grout dust. The ache in my arms is comparable with childbirth. Naah, it's worse, and goes on all night.

Around midnight, I am still on my knees, scouring the floor and belting (or rather bleating) 'It's not about the money, money MO-NEEEY!' By now I have listened to an Artemis Fowl and the entire contents of Kira's Ipod.

I finish at 1am. Question: can you bring a nice big carpet? There are places where the grout decided to settle, build a grout-house and have grout babies.

I lay in bed utterly defeated, bathed in pain of the most exquisite variety (deep and dull). I haven't made a fire, in the shower or the house, so just try to sleep. Painkiller. Try to sleep. My hair feels like a mediaeval wig. I get up, boil a kettle, wash my hair. Go back to bed, try to sleep.

One perfect moment: about the time you were leaving the Castle with Nikita, a rainbow appeared above our house, here. Vivid, burning colours painted on the dark sky. A good sign? You know me. I wept.


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