Remain calm

Like every other person out there, I was looking forward to starting the new year by etch-a-sketching the amount I ate and drank over the holiday period and beginning the self-congratulatory road to both enlightenment and rock hard abs.

Sadly, since the beginning of the new year there has been building work going on at our flat. A flat which has consequently been encased in a suffocating layer of thick sheet-plastic. There is no space to move let alone throw myself about to the hysterical commands of my Tae Bo DVD… which is why I have begrudgingly put a pause on my transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. Having to instead find inner peace while captive amongst the sprawling mass of tool kits and tea mugs…

The first day the builders were in our flat we came home to our possessions cocooned in plastic. Even light fixtures, christmas tree and laundry airer (with my knickers on full and glorious display!) Had we been warned of their imminent arrival we would have made sure everything was out of the way, but sadly our landlord likes to throw us a curve ball now and again to keep us on our toes. And this seemed to be one of those occasions.

Leaving us to unwrap our bed / shower / sofa / toilet in order to simply continue our normal daily lives.


The whole purpose of the building work was to install central heating, which we did’t currently have. At all. But as we are located directly above the boiler room for the building this was never an issue for us.

After an extensive tennis match of emails it was clear that (despite the disruption) the landlord was simply too cheap to put us up in a hotel room for the duration. There was a legal loop-hole that meant he was under no obligation to either! As we were not in a position to argue there was nothing left to do but accept our fate.

Over the next few weeks:

  • We gave the builders a set of keys to get in and out, which they promptly forgot and when the foreman couldn’t get hold of us (Mr Maybe and I were both at work assuming everything was fine) he promptly left our front door wide open the whole day. Including their hour-long lunch break off site. Its a miracle that we weren’t burgled. But that probably has more to do with the fact we have nothing remotely worth burgling than the honestly of our neighbours.
  • They turned the water to the dishwasher off without telling us
  • A door knob was broken
  • The windows to our ground floor flat were left open after they had left for the day
  • They walked in on me getting dressed for work on multiple occasions
  • Left used tea mugs on the kitchen counter
  • Have been letting themselves into our home willy nilly each morning. Which might not sound terrible, but you try going to the loo and finding some stranger you weren’t expecting standing in the hallway.

So its all been a bit mad.

Admittedly this particular flat seems to be held together with dumb-luck and 1930’s architecture – so this whole situation is par for course. Our buzzer is broken, the oven seal was superglued in place, the dishwasher set on fire, the hot and cold tap are on the wrong way around (so the cold is hot and the hot is cold), the washing machine is a model so old it was discontinued in the 80’s – and the extractor fan doesnt work…

**Remember, inner peace**

Regardless of its current condition, having the chuckle brothers tinkering around in our home didn’t instill much confidence. And no amount of green tea and yoga was going to change that.

But then today, miraculously, they disspeared from our lives as abruptly as they arrived. Taking all the hideous sheet-plastic with them too.

They even put the taps on the right way round!

Hot for hot and cold for cold?! This was surely the height of luxury.

And with the worst of the drill-dust shaken from my boots I can practically feel a spiritual epiphany on the horizon.

I never doubted them for a moment…

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