13.10.2016 - 16.10.2016 14 °C
Rosie responded to our arrival with mild surprise and gorgeous smiles – she seemed to be taking it all in her stride the way these two Australians kept popping in and out of her home. What a trooper.
After breakfast, we made our way to Annie and Andy’s new house and joined in all the fun of renovations. Rosie and I were deemed to be least likely to be helpful on the building site, so we went for a walk to the playground and down to the shops for food supplies. While the playground was great fun, I’m afraid Rosie fell asleep on the job when we headed off to buy lunch. We spent the afternoon extolling the virtues of the steamer as an assistant to the wallpaper removal process and had a very successful stripping experience.
Rosie had the day at nursery on Friday, and the rest of us set to scrubbing and fireplace remodelling. We embraced the sugar soap phenomenon and I’m proud to report that I was responsible for the ‘above the line’ scrubbing. We celebrated a hard day’s work with curry and beer and Blackadder, a fitting reward for the renovating team.
The first task for Saturday morning was the swapping of the hire car – apparently Warwick had to go back to the manufacturer (due for a service?) and a new vehicle was delivered to us instead. Farewell Warwick, hello Smarty Pants the Smart Car. Then the renovations continued, with more sanding, bricking, scrubbing, concreting, paint removing, vacuuming and other assorted tasks. Another equally important part of the renovating-and-moving-house process is emptying the fridge and the freezer in the old house, so Annie and I set about preparing a meal of deliciousness using only what could already be found in the kitchen. And using mince, aubergine, onion, tomatoes, smoky bbq fajita mix, cheese and flavoured microwave rice, we created what just may have been The Greatest Burritos of All Time. Ah-maze-balls. We did cheat slightly in that we had been to Sainsbury’s for a couple of essentials – nappies and shiraz. That wasn’t as easy as it sounds though, as Annie was denied the right to buy wine by a power-tripping Sainsbury’s worker on account of the fact that she looked under 25 and had no ID to prove otherwise, and I was waiting outside with Rosie. So I went back in and reclaimed the discarded shiraz, ID at the ready. However, when the approval process commenced, my ID was not required by the very same staff member. We left Sainsbury’s with mixed feelings – I was happy that I had wine, but offended that I looked old; Annie was chuffed that she looked young, but frustrated by her inability to obtain wine. I guess the boys were the real winners in the whole experience, because they got to have the goodness of the shiraz without the angst of their age being called into question. The ordeal was forgotten once Strictly Come Dancing was on, and the focus was solely on guessing what feedback would be given by the judges – we are all obviously experts on appraising footwork in a foxtrot and the timing of a tango.
Sunday came along, and Rosie’s room returned to a state of having a complete floor, thanks to Ian. The Buccheri Suite received the sugar soap treatment, and we put in our request for a nautical/whaleboat themed interior design. By Sunday night, James and Annice had inspected the building site, the fireplaces had all been removed and rebricked (Andy’s new skill), upstairs had all been sanded and sugarsoaped and rinsed and there was no horrendous carpet left in the house. And, most importantly, the enormous collection of trains and train tracks that had been left behind had been cleaned and sorted. Who needs a kitchen when you have a Thomas train set?