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Saturday, November 3

Everything Day

I think I managed to do more things today than I would normally expect to do on a slightly sunny Saturday. I had intended to wake up to meet a decorator at 8.30 for him to give me a quote. Wake up, I did, but the decorator wasn't coming. He texted me to let me know. So, I lay there, prone, for a while, and then prepared to get up for the next trademan, who was due to see me at 10. In fact, when the time came for him to arrive, I was already up ladder painting my bathroom.

Yes. It was a Saturday morning after quite a late night, and I was up a ladder with a paintbrush listening to "[my] old mate Brian Matthew" on Radio 2. I don't know if it's been a huge amount of time since I last heard him, or whether he had a cold, or whether the memory I have of his voice is from the Beatles at the BBC recordings from the 60's, but it appeared that he sounded older and rougher than I thought he would. I guess we're all getting older. I'm feeling older, and I wasn't even alive in the 60's.

The workman, a tiler, didn't arrive. It's a shame, since him name, which I won't divulge, but it has the same rhythm as "Johnny Terry", had, over the course of the week, set me off into memories of a song from Brigadoon called "The Chase" with the chorus "Run an' get 'im". So, I'd had the guy's name running round my head all week and he didn't come. In some ways, it's a relief since I'd already pretty much decided on a different tiler, and this guy would have had to come up with a good price and a really competitive date for doing it for me to consider him. I'd even tried to ring him up to cancel him, but he hadn't returned my call.

It took no effort on my part for the tiler not to arrive. I simply painted my bathroom. After Monday's efforts, the bathroom walls were already at one coat of bathroom paint over one coat of "primer". As lunchtime arrived on Saturday, the bathroom was finally painted enough for me to call it done. With the tiles down, it can be completed by my builder. This is going to happen. Yay.

Except... no tiles.

I took a friend with me to a local tile emporium, recommended by the tiler I'd already had a quote from. We looked at tiles. We chose tiles. I rang the tiler, he confirmed he can come on Wednesday as we'd discussed and asked me to text him the name of the tiles, so he can buy them and bring them with him. He explained how his discount is variable, depending on the value of the tile. The cheaper tiles I'd chosen may not have much of a discount on them. I hung up and reconsidered the tiles. This wasn't a cost thing. It was my friend illustrating how the chosen tiles might look against the sort of colour of kitchen units I've got coming. We decided to go for a more expensive tile and I texted it to the tiler. I've no idea how they'll look when down, but the next time I see them, they'll be on the floor of my kitchen and bathroom. That's quite exciting.

It's a bit weird. I go away on Wednesday and I'll return to find a totally tiled kitchen and bathroom AND a housemate. I even texted my builder to let him know when the tiling would be complete, so there's a risk that he may come in from Friday and fit the bathroom. That would be hardcore.

I dropped my friend home, following her help, and then considered lunch. In a confusing approach to lunch, I decided to go home, get my bike, take it to the cycle shop for adjustments, get lunch while it was adjusted, as well as getting a haircut, then pick it up to return home to continue the painting. That's quite a strange mix of activities for an hour in the middle of a Saturday, but it seemed to deal with various loose ends that I needed to deal with all in one go.

While my bike was being adjusted, I remembered that the front light's batteries had run out, so I bought some batteries with my lunch at the Co-op. I found a buy one get one free offer on the batteries and was happy about the bargain. I also walked home to eat lunch, throwing away the bag with my lunch remains in it. I remembered, while I was having my haircut, that I'd only extracted one of the two packets of batteries from the shopping bag. Not so much buy one get one free, as much as buy one throw one away. I made a note to reclaim the second set of batteries when I got back home. I had the first set of batteries in my coat pocket, and I put them straight into the bike light when I got back to the bike shop. I was excited. I was solving bike problems. Then I noticed that my cycle helmet was broken, so I bought another one then and there in the bike shop. Not cheap, but sorted.

Brilliant.

It was later, while I was on the bike and the cycle light fell off breaking into pieces that I felt that something was trying to stop me getting the bike sorted. Luckily, nothing was irrevocably damaged, except for a minor scratch.

Today had biking in it, sure, but the primary activity was decoration. I returned from lunching to tackle the kitchen. I had some kitchen paint sitting in the room I needed to empty for my forthcoming housemate. Taking a pot of paint out of that room, putting it on the walls and ceilings and then throwing it away would have a dual purpose - emptying the room and making the kitchen painted. Double bonus.

I worked for a number of hours in the confined space with the radio for company. There were occasional texts and even a phone call, during which I painted the wall some more. I was feeling quite ill from my cold, and the paint fumes were not a cure.

After I'd washed up the paint brush and roller tray, the second time I'd done this rather unpleasant job that day, I went upstairs to get changed out of my paint sodden clothes so I could go to Tesco for some food. I went by bike, via a bit of a ride through town, with the fireworks going off around me. Remember remember the 5th of November, and remember that the weekend before it is probably a good time to have a fireworks party. It was at this point that my bike light fell off. No harm done, as I mentioned earlier.

Food bought, I came home, ate in front of the evil scrabulous robot smashing my soul to pieces with its ability to play scrabble, and then had a shower and got into bed for a bit of a read.

At about 10.30pm, the fatigue took over and I couldn't stay awake any more. The book A Piano In The Pyrenees was worth staying awake for. I couldn't manage it though. I went to sleep, perchance to dream, or at least wake up in time for my friend, who was coming to visit in the morning.

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