Construction Junction

Five houses on our block are being renovated.  By renovated, I mean full scaffolding, much banging about and a fair amount of buzz-sawing.  Oh, and some jack-hammering occasionally punctures the steady hum of the buzz-saw.  The houses, by the way, are all within ½ block of us – so five of the seven closest houses, essentially are under construction.  It’s AWESOME.  Now that we finally have something to sit on, we’re having some difficulty enjoying it due to our extraordinarily industrious neighbors.  Bless them.

Speaking of having something to sit on, our chair and ottoman arrived last week.  Oh, praise the heavens.  Two burly Irishmen showed up, lugging the heavy chair and its partner as if they were nothing but a bit of fluff tossed casually over their shoulders.  They trudged them up our stairs and dumped them unceremoniously in our front hall.  I was a little teary with excitement.  The Irishmen seemed not as thrilled.  Go figure.  It then took them 30 minutes, much pseudo-intellectual discussion and 127 tries before they gave up the attempts to get the chair from the front hall into the actual living room.  (Perhaps we should have measured with slightly more accuracy prior to purchasing the #%!*ing thing.)  Then they left.  Our chair remained in the front hall.

Byron, being deeply disturbed by the location of the chair, decided to take matters into his own (also very industrious – he clearly belongs in this neighborhood) hands.  He whipped out his nifty toolkit and began removing the living room door from its (ancient and well-painted over) hinges.  I just wandered around the flat muttering about how it was fine and don’t worry about it and let’s just leave it.  Although, in hindsight, leaving an enormous armchair in a small front hall for the next two years isn’t one of my smarter ideas.  Meanwhile, Byron successfully pulled the ridiculously heavy door off its hinges and recruited me (still muttering) to help him move the chair into its rightful spot by the fireplace.  And there it sits.  We put the door back on its hinges (not without some serious issues and much cursing) and now our living room has two, count ‘em, two places to sit.  Life is good.

. . .  I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’ve been gone for the last hour.  That was around the time that the jack-hammering two doors down stopped … and so did the electricity.  I’ve contacted the power company.  The nice power company lady (I’ll call her Fiona – there are a lot of Fiona’s here) very politely (and with a fabulously posh accent – fun!) told me that someone called “they” has to go to someplace called the “substation” and check all the “equipment”.  Fiona in no way could tell me when our electricity will be back up and running.  But at least there isn’t any further jack-hammer nonsense.  Oh, wait.  I take that back.  Apparently the other side of the street isn’t having the same electrical issues.  The buzz-saw is in full working order.

One positive foray away from the nuttiness surrounding our flat and into the furniture-blessed world came last weekend for our first wedding anniversary.  We bravely headed out to the Cotswolds, winding our little rental car through many a charming village – including Stratford-Upon-Avon (a bit touristy) – to stay in a boutique hotel recommended to us by one of Byron’s new volleyball friends.  When we arrived, we were met by a very nice woman at reception.  (I’ll call her Charlotte – there are even more Charlotte’s than Fiona’s here.)  As a side note, Charlotte in no way belongs in the Cotswolds.  She truly needs to be in L.A.  Seriously, perfect bleached blonde hair, incredible makeup, amazing figure – what in the world is she doing wasting that made-in-Hollywood look in Cheltenham?!  Ahem.  But I digress.  Charlotte kindly let us know that we had been upgraded to a Suite.  Sweet!  She grabbed the keys and took us to the room.

We were told the hotel was amazing.  People, that is putting it mildly.  I can honestly say that I have no idea how to describe this room.  Okay.  I’ll try.  When Charlotte began opening the door, the first thing we saw were two, yes two, side-by-side claw foot bathtubs.  I kid you not.  In the room.  Facing the gi-normous, football field sized four poster bed.  Which was situated immediately next to, wait for it, an adult-sized antique rocking horse.  Mmm hmmm.  Everything was done up in deep, dark grays, blacks and velvets.  Behind the double-dose-of-fun tubs was a glassed in shower with two rain shower heads, all in black tile.  The lighting was controlled by a panel on the wall next to the bed.  The flat-screen television could have been viewed from London.  Saying this room was “pimpin’” doesn’t do in justice.

But we did actually leave the room to have dinner that evening in the hotel bistro – which we had heard was very good.  And it was.  One of the best steaks I’ve ever had, fabulous wine – I even got my favorite, figs, with the appetizer.  The next morning we drove the “Romantic Road” through some of the loveliest little villages, all honey-colored stone and green fields.  Happy Anniversary.

So now we’re back and, barring the occasional lapses in electricity, things are humming along nicely.  Oh, and I’m learning to knit.  And I love it.  Just call me Nana.

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