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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Grannys Harmonium. Can I be bothered?

Why bother. Other people wouldn't bother, why should I. Why do anything, why should I do anything at all.

I ponder the kitchen, our kitchen. Let’s have a new kitchen. Bit of a stupid idea really. Many, maybe most visitors wondered why we even wanted a new kitchen at all. “There's nothing wrong with the one you’ve got”. Nice cupboards, nice worktop, very nice range oven, nice floor, nice walls. Our kitchen was definitely nice. A bit ordinary, but nice. Neither of us want ordinary.

Our house, built in about ’85 has had two new kitchens. One when it was newly built and the other about 18 years ago, so it was time anyway. 

So, about three years ago we start thinking about what we want. Sometimes Tricia and I take ages to reach a mutually satisfactory decision. This was one of those times. By the time we decided, I was in hospital having my abdomen sliced open, with my surgeon on a tumour hunt. So we waited to until I was back on my feet. Then lockdown, can’t start anyway. 

We finally reached a point when, designs finalised, we could start. Disaster! I’m going to need a course of chemotherapy. After getting so close to the project starting it was looking like we needed to abandon the whole idea. I was going to be out of commission for maybe 6 months and become, progressively, less able to get this job done.

What to do? I had a plan; we wanted a kitchen. Shall we? We shall! We ordered the kitchen!

Let’s go! Work work, chop chop, busy busy, bang bang! And we’re off.

Today I’m just over half way through. It looks loads further on but the little fiddly jobs always take much longer than you expect. Has it been easy so far? Yes, pretty much. Am I enjoying the “challenge”? Yep. What have I learnt? Loads!

Notes to self........

You'll need to rest twice as much as you think, sometimes for the rest of the day. Have a snooze maybe go to bed.

Your feet will hurt if you’ve been standing too long. Wear good shoes.

Wear gloves.

You’ll make even more mistakes. Just calmly fix them.

Measure twice.

Sometimes you’ll need to walk away. It’s OK to do something else. 

Don't let delays irritate you, especially the small ones.

Don’t judge people too harshly when they say “Finished yet?” They really don't understand.

Accept that it’s a bit harder to concentrate. Take your time. 

Be calm. What you want done now may have to be next week.

Keep your tape measure in your pocket. You’ll constantly lose it.

Measure twice

Have lots of pencils.

Ask for help. People actually want to help.

You might want to do a bit at odd times of day. That’s OK but don’t wake the neighbours.

Stay tidy. You know you like it.

Measure twice. 

Have a day off. Ask your friends to join you on a walk to raise awareness and funds for Bowel Cancer UK.

Visit friends. They’re more important than a kitchen

Measure thrice.

So, the kitchen progresses, I’m pleased with my ability to plod on. It’s completely different. We’re very, very satisfied so far and we haven’t even seen the sink. Will we finish on time? Of course we will because we haven't set a time (good move). 

What’s the best part of having a project like this? It’s waking up thinking about the jobs for today. Much nicer than morbid cancer thoughts. 

Next project? Shall I convert the utility room and downstairs toilet into a wet room or renovate my grandmother’s harmonium? I think that’s a topic for discussion on our Lerryn walk.

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