Our garden has a surprising amount of fencing which is all falling down. What would I do if it fell on the big white cat from two doors down while he is doing his acrobatics on the top of it and squashed him, or, even worse, the small and incredibly well-behaved child who rides her tricycle down the passage? Then everyone would hate me. So, I am trying to get someone to replace the fencing at a price which does not necessitate my selling a kidney (ha!). I am also trying to get someone to move two bushes from our front garden, which will hopefully make the whole thing look less as if a witch lives here. (Although, come to think of it, a witch does live here).
Now, I have learned many things during this exciting time of home improvements, one of which is that, getting estimates is like drawing teeth. I ring people, I leave messages, they do not ring me back, I grind my teeth, I fall out with Partner. This is before they have even seen the horror that is our fencing. I don’t know if this is because we live in a slightly questionable area, but I do know that if I say the words ‘in the most economical way possible’ in the message this increases my failure rate. Once they have seen it, however, they trot off, brightly, promising to send me a quote, looking nervously from side to side, and then they do not.
I do not begrudge these people, but I have become cynical, and I now factor in a certain amount of natural wastage. So, whereas I started off by noting carefully down in a small book who I had rung and what their name was, now I adopt a scatter-gun approach, and I pick people at random from the Yellow Pages and leave them clipped and unhopeful messages while I am having my coffee in the morning and am half asleep. Well the joke is on me today, because everybody I rang this morning is coming tomorrow, along with the man from the Salvation Army to pick up an armchair and the City Ranger to repair my green dustbin. I do not know their names because I didn’t write them down and I won’t know if they are expecting to see a bush, a fence, an armchair, or what. I have tried to schedule them at least half an hour apart but what if they all come together? It will be like a French farce involving garden contractors, with me in my furry-hooded Parka intoning briskly ‘who are you, and have you come to assess my bush?’ at the man from the Salvation Army, and a City Ranger trying to repair a green bin while competing men with tape measures measure up for palisade fencing under his feet. I will have to adopt a more organised approach in the future, and indeed you may see me next year in House Beautiful looking smug, under a caption which says ‘I acted as my own project manager and saved £xxxx on our renovation project!’. The caption never says, and I alienated all my friends, upset the dog and gave myself an ulcer in the process, but, we know.
On a brighter note, here is my stool which I had upholstered:
|Rhapsody in beige|