I’m hoping that this will be my last post about my ‘new’ flat – at least until the next thing falls down/apart.
The good news is that the place is now somewhere a real person can live; a person who needs things like drawers, shelves, blinds, wardrobes and mirrors. It’s almost worth my Arnold Schwarzenegger arms and the bruises in places I didn’t even know I had places.
Of course, I can’t claim to have achieved this state of affairs all by myself. In the end, it took not one, not two, but three men to get the place shipshape. Some independent woman I am…
Chez O’Grady saw a lot of action on Monday, in the form of hours of banging, drilling and screwing – none of it of a sexy nature.
The day started with a call from the cable guy.
CG: What time you like me come to your home?
Me: Between 11 and 2, like I said to the nice lady a week ago… 11 would be perfect.
CG: Oh no. Is too early. Maybe 3 or 4?
Me: I won’t be here then. It has to be before 2. How about 1 o’clock?
CG: That’s too late. I be there at 11.
Me: (Bouncing the phone off a wall)
He eventually showed up at 1.
The house manager, let’s call him ‘Janis’ for the heck of it, wasn’t much better, rocking up an hour and a half late. But, in Latvia, there’s no point complaining about any of this. You shut your mouth and act pathetically grateful that they showed up at all.
As the cable guy did his thing, I pointed out to Janis what I needed done, starting with this:
My blind had fallen down at around 5.30am last Friday, leading me to believe, in my sleep-addled state, that the junkie-invasion I’d been dreading had finally come to pass. Thankfully, a quick investigation revealed that it was just something else in my humble abode falling to pieces.
Since then, I’d been getting dressed cowering in a corner of my bedroom, partially hidden by the wardrobe.
Janis: Oh. What happened?
Me: It fell down.
Janis: Means you can’t walk around your apartment naked.
Me: Oh no, I still do that. I just walk as far as that window then perform the limbo when I get there, then carry on as I was.
Why do men always assume that as soon as a woman is at home by herself, the first thing she does is get naked? I mean, come on, give us some credit. Sometimes, we call up our girlfriends and have pillow fights too, you know… Won’t someone please think of the pillow fights?
For the next hour or so, I tried to work as Janis and the cable guy worked around me. Janis accompanied the cacophony of D.I.Y. noises by belting out ‘Pretty Woman’ as he cheerfully made holes in every wall in the place. I could only hope that he was singing it for my benefit and not the rather surly cable guy.
Finally, they finished up and left. Roy Orbison, however, hung around my head for the rest of the day.
Later that evening, I called up Mr India, the first guy to respond to my cry for help after my massive fail with the bedside cabinet.
In typical man fashion, he took a quick look at the instructions and said ‘OK, we’ll make it look like that, then’ and put them to one side. Surreptitiously picking them up again, they optimistically informed me that it would take around 90 minutes to put this thing together.
Around 90 minutes later, we were patting ourselves on the back for reaching the halfway point…
when we realised that we needed a hammer to finish the job.
Lacking in the hammer department, but determined to get this thing finished, I proffered a saucepan, a boot and an old remote control. The remote control worked a treat, and I also discovered that I am much better at battering stuff than figuring out complicated instructions and messing around with fiddly bits.
An hour later, we were done.
So, has this last week taught me anything? Well, yes, actually:
I am never, EVER, moving flat again.