Downhill SKIing

It wasn’t meant to be like this. I wanted it and nagged damned hard for it, but it hasn’t quite worked out as hoped. Spending the Kids’ Inheritance while downsizing big time to a new home was my next big adventure; I would learn the meaning of the word ‘fun’, buy pretty things, book exotic trips and flit in and out of the new abode charming work folk with my easy, sunny manner. I was going to be in my organisational element, smiling gently as visitors gasped in delight at my wondrous new home, and muttered jealously as I told them of my impending travels…

To blow my own trumpet I’m a mighty fine project manager. I’m great at working out the critical path in most situations, and I also pride myself on having a firm grasp on the realities of contingency planning. ‘What if?’is my mantra and I have happily spouted it during training sessions and life situations until I (and I know this is true folks!) became Mrs Bleeding Annoying.

So what if completion on the flat is delayed? What if the delay means having to stay in a hotel a bit longer? What if the work on the bathroom is more extensive than originally known (of course it is I hear you cry!)? What if my bathroom boys vacate and move to another job, leaving me sans toilet and a bath parked in the kitchen directly in front of the only functioning tap? What if the flooring fellows are more elusive than a size 14 short sleeved navy blue polo neck top from M&S (I have one, it’s lovely. I wanted another one. M&S doesn’t think I should have one unless I drop at least three sizes)? What if we have to move from one aparthotel site to another a mile or so down the road? What if new room is situated on a main arterial road and the term ‘triple glazing’ was an unknown to the builder? What if the gear box seizes up on the way to an evening of escape, approximately ten miles from the hell hotel? What if I have to manage a change of accommodation, shout at the flooring fellows’ boss, organise a skip (if the one that’s supposed to arrive doesn’t, and trust me it won’t), re-jig my project plan to allow for the fifth version of my critical path, on less than an hour’s sleep?


‘What if?’ has been replaced with ‘why can’t?’ Explanations are thin on the ground, and the lack of imaginative response makes me worried for the future of civilisation. I have morphed from Mrs Bleeding Annoying to Mrs Effing Furious. And neither persona works. My jaw aches and stomach churns, and if I ever had charm in my armoury it has gone rusty and all I’m left with is sarkiness. Every day since 20 August, yes I can name the day, there has been an element of bad news. There has been the occasional glimmer of fun and joy; mainly through the purchase of bath mats, strangely. And I go to the cinema a lot. But even that hasn’t been without its issues. Sigh.

But what if it all changes? What if bathroom boys and flooring fellows flood my new home with dust and endeavour? What if I get a good night’s sleep tonight? What if Liam Neeson just said ‘no’? What if M&S produce more size 14s? What if there are no delays, again, ever? What if those pigs stop flying?



  1. Jacqui Nightingale
    Oct 20, 2014

    Dear Dee, I do so feel for you, you must feel as if you are going insane! My son and his fiance have been going through exactly the same thing. Beth, bless her has discovered that ‘they’ (builders, workmen, skilled men) don’t seem to pay much attention to women! Alas what a ‘stone-age’ world we all still live in. David and Beth spent the weekend with us for some respite from it all. They went back tonight, to their Victorian cottage with no kitchen! Beth has been doing the washing up in the bathroom up stairs for the last few months and I have been making them meals to heat up in their micro-wave. They are sick to the back teeth of it all and all the delays! First they were told their kitchen would be read before Xmas now it won’t be ready till after in a que behind 15 kitchen from the wonderful Ikea (swear word in our home). Take care and thinking of you. xx

  2. carol nunan
    Oct 21, 2014

    I hope to hell you arent describing my coming spring. Our kitchen has to be pulled out so the floor can be dug up to tackle a longstanding damp problem. I foresee months without somewhere to cook and an ocean if dust plus builders who pay no heed to women

  3. Sue Baker
    Oct 21, 2014

    Hi D. Not planning to be the next Sarah Beeny then? I learned my lesson when we had a new bathroom fitted and it took nine weeks, filled the entire house with debris and cost an arm and a leg. On top of that the chief workman (a contradiction in terms if I ever heard one) made himself so much at home that one night I found his mobile phone charging on my bedside stand.

    Since then I’ve insisted on buying places that are ready to move into and when I hear people on property programmes saying ‘We want a project’, I think they’re insane.

    The good news is that when it’s over you’ll have a beautiful home that’s to your taste and not the previous occupants’ and we’ll all come round and admire it.

  4. Heather & Meg
    Oct 22, 2014

    Oh dear the home improvements are going well and the move from North Wales to West Yorkshire successful . However, grossly underestimated the amount of personal possessions one can accumulate in 29 years!, which is strangely made up of bath mats and extension leads! Removal van and car on Saturday, transit van, car and 2 family members to help shift it all on Sunday, further delivery van expected this week.

    Lunch time house visits will be the order of the day in November

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