Our three children have flown the coop and my recently retired husband has the time, energy and patience to oversee renovations on our charming 1910 Federation cottage.
We have managed to complete a major kitchen renovation. Then, we foolishly proceed to a second room, in which 102 year old lathe and plaster walls are in dire need of attention. The plasterer assures us it can be done and dusted in a week.
One week passes, as does another two, with no action. “You look glum Jude”, says my witty work colleague one morning as we queue to make tea. “We’re renovating” I sigh. Murmurs of sympathy roll along the queue. My colleague, who also happens to be a Baptist Minister, drily draws a comparison between waiting for tradesmen and tantric sex. All other conversations cease as he holds our attention ( like all good joke tellers) in the palm of his hand. “Well, you stay in and stay in and stay in and they never….come”. We explode, laughing until we weep, the queue in disarray. I could kiss him for making me forget – even for five minutes – the hideousness of waiting for tradesmen.
But worse is to come: A second broken promise means we are in the no man’s land of Christmas and New Year when all tradesmen disappear into a black hole for an indefinite period of time. Tradesmen (well other people’s) return to work. A third broken promise – then a fourth – almost bring me to my knees. When I return from work every day, I look hopefully at my husband and raise my eyebrows. “More tantric sex” is his glum response. My sympathetic friends timidly ask and I respond, “More tantric sex”. I visit my hairdresser and she confides that renovating one room three years ago was so traumatic that she has abandoned further plans of renovation.
Can you imagine the uproar, the outcry, if doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants, mechanics a) refused to take your calls, b) refused to return your calls and c) when eventually a) or b) occurs and an agreement is reached for completion of work, they ignore it and the whole frustration of a) to c) occurs again….more tantric sex!
We would have a go ourselves except that the 11ft ceiling is just too daunting, even with lifting gear.
Nearly 4 months have elapsed since the promises from Plasterer One. Even my husband, who is possibly the most patient man on the planet, despairs. Plasterer One is rumored to have a gambling problem; Plasterer Two has pissed off to WA , although Plasterer Three seems a nice enough chap. Another promise is made: Plaster to be delivered Friday with an early morning start on Saturday. Huey intervenes and sends down a two day deluge of rain and – of course – plaster cannot be delivered in that kind of weather. So, more waiting and another promised starting date. Sleepless, at the witching hour of 3am, I contemplate enrolling in any kind of vocational course which will teach me DIY.
And so tomorrow is THE day; a day where I will be nervous about returning from work. Even for a sex goddess there can just be too much tantric sex.