Diary of Jo Public

A recount of some of the true incidents that Jo witness's during her anything but normal day


2. Tom and Jerry

Tom and Jerry

Show Details Message Body I can't remember exactly when, but around Easter comes to mind, which was about the same time I turned tea-total.  Ok now you've picked yourself up I'll continue.  I was using the littlest room in the house, well thats after the broom cupboard, and there was a strange but familiar smell.  Having checked, nope it wasn't me I had a bath the day before, I kind of worked out what I thought it was.  For those DIYer's among you, you'll know the smell.  When you wet walls before stripping, the walls that is.  I drew the conclusion that one of my numerous neighbours was probably decorating, afterall it was meant to be spring.  A few days later the smell was still there, but curiously water marks started to appear on the walls.  It seemed worse when it rained, so I began thinking the roof was leaking.  I live on the 8th floor of a 15 high tower block, so for me to be effected by the roof should be as remote as suffering from flood damage, but hey you never know. I rang the local authority to report it and was told they would call me back in a day or 2, you know the usual, oh sorry to hear that, we'll look into it stuff.  Well, less than an hour later the estate manager was knocking on my door!  My first thought was they are lost.  Seems that someone else also reported damage above my flat, so they were 'doing the rounds' to see how bad it was.  A few floor above had had a leak and several of us were effected.  I pointed out the damage and agreed that the panels in the toilet and bathroom would need replacing.  There was a brown stain in the hallway which I'd only finished decorating 3 months previous, I won't mention that I did start it a year previous.  I had been considering redecoration but wasn't looking forward to it as I start well and tend to lose interest about 1/10 of the way through.  Seems like a good idea at the time, I have promised my other half, next time I have 'a good idea' I'll stay in bed until it wears off. Now not being one to miss an opportunity, I thought I'd push my luck.  I mean lets be honest its not every day the estate manager calls now is it?  So while we were chatting I dropped in about my chances of getting a new kitchen, she had a look and said I hadn't told her about the damage in the kitchen, well to be honest I hadn't noticed, but she did, and so booked me in for a completely new kitchen.  I had already booked a week off and so it seemed to me a good idea to get the work done while I was off.  Great 6 weeks notice, nothing can go wrong.  Ok whose heard of Murphy's law?  2 days before D-Day we gets a phone call, next week is not possible we can do the week after.  Now I don't know about you but I don't like strangers in the place when I'm not there, so after begging Howard my manager, I was able to swop my week.  And on Monday morning Tom and Jerry appear. Not sure what their real names are but my son nicknamed them Tom and Jerry and it does seen appropriate.  The day before they descend we clear out the cupboards and take down the vanity unit in the bathroom, The flat is already like a shoe box, with everything everywhere its now like a postage stamp.  There are walkways around the front room, just imagine if you will Hampton Court Maze but instead of hedges pots, pans bottles ect.  This is going to be home for the next however long.  5 Days they claim, yeah right, and I'm gonna win the lottery.  After alot of flapping about they make a start replacing the kitchen cupboards, on the Tuesday they come in and start removing the panels in the toilet and bathroom, sudden they are joined by the boss and secretary.  By this time I have lost complete interest and retreated to the PC, They have decided to replace the work tops that I put up and to plumb in the washing machine fully, and give me an extra electric socket.  I'd already told them not to worry about the carpet in the kitchen as once they were done I'd be replacing it.  They decided to tile the floor for me, heck who am I to argue, the boss agrees, its only later while checking under the carpet does Jerry discover why I had carpet down and not tiles in the first place.  The floor boards are warped and uneven.  Years ago we were buying lino every 3 months coz the uneven surface kept cracking it. Now this simple job is starting to turn into the nightmare I'd been having for weeks, If only I could dream this weeks winning numbers.  It seems that they now have to get hardboard to cover the floor before they can lay the tiles.  There was also talk of adding 2 more base units but the boss yanked hard on the purse strings on that 1.  Tom meanwhile is meanwhile starting to paint the two rooms, I know I picked the colours, but I'm not sure if I can live with these choices for long.  Time will tell.  Having had trouble stripping the kitchen walls they bring in the steamer, behind they find the walls are not in the best condition for painting.  By this time I'm beginning to think it would of been easier to move.  I am still convinced that this would of been simpler. Today is Thursday, and I think they are starting to tidy up before leaving, I'll give credit where it's due, as workmen go they are not bad, no radio blaring, tidy up before they leave every night, never seen the hall way look so clean.  No idea what is happening with the kitchen it seems to of ground to a halt.  I think the bathroom and toilet are almost done, Tom is tidying up the paintwork around where Jerry has tiled.  5 days? nope I think no I know its gonna go into next week, so long as they don't stay late tomorrow, I'm off for a boogie, 70's revival and I intend to sing much to my families horror.  I prey Tom and Jerry don't work on Saturdays as I'll be in no fit state.  Let's be honest who on a weeks holiday wants to get up at 7am?  Jerry says he's working in the office on Saturday, which means we can all lay in, bliss.  On the downside looks like Wednesday next week before I get the flat back.  They will be panelling the floor and sizing the walls whatever that means. I'll be glad to go back to work for a rest, even Brain and his clipboard suddenly seem appealing.  If I get through this without a Vodka, I'll start believing in miracles.

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