Sunday, January 26, 2014

Playing Deal or No Deal - Flatpack Edition

Izzy was really worried about her new bedroom, so Jo tried to reassure her. 

“You’ll have all your dolls there, and Ariel the fish.” 

“But is it going to be purple?” 

A long pause. Then Jo said: “Yes, it will have purple curtains.”  I rolled my eyes in disbelief. What will the neighbours in Hampstead think?

“And there’ll be bunk beds too?” 

Behind Izzy’s back I was vigorously shaking my head at Jo. No, no bunk beds, please. But Jo’s mouth was already open. 

“Yes, definitely bunk beds.” 

That clinched it. Our daughter screamed and did her little happy dance. Izzy has been desperate to sleep in a top bunk. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Moving on

'We’ll never do it in time,' said Jo. 

‘Nonsense – it’ll be easy,’ I said. ‘We have four whole weeks, we’ll just do one room at a time.’ 

As if I knew what I was talking about. 

That was two weeks ago. We have two weeks left. 

If moving home is a nightmare, relocating from a rambling 17th century farmhouse back to our London place is a scene from a horror film. Our house is already a maze of black plastic sacks. There’s no sign of order or plan, but we’re on our third packet of plastic sacks. There are 30 sacks in each packet – that’s 90 sacks so far. I’m very friendly with the man at the tip. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Should we move Christmas?

Last Tuesday I celebrated Christmas with my family. 

A fortnight late, I know, though not according to my Serbian builder. Zoric (his real name is Velibor, but everyone calls him by his surname) observed his Christmas on Tuesday as well. In Serbia they use the Julian calendar, so his celebrations are always two weeks late, a bit like his building work. 

While Zoric was supposed to be chopping down an oak branch and spreading straw on the floor of his house (a Serbian tradition I doubt he transposes to his flat in Tottenham) I was a few miles away in the Groucho Club, surrounded by children, presents and bemused celebrities.

Monday, January 6, 2014

My first day in jail

My new year started in prison; I was incarcerated in Cramlington. 

My wardens were very friendly. They wore grey suits and tried to make light of my misery – there were 21 of us miscreants in a single cell – but nevertheless told me, in the strictest terms, that I was not allowed to leave, use my mobile phone, or, most important, nod off. Which, over four hours with acute jetlag, was very tough justice.