Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Lola Towers Renovation Project

Two runners rounding the bend from the road into the park
Lead runners entering Victoria Park, April 2016
It's all going quite well. Handyman Ilf has turned out to be quite a find. I have been told rather a lot about his misspent youth and past history along with some details of his current situation while he has run his hand disapprovingly over my damp walls, tutted at my leaking tap and dodgy door hinges, and frowned at the situation with the loft ladder. We have discussed where I might acquire door handles and light fittings and he has expressed the surprise I am accustomed to hearing at the idea of a woman who has trouble with shopping.

I came home from work to find that the door which has been falling off its hinges now opens and closes as if by magic. I even opened and closed it several times, like an imbecile, just for the joy of being able to do it. I could not have anticipated the pleasure of shutting a door that previously would not shut. I feel I have already said too much on this subject, but I am going to get up, go to the door and open and close it again. Now I will stop talking about the door, but in terms of the pleasure to cost ratio, this is looking like a pretty high number.

Ilf has also been working on the loft ladder, polyfilla'd a few holes, done a couple of small electrical jobs and fixed the outside tap. He has advised me against using the shower for a while so as to allow the room to dry out thoroughly, at which point we may be more successful at getting paint to stick on the ceiling. I await his invoice but unless he wants to be paid in unicorn tears there's very little that will stop me from insisting that he continues to minister to my every whim, at least in terms of DIY.

The shopping didn't go too badly either and I only had to go back two or three times to decide what I really wanted and just once to replace a thing. I have bought light fittings and door handles and made decisions on other aspects of the Project, and Ilf is planning to return next week for more. Meanwhile, Olf and his assistant have arrived to start on the garage.

At the weekend I managed to make the final push towards emptying the garage, right down to taking the oil-soaked pieces of carpet to the tip, along with four bin bags of assorted small rubbish and some bigger pieces. It is a surprisingly large space and I am faced with the real prospect of actually being able to put my car inside. Not yet, because the door is still not independently lockable - it relies on a couple of lockable shackles set into the concrete in front of the door. But soon.

While I was outside working on the garage clearance I had time to have some lovely conversations with neighbours, and I even went and watched the Regency Run, a local 10k race that goes pretty much past my front door. The weather was fine, as it is today for Olf and his assistant. Further henchmen have visited to measure up the garage windows and assess the state of the electrics. It will not be finished this week, but I am confident. Now I'm going to open and close that door again. Oooh, lovely.

Many runners in the park
Regency Run 2016, in Victoria Park

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