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Harrowing Tales Of A Home Owner: Part Four

“Sunday is a day of rest – HA! Yeah right!” I muttered, as I passive aggressively bundled an array of cleaning materials into my arms and bustled between the bathrooms.

It was 8am, and I was two bathrooms down out of three. My finger nails are pretty much crumbling from overexposure to bleach, I have a worrying obsession with anti-bacterial wipes, and I’ve spent more time with Cif than I have my mates recently.

My husband lay in bed, playing on his insipid ‘Design a City’ game.

He looked up and beamed, before gleefully telling me that his city had just acquired a swimming pool.

“Do you want to see my city?” He asked hopefully.

“Are you actually serious?! I haven’t sat down all day!” I snapped, sounding more like my Mum than ever...

“Babe... It’s 8 O’clock in the morning...”

“Yeah, well, time runs away with you when you’re pretty much a SLAVE! I’ve cleaned all three bathrooms, put the dark wash on, hung the light wash out on the line, watered the plants, put Marzipan in his ball, and disposed of last night’s poppadom crumbs because you SEEM UNABLE TO WIPE THE KITCHEN COUNTERS DOWN AFTER YOU’VE SCOFFED YOUR FACE!!!”

I glared at him. He was still well and truly in the bad books.

Let me take you back to Thursday...

Apparently, there was a signal failure at one of the stations my train passes through on the way to work, meaning that all trains were abruptly cancelled. Personally, I have quite had it up to here with the ongoing bizarre excuses when it comes to the shoddy service provided by my local train company, so as you can imagine, my temper was already fraught...

A rail replacement bus was ever so kindly provided, which took no less than an hour and a half. The sun was pretty much setting by the time I finally got to work, and I left the house at 7:45.

I was assured that the issue would be resolved by 1pm, so you can envision my pure rage when, upon leaving work that evening, I was greeted by the news that the trains were still absent.

I left work at quarter to 6, and didn’t walk through my front door until gone 8 O’clock.

All I wanted to do was eat dry cereal straight from the box and cry.

... I pushed back the hall door and stepped tentatively into the living room.

Husband was aware of the delays and indeed the day I’d had; the very least I was expecting was tea made, or, you know, perhaps a bubble bath.

What I was greeted by will forever haunt me...

The Sunday prior, we had spent ALL day painting our stairwell and hallway from white to blue.

Somebody, somewhere (AKA my now EX husband!!) had decided that it was a wise idea to go over all of my beautiful new blue paintwork with hideously messy white splodges of paint...

So let me just reiterate that: we painted the walls blue FROM white, and then SOMEBODY painted them back white...

I genuinely thought I had gone mad.

What the actual @=%$???!!!

The excuse?

“I just wanted to see what it would look like...”

I just stared at him, my jaw literally hitting the floor.

“... Well, I just didn’t see how we were going to reach the top of the landing, so I thought we might as well paint it back white.”

“But... But... What about the &@#£&!)@ ladders???!!!” I answered, the fireball of sheer wrath flaming within me.

Husband just gawped at me for a few seconds, before replying, “Oh yeah. Didn't think of that."

Honestly. Even writing this, I’m getting a fresh wave of anger all over again.

You just could not make it up!

I do have to add that my hallway and stairwell are now back to blue, but THAT was another disaster entirely!

Leaving Husband with the task of painting back over the white, I finally settled down for my tea.

I opened my Famous Five book, took a deep breath and prepared myself for the warming taste of Shreddies. And then I heard a chilling noise from the stairs...

"Babe? BABE! HELP!”

I can’t even... He had succeeded in dropping the paint can down an entire flight of stairs. The first thing I was greeted by was a sea of blue paint streaming towards me from the top step, while my husband desperately tried to contain it with the end of a roller.

“What the actual...?!"

I watched as he put his foot into the paint and then succeeded in spreading it around the house, right across the laminate flooring.

"Grab a roller and save the paint!!” He cried.

So this is how the next half hour panned out: the pair of us frantically running the rollers across the spillage and then practically throwing it at the walls to salvage as much of the colour as we could.

It was only later on when I was washing the pots that the saga continued.

Husband leant back against the kitchen worktop to talk to me, before I banished him upstairs to bring the washing down. In his wake, he left the biggest blue stain all across the counters...

“COME BACK!” I yelled in horror, running to the bottom of the stairs. “DON’T LEAN ON ANYTHING!"

“What?” Husband replied, as he leant back on the bathroom door to peer down the stairs.

It would be less painful to just burn this house to the ground and be done with the trauma.

On Saturday, my Mum came round to visit.

She did that annoying ritual that all parents do upon exploring their offspring’s home for the first time: knocked on the walls and announced that were ‘sturdy,’ reminded me to take my shoes off IN MY OWN HOUSE, and exclaimed in disgust at our ‘empty fridge.’

Christ – I have Cheese Strings, a box of Fab ice lollies (Aldi’s own version though – I’m not made of money...), a Moroccan chickpea salad, and some strawberry Nesquik – I don’t know what else she was expecting! Unfortunately, this is not The Ritz.

She looked utterly appalled when I said that we didn’t have tea bags in... Or sugar... Or milk. I am very sorry, but I don’t do my weekly shop based on other people’s beverage preferences! Neither of us consume hot drinks, and I eat cereal dry, so I’m not going to start stocking up on PG Tips and Cravendale in the off chance that Moira pops round!

Anyway, Mum was determined to get our hob working, which I could have told her was a complete waste of time...

She turned all of the buttons several times to no avail, until my entire kitchen absolutely stank of gas, stood up straight and then said conclusively, “Yes, it’s definitely broken, that.”

... Thanks Moira, I had no idea. I’ve been living off cereal and microwavable rice for the past six weeks – believe me, I am well aware that my oven and hob do not work!!


(Originally posted in September 2020)

Cara Jasmine Bradley ©


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