Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Bra-less and barfing

I hope that he doesn't smell the vomit on my breath as I open the door.  One thing about Swiss tradesmen: when they say they'll be arriving at 8am, they arrive at 8am.

"Je suis desolee," I apologise, gesturing at my pyjamas and sticky hair.

"Balcon?"  he points and I walk him through the kitchen to the outdoor area, often called 'the pool' due to its tendency to fill with water when it rains.  Two years of the neighbours below complaining and our landlord has finally decided to get our balcony repaired.   Asking them to make an appointment for another day is too risky: relations with our under-floor friends would not withstand waiting until Qatar hosts the World Cup.

Bzzzzt goes the door again, followed by Milly's barking.  Two more guys for the balcony; two less that speak English.  Our apartment is small enough for them to figure out where their workspace for today is, and I resume my position at the dining table: head propped up in one hand while reaching down to ruffle my puzzled dog's ears with the other.

A helluva time for Mr Migraine to come visiting.  Just when it seemed that twelve months' of acupuncture sessions had done the trick he decides to make up for lost time by staying for three days in a row.  Lying down in my room while strange men whose language I don't speak come in and out of my apartment doesn't seem like a particularly smart idea despite the painful messages my skull, bowel and gut are sending me.

Might as well put the laptop on and blog.  Either that or vomit again.

Bzzzzzzt!  "No Milly, it's OK."  A couple more fellas, this time for the heating cupboard removal.  This is an expected bonus; another two year-old request that has been granted.  An original installation from 1970, we only once turned it on out of curiosity before it left the apartment choking in dust bunnies and what sounded like The Mother Ship about to land in our living room.

"Er, sorry, monsieur?"  Thank Choc for Google translate: one wants to disconnect the electrics and the other needs a smoke outside before needing to go back downstairs to fetch a trolley...

The radio is now on, French Fogey FM featuring mid-nineties 'classics' and the skull-thumping sounds of tiles and cement being split apart.  The phone is ringing, but it'll just have to be ignored as there's a press need to run into the bathroom and -------

Bzzzzzzt!  I prop open the door, looking even paler but now with minty-fresh breath.

Who'd like a coffee?  They all would, of course.  The Burp Burp Burp sound of the DeLonghi machine just adds another percussive layer to the chisels, chat and chart-toppers.  Edging my way around the six outdoor chairs, wooden table, pot plants and watering cans haphazardly stacked in the kitchen, I feel a sense of gratitude that all of them only wanted espresso and there's no need for any physical feats in reaching for the milk frothing nozzle.

Bzzzzzzt!  "You're a good dog, Milly.  You can trot over and sniff them as they're sticking down floor protector tape, taking out boxes of smashed tiles and bringing up new ones but make sure that they know that you're there and that they don't step on your tail.  But oh geez, the smell of that adhesive is not doing nice things to my system-----

Sod the toothpaste.  They've seen what I look like, who cares about my breath?

Bzzzzzzt!  "The door's open - if you have tiles or cement or a trolley or a spirit level or forms to sign or a beverage request, just come on in already!"  The gut is behaving itself, but Mr Migraine has painted a broad-brush of pain across my eyes, cheekbones and back of my head.  Of course, why not get the upstairs guy to start drilling as well?

Sitting at the dining table, I finally start to see the funny side.  London, Copenhagen,Vienna one day; bra-less and barfing the next.

Milly's already lost interest in the Tradie Traffic occurring inside her home and is instead making the most of my left arm. Why not lie back and enjoy a belly scratch?

Why not indeed. There's a lot to learn from a ten year old dog who willingly lets herself get bitten by bumble bees in order for a good, long and satisfying sniff in the garden bed...

There is so much that I am grateful for.


River said...

Damn you Mr Migraine! Bugger off!
I do the bra-less thing myself a lot these days, retirement is so liberating!, but can't remember the last time I barfed. I'm disgustingly healthy.
On the plus side, you'll have a useable balcony, more inside floor space without the heating cupboard and lots of sympathy from all of us out here in blogland.

LC said...

Not good timing.

Kath Lockett said...

You're right, River. We'll have (hopefully) friendly lower neighbours, a balcony that stays dry and a cupboard that (after we buy and assemble it) we can actually *use* as a cupboard.

LC - only one bloke left now, but he's a self-talker and sings along to the radio.....

Jackie K said...

Oh no! That sounds horrible. But the good part is it's all being done at once, yay!
Nice new blog banner too :)

Kath Lockett said...

True Jackie K, but I'm dying to lie down without the doorbell buzzing....

FruitCake said...

Aha,.. the smells and the smells. Isn't it nice that Milly doesn't care if you smell of barf?

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I have been caught off guard by a repairperson and a plumber a time or two before. I hate when they catch me mid-sleep!!

Elephant's Child said...

Of course Mr Migraine chose to visit then. When everyone (except you) would add to his cause.
I hope he left the building with the tradies. And am in complete awe that 8 o'clock MEANS 8 o'clock. Clone then Kath - you would make a fortune and never have to work again if you could import that work attitude here.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kath,

You'll be pleased to know that like River, I do the bra-less thing too.


Sorry - couldn't resist...




Alexia said...

No! A country where tradesmen turn up when they said they would?? I should move there immediately.

I don't want to hurt your head at all so I won't begin the story of the conservatory we are currently building onto the side of the house... (for 'currently', read 'first began asking for quotes last October and if we're lucky it will be usable by Christmas')

Hope like crazy that Mr Migraine is well and truly gone by now.

Sniffin' Millie: bless.


Kath Lockett said...

FruitCake, I will be eternally grateful that Milly cares not a jot about my breath or my looks. The only time she leaves the room is when nail polish (or remover) comes out.

OpEx - I gave up and went to bed at 3pm, leaving the door to the hall open so that they could yell out to me. It wasn't particularly relaxing but was heavenly to lie down...

E-Child, punctuality is very impressive here but I wish that I could hold a conversation that doesn't involve google translate and 'thumbs up.'

PlasMan, I wouldn't expect anything less than you than going bra-less!

Alexia, Mr Migraine is still here but I have a few options to try when I see the doc again next week. Wine tasting in Beaune this weekend might be a challenge though.

River said...

I love your new smiling face icon.Avatar?

Ann ODyne said...

wine tasting? first research the difference between the reds - one type doesn't trigger migraine.

Bravo on the crew-handling though you were magnificent to withstand the entire exercise. x x

Ann ODyne said...

oh PS when I saw your new little picture I thought "jeepers Kath has put up a Livvie Newton-John WTF?"
*runs away*

Fenstar de Luxe said...

Oh Kath, I feel your pain. Mostly my migraines are not bothered by noise. Just light and smells. But I get the gut thing, often from both ends. Rather annoying.

Someone gave me some valium, so next time I have one I will try taking that and see what effect it has! Ha ha.

Kath Lockett said...

Fernstar, I'm seeing the doctor next week, so maybe I'll put 'valium' on my list of questions to ask him! :P