Saturday, January 05, 2008

The first week of the year

The year has started for us with tragedy and farce.

My husband went back to work on Thursday to find that a dear friend and colleague had collapsed and died on the bus on the way to work. He was only 57 and was in apparently good health. The whole office is devastated. He and his wife were looking forward to going to Australia in April for the wedding of their son to an Australian girl. Truly, our lives are fragile and uncertain.

And the less tragic event?

Ten years ago, we built a new kitchen on the side of our house. The vinyl floor covering was getting a bit worn and today was the date chosen to renew it. We did consider getting the more fashionable ceramic tiles instead, but the kitchen is quite large and it would have been expensive. It also occurred to us that a tiled floor in the middle of a Scottish winter night would be a chilly thing for little furry feet to walk on: the catlets spend their nights in the kitchen. So that decided it.

Yesterday evening, then, it was necessary to remove everything from the floor in preparation for the vinyl laying chaps today. This included the fridge, the freezer (both quite large and heavy), the tumble drier, washing machine and dishwasher (also quite heavy and in the latter two cases, attached to the water supply), a biggish table, six dining chairs, a rocking chair and footstool, an occasional table, a pot rack, a rubbish bin, a recycling rubbish bin… in other words, quite a lot of stuff. My husband is not necessarily a man whose favourite activity is unplumbing things and dragging them across floors.

We got up bright and early today to receive the vinyl layers. Then we discovered that they were actually booked to come next Saturday. We had the correct date marked on the calendar but somehow… we hadn’t checked.

But in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. Our washing machine, dishwasher and tumble drier are sitting unemployable in the dining room. The fridge and freezer are in the back hall – plugged in. It’s a bit unusual to have to walk from the kitchen, through the dining room and into the back hall to reach the fridge, but we’re getting used to it.

Daughter 2 has returned from seeing her actor boyfriend in his panto. Son has been writing an essay and telling us of his plans for after the summer.

And that’s what’s been happening this week.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your husband's colleague.

    Aren't you nice cat-owners, though, to consider the needs of Cassie & Sirius in the floor-covering decision?

  2. Sorry about your friend, but heh! to the furniture moving. Right before my mom sold her house, she sold the fridge in the kitchen and we started using the spare in the garage instead. It was rather odd walking out to the garage whenever I needed a yogurt.

  3. Sorry to hear about the death of your husband's colleague.

    You are just uber-organised for the flooring. Well done on being sooo prepared.

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your friend -- isn't it so true about life being fragile? My son just told me tonight that the father of one of his friends passed away last night -- not sure why, but I don't think he was even 50. You just never know. Also sorry about your mix-up as I chuckle a little! Think of the calories you'll burn this week walking to get your food. And my personal opinion is that you made a great no-tile decision -- I have it in my kitchen and I hate it. Maybe someday it will be replaced.

  5. That's sad news Isabelle. It's always a shock to hear of a sudden death.

    As for moving the furniture a week early, I'm having a quiet chuckle here. At least that part of the work is done now. Love the photo.

  6. Poor Isabelle, I've been reading these last couple of posts and thinking what a popular blogger you are because you're funny and cheerful and really nice to everyone else on their blogs, and actually you've quite been having your share of sadnesses and worries...
    Let's hope 2008 picks up, with all good things to your family, who won't go too far away after all.
    And keep up your lovely blog!

  7. I was going to comment on the fact that cats will sleep anywhere, as seen in your photo, but then it occurred to me...

    Cats rule the world. No, they really do.

    I bet whoever's feet they are, they were numb, stinging, tingling, and yet, I doubt they dared move them for fear of disturbing the sleeping puss. They would have moved only when the puss woke up and went in search of food.

    At that stage, they would have said "oh thank god" and attempted to move, only to fall and hit their head on the tv cabinet because their legs were so badly numbed by the length of time they were inactive.

    Am I right?

  8. How sad about your husband's friend. True, we never know how long we have.

    I seem to recall doing somethign similar when we had new bedroom carpets. Yes. Well. Sleeping in rows on the floor in the lounge because I was too fed up to replace all the beds was not somethign my family appreciated.They survived. I was not a ray of joy. Just will workl off extra calories by having to walk around to fetch stuff!

  9. Never mind the cats' feet, tiles are cold for human feet. If you are ever in the habit of nipping down barefoot to make a cup of tea, that is. Mind you, our own cat cured me of that habit during her "bringing in earthworms and leaving them to be found on the kitchen floor" phase. Discovering them with bare tootsies is not a sensation I wish ever to repeat!

  10. Sorry to hear of your husband's colleague's sudden death. Our hold on life is more precarious than we think....My dad was 57 when he died, may he rest in peace. I'm older than that now, which is a sobering thought! Good luck with the interesting kitchen arrangements for the coming week!

  11. So sorry to hear - brings it home that life really is too short.

    Reading back on your last entry - can totally understand how you feel about your son & daughter leaving home. Two of ours were overseas - both close to 5 years. Was really hard.

  12. Oh, thats horrible.

    A friend of mine had a heart attack last winter, driving his children along a deserted bush road. He was 47, his youngest 8. Too awful.

    Seems like yu have a constant state of flux there in Casa Life. I think so as to make you appreciate when all is in its right place...

    .I was sooo relieved to continue reading and NOT discover some mishap caused by strenuous moving of heavy objects..phew!!!!

  13. So sad about your husband's colleague. Life is fragile indeed.

    At least you moved the furniture one week ahead of schedule. Imagine if it was the other way around...and you had burly blokes with a roll of vinyl on their shoulders cursing and rolling their eyes while you raced around trying to get stuff out of their way.

  14. 57 seems far too young to die. It was a nasty shock. Sympathies.

    Very amusing to read of your mistaken date for the flooring. Not so amusing to live with, I guess.
    Those catlets really are pampered!

  15. What a sad time for that man's wife and family. Now the Aussie girl won't even get to meet her F.I.L., and a son has lost his Dad.
    On a lighter chose your floor to suit the cats???? Well, I love cats, but struth! Whose house is this anyway?! I'd be having the ceramic floor and throw down a few rugs for the cats!!

  16. Hi Isabelle, Great family you have and I like the cat! Only the collegue who died is sad, I hope I never have that from someone I know,

    We made some small trips in Holland with our new (company) car and we liked staying home this Xmas, very much, so does our dog, I'll show during the coming days more of our car-trips in Holland on my blog. Have a good week!

    Greetings from Dutch JoAnn

  17. I'm so sorry about your friend.

    As for the ceramic tile...well, since I can't stand going barefoot or even sock-footed, I wouldn't care if the floor ws warm or not!

  18. So very sad about your husband's colleague. How dreadful for his family..and so young!
    I'd like to have been a fly on the wall when you two discovered your error. Oh dear :)
    Nevermind, those extra steps to the freezer and fridge will be great exercise!
    Tiles are pretty, but yes, they're cold.
    I love your kitty pictures! :)