Joe and Mary had been looking for their first home for quite some time, while currently living in a rented flat which represented a small box, since their marriage 12 months earlier. They had looked at all sorts of property, new houses, old ones, modern ones but none had felt like home, until they saw this one.
It was old and in estate agent talk “needed some improvements.” Basically, it needed gutting and starting again. However, the price was right, it’ s situation was ideal, set in a small village, near to a station and within commuting distance for work also it was very peaceful.
It ticked all the boxes.
Moving day came. All their goods were packed and ready to go.
Mary and John looked around at what had been their first home, both silently said goodbye then closed the door and went off to their new home.
At last they had moved into their new home. The removal men had gone. Their few belongings in boxes were stacked in the relevant rooms waiting to be unpacked, apart from the one which the bottom had fallen out of smashing a few mugs and the furniture was in place.
Joe and Mary had finally sat down after unpacking a few boxes of essentials.
“Well with your decorating skills and my help it will soon be looking good.” Said Joe confidently looking around.
“ Mmmm, of course.” Mary replied, distracted by the amount of work that needed to be done now that she had had a closer look. What had they taken on?
Still there was no going back now.
The next morning, they looked round their new home and decided the kitchen and lounge should be priority as the rest of the rooms were usable.
“Right. I think we should measure the kitchen and think about what we need; then we can go to some kitchen places and see what ideas they have.” Joe stated, trying to sound very experienced, which Mary knew he wasn’t but kept her thoughts to herself.
Mary looked at him saying gently, so as not to upset him “Wouldn’t it be easier to call and ask them to come here. It would save a lot of time.”
She knew Joe hadn’t really done much DIY and was starting to feel a little concerned.
“Ok, that sounds like a good idea. You start phoning while I go and get the things we need for decorating.
Mary wasn’t sure what was best but she couldn’t do everything and Joe was so enthusiastic. She waved him off with a long list and fingers crossed.
By the time Joe arrived home, laden down with what looked like the whole decorating section of the DIY shop, Mary had arranged for some kitchen companies to call in the next few days. So far so good, now to see what Joe had bought.
“You have certainly got all angles covered but where’s the kitchen sink?” she asked smiling and trying not to laugh at her joke.
Joe obviously didn’t get the joke.
“I did my best, just got a few extra things not on the list. Didn’t realise I was supposed to get the sink as well.” With that he turned and walked off.
With a sigh Mary picked up the bags and started to sort out what she needed to start on the lounge.
She carried the bucket of water, sponge and paper strippers to the lounge. As she started to wet the paper Joe appeared.
“Can I help?” he asked sheepishly as he approached Mary. Unfortunately, he was too busy looking at Mary to see the bucket!
“Watch out!” Mary shouted as the bucket tipped spilling its contents across the floor and Joe slipping and ending up in the middle of it.
“Didn’t you see it? She asked scathingly as she attempted to mop the water up. “If you want to help get a bag and clear up the paper.”
Joe scowling, snatched up a bag and started to clear up, muttering to himself about how he should be doing the work, after all it was man’s work.
Finally, the walls were stripped and ready to paper.
Joe had mixed the paste, took it into Mary, who was carefully cutting the first piece of paper and placed it by the table.
“I’ll paste the paper and you hang it.” Joe informed Mary. He had accepted that perhaps Mary was better at this type of job after all, however he wouldn’t admit it.
Well, he certainly pasted the paper, the table, the floor and somehow his hair.
He stood back looking really pleased with himself. Mary just looked. Joe picked up the paper.
“Stop!” Mary couldn’t help shouting. But too late Joe had stood on the end, started walking with it and now it was in two pieces. He looked round bewildered.
“Did you stand on that?” he asked Mary accusingly.
Mary stood fuming but afraid to speak, as she didn’t want to upset Joe, after all he was only trying to help.
The day didn’t get much better.
Joe managed to put his foot in the paste, then walk it all over the floor, placed a cup of coffee on the paper Mary was trying to paste then managed to knock it over and his final act was to lean on one end of the table, which promptly shot up at the other end and hit Mary on the chin.
Mary lost her composure completely, glared at Joe while calling him all sorts of names.
Joe looked at her, covered in paste, a bright red chin, where the table had hit her and paper stuck to her hair.
He couldn’t help but burst out laughing. Mary caught sight of herself in a mirror, looked at Joe, then she too saw the funny side of it all and joined him in laughter.
“I think “she said “Tomorrow we get a decorator to do all this before you pull the house down and kill me.”
© Liz Murphy October 2019