Mon 24 Jul 2017
Landlady: Hammer Horror
Oh God! I've got to do some DIY. I've managed to get away with doing none at all for the last four years. Unless you count my unblocking the wastepipe in the downstairs wash basin last summer.
Like a macabre theatrical performance involving rubber gloves and a junior hacksaw, I performed the dissection of a distorted (by acid drain unblocker) wastepipe under the watchful eye of a friend and my pal Nick from Havana, both of whom wore suitably disgusted looks on their faces.
Still, I've not clapped eyes on my toolbox for a good four years and am not looking forward to doing a few minor renovations on my rental flat near Seven Dials before the end of the month. First, I shall have to locate all my tools, which The Cuban Boyfriend has done a sterling job of spreading all over the house in his attempts to renovate various bicycles (four so far, and we've only been going out for 18 months!).
My tenant at Seven Dials – who is a colleague of mine – is moving out and wasn't too fussed about the state of the place, so I didn't have to do anything at all before she moved in. Under the critical eye of my trusty letting agent however, it's a different story and the grim reality that the lettings market is now a cut-throat game is setting in.
I have to paint the kitchen and the bathroom, possibly re-tile the bathroom and replace a piece of fallen cornicing. I also have to paint the lounge and the bedroom and re-do the seal around the bath, a job which, as an impatient imperfectionist, always fills me with deep joy.
All these jobs I can just about cope with and the flat would look considerably improved. The letting agent said that if I put in a new kitchen, the flat would be worth another £100 per month. That got me thinking that, being as I haven't spent a penny on the flat since I bought it 20 years ago, it might be worth biting the bullet and putting my short arm in my long pocket.
I've left a message with my chippy friend.