This weekend we decided to knock a hole in our kitchen wall and wham a window in. In terms of how your body feels the next morning, it’s the physical equivalent of taking a load of drugs and dancing all night in a field, then sleeping in a damp sleeping bag in the back of a van. That’s how we get our kicks nowadays. Crazy 30’s-nearly-40-year-olds that we are.
L’Homme arrived home on Saturday at midday. We ate lunch and L’Homme started power-drilling the kitchen wall from the top of a ladder… A few hours later and there was a massive hole in the wall, just along from the sink. A MUCH bigger hole than expected because, well, that’s old stone walls for you. You inevitably end up having to knock out more stones than you expected just because a tiny nobble was in the way. (knobble? nobble?) L’Homme put the window in and set it with that gungy stuff that sets really fast – no not Superglue, although he would have used anything at that point as it was getting dark. We went to bed with a window surrounded by mostly hole, hoping it wouldn’t rain in the night.
It didn’t. And in the morning we came down to a kitchen full of light. We had breakfast admiring the view and cooing at the sunlight on the hills, as if we had never seen sunlight or hills before. The rest of the day was a manic rush to build the wall back up again around the window as L’Homme was due to leave at 5 p.m. He found a very old piece of oak and shaved it down to the right size to make a lintel. Then it was up and down the ladder (the window is five metres up the outside wall as our house is built on a slope) carrying stones and mortar, with me working from the inside of the kitchen, mostly moral support at that point (and pointing out bits that weren’t right), passing pints of lemon fizzy water through and a lot of cleaning of centimetre-thick dust that had settled over everything. L’Homme miraculously managed to finish the job before having to drive off to Bourgogne, although he ended up leaving at 8, with jelly-legs and a sore back. He’ll do the finishing touches next weekend when the mortar has dried, but the kitchen is already transformed. Hallelujah, we have light! Especially over the sink. I even enjoyed doing the washing up today (hmmm, is this a ploy?…) I can also watch the builders next door which is hugely exciting entertainment when you live in a village of 30 inhabitants and the highlight of your day is throwing fallen figs
at to the farm pigs.
My step-mum commented that it takes some men ten times as long to change a light bulb. She is right, L’Homme is brilliant at all that home-renovation-maintenance-bangin’-in-windows-and-building-walls stuff. Ten out of ten there. But even though few women would manage such a physically heavy job as the one L’Homme just took on (the window weighs nearly as much as I do and he was balancing it up a ladder), most women CAN change lightbulbs. Go on girls, try it! Once you’ve changed one you’ll realise it’s mad to wait for weeks for the boys to do it. Let there be light!
PS: the t-shirt says it all.