So here's the thing: painter arrives at 8.30am. I have just settled on the bed, decaffeinated capacinno in hand, Hamish McBeth on UKtv Drama. I think, "I'll just watch the last half hour of this, because I love it, and the past hour of getting Amy ready for school has been nothing short of stressful," when without warning, a ladder is extended and leant against my bedroom window. The heavy footsteps ascend the rungs and I sit on the bed saying, "bugger". I have, for the past two weeks, felt like a gold fish. There is no escape. It seems whichever room I chose to use, a painter appears at the window, brush in hand, smile on face and whistling so annoyingly that I begin to imagine myself accidentally pushing him off his ladder.
Okay, so perhaps lounging about the bed at 8.30am on a weekday, in pajamas is rather uncouth, but a girl needs her 'me-time', you know, that little bit of time when the house is quiet, no one wants feeding, walking or watering and that nine o'clock threshold seems hours away. I would of course begin to feel immensely guilty as the farmer completes his third hour of his working day.
So getting back to saying "bugger", I spill half my capacinno in my haste to get off the bed and try to hide behind the door, hoping the painter won't see me in what could be classed as the worst-dressed, pajama-clad female this side of the border. The shock alone may cause an injury as he laughs his way to the ground, not for want of trying to escape. But fortunately for me, the farmer comes round the corner with his cheery "good morning" and the painter decides to descend the ladder and have a natter. I grab my clothes from the dressing table stool and run into another room, as though I am escaping the big bad wolf. He starts round the other side of the house next week, painting the bathroom window.
And here's another thing: does he have a built-in loo? He isn't the only workman who has been here, done an eight hour shift and never needed the loo. It happened with the kitchen installers back in April. It also happens with our regular inside decorator, even when he painted and decorated the bathroom with a ready-made loo to hand. They have a tea break at 10.30am. Lunch with a flask at 12pm. Another tea break at 3pm. Wouldn't you think with all that tea, they would be struggling to get up a ladder at all? I guess I should get out more.