Tormented by the Home: Harry Rollo in an Hotel

Friday 23rd March 2018

Where is Genevieve Suzy? And where, more importantly, are Val’s Hastings sausages? They must have gorn awff by now, even if frozen. One thing we do know: not all Genevieve’s power resides in her up-do. That Hastings morning, her do was down. In fact carmens were installed. But still, high soaring above, she lavished a classic sea-side breakfast. Later she was to soar yet higher, commanding the sea before her and as well as all else in the world.

Meanwhile Harry Rollo and Mercury, Mr Kitten have been installed in an hotel in Prague. On Monday they dined with Anthony Mottram at the Museum Apartment. It was quite a do. Harry was bewildered though, at the hotel.  ‘We are at the Intercontinental. They have a shop selling Rolls Royces donwstairs. Can you believe they put us in a room with just one room? Two people. Hello? Mercury, Mr Kitten insisted on a suite. Said it’s what he’s used to… Breakfast is included. It says on the hotel thing “fashionable breakfast”. What can this mean? Slightly apprehensive. Will find out in a minute.
Change of room was very efficient. In the new Suite was a bottle of wine and arrangement of dried fruit with two apples and some saltine bicquies. Compliments of. As we walked in the phone rang. It was a lady saying, “There is a treatment in the room but it is for another guest – we will come and remove it”.
Ten seconds later a man appeared and started to take the plate away saying, “You come from room 555?”No, we came from 742.
He looked puzzled – “Not 555? So then, this is for you” and went away leaving us with the Autumn fruit platter.

For those of you that don’t know, Kafka’s home was Prague. Prague is the home of Kafka and therefore of Kafka-like moments.

Speaking of homes, don’t speak to me of my own. Just as I was thinking I could get on with more gilt frame buying, perhaps even adding to the Collection, acquiring even a Carel Weight while gently touching up paint work with an artist’s brush – well, utter agony, the dining room ceiling has come adrift. No way of fixing it back up again. It’ll have to come down, or part of it at least. Absolute dread. 170 years of debris descending. And, while in torment, more torments are piled on. What about the under-the -pavement cellar, the nether-regions in general, in fact, of the residence, the front steps, the part under the front steps?  Are they about to collapse? So ££££ to go on dreariness, cement render and so on, as well as unspeakable mess and filth. Bruce McBain has been a great comfort. Where would I be without him?

All this means there’s just no point in dusting the chandeliers or polishing the silver. The home is suspended for the foreseeable future. And what I crave and crave is a home, a finished home.

But it was an electrical socket that was my termination. My project of renovation has included, as you know, removal of all the bog-standard plastic light switches and sockets. There’s so much that can occupy a person whose mind is properly adjusted, in the home. Well, I chose the Victorian Heritage Chrome series for the kitchen and in January the final phase of upgrading there was completed. But three mosaic tiles were dislodged in the process.  Five times I attempted to fix them.  The adhesive bought on that great visit to B&Q (or is it B and Q) Bexhill with Val (when sausages are promised for the evening but not taken) was worse than useless. There should be a law against it. I had to build up a base with Polyfilla strengthened with PVA. Then my plan was to glue the 3 tiles back on with glue. I did this and screwed the socket into place. The tiles somehow were forced off. It seemed they stood too proud. So Evostick glue solvent (it makes you high) to remove glue, sand down the tiny section of wall behind, re-glue the tiles. Going well. Finally all that remained was to screw the socket back (I admit I had become reckless with the fearsome wiring behind: danger of death was part of the mission to fix those 3 mosaic tiles, each a square inch). But socket wouldn’t screw back. Screws wouldn’t engage. I screwed and screwed. Scratched the Victorian Heritage Chrome work (I didn’t know they had brushed chrome in the Victorian Heritage Times). Solution: get more screws from specialist screw shop in Clerkenwell. Thank the Lord for that shop. Got screws. Screwed. Screw got stuck. Turned and turned. Neither backwards nor forwards. Got pliers. Injured hand with pliers. Blood blister. Plus cut. All the way up to my suite on the top floor for plaister. Back down. Still the screw wouldn’t screw. Begged it. Implored. No effect. Fell to the floor howling, screaming. Hope my neighbour was out.

Today Carlton the divine Jamaican leccie with corn-rows and deep rural Jamaican speaking came and knew what to do. £60. I’ve have paid anything. Even the amount of a Carel Weight. So now grouting is underway and completion of one socket in sight. There are 8 sockets and switches left in the house to upgrade to flat-plate brass. Plus one of the other ones already upgraded – it’s got to have red glaze mixed to match existing and put around – about 1mm thickness around the socket.

May the Lord uphold me in my mission to upgrade and spare me.

Socket Torment. Two Weeks to Get 3 Tiles Back in Place

Socket Torment. Two Weeks to Get 3 Tiles Back in Place: I vac-ed in that Socket, I’ll have You Know, with the Crevice Tool 

Glaze to be Mixed by Hand, plus Base Coat in Dead Salmon to Cancel This White Rim where the Socket was Replaced with this Fake Bakerlite Speciality from a shop in Ludlow

Glaze to be Mixed by Hand, plus Base Coat in Dead Salmon to Cancel This White Rim where the Socket was Replaced with this Fake Bakerlite Speciality from a shop in Ludlow. Maybe could Try a Felt-tip? 





Posted Friday, March 23, 2018 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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