The end is in sight, my friends. If this were a marathon, I’d be on the home stretch. I’d be in the stadium. I’d be able to hear the roar of the crowd drumming in my ears and I’d be able to see the finish line gleaming ahead. I scarcely dare say it, but I think I’m nearly there (is this the bit where I trip, lose my shoe and end up disqualified and watching from the sidelines while the runner from Namibia takes the gold?).
Today was a cinch, I tell you, a cinch! After a sleepless night (come on, man, give it up, dream snatcher!), all I had to do was get myself on the 8:30 Fast Ferry and then on a bus from Circular Quay to Maroubra. Hell, a walk in the park! I even had time to grab a coffee and a pastry to eat on the boat. Then I ran into a good friend who also lives in Man Town, so we nattered at a mile a minute the whole way across the harbour. Sometimes all you really need is a chat with your girlfriends to make you realise/remember that everyone goes through it. Yes, we’re all crazy. Most women I know breathe some mean fire when circumstances demand it, and it’s just good to be reminded of the fact. I don’t feel less insane, of course, just less alone.
I arrived at Nana’s without incident. My sister Kate and the removalists had been and gone, and the place was empty but for the collection of miscellaneous crap I’d left for myself on the kitchen bench, including a bottle of Johnny Walker Red from Dot, who told me to share it with Nana next time I visit. Share? Scotch makes me gag, so Nana can tuck right in! I wonder if they’ll let me leave it with her? I guess we’ll find out soon enough. At any rate, it was very sweet of Dot. And rather more conventional a parting gift than what I took round to her this morning: the spare toilet paper and tissues. I figured everyone needs those. Dot agreed.
Then Damien and Vikram arrived to rip up the carpet and backing, and take down the curtains and brackets. Perfectly good carpet and curtains, mind you, but all part of the ongoing contractual shaft Nana signed up for when she got mixed up in this retirement village rort when she perhaps wasn’t paying close enough attention or bothering to read the fine print. A lesson for us all: READ THE FINE PRINT. Robyn, the young neigbour to the right of Nana’s, popped in today to lend us a short ladder and said, “Oh, you don’t have to take up the carpet, do you?” She was clearly surprised. She might want to have another look at that contract.
“I think you’ll find you do too,” I said. “When the time comes. It’s part of what you’ve all agreed to.”
Damien snorted from the corner. He was laughing at the quality job they did laying the carpet in the first place. Honestly, they must just see the elderly folk coming and reel them in by their dentures. It really does seem nigh on criminal.
Damien and Vikram had it all ripped up and out in under an hour, for less than half the price of those highwaymen I spoke to last week. So I guess what I really want to do is give these guys a plug, because it was Damien and another bloke who turned up and saved the day last week with all the rubbish removal (the good news is they do sort through stuff and recycle, so it didn’t just all automatically go to the tip), and their cheerful helpfulness and really efficient mastery of the whole NIGHTMARE really eased the strain. Twice. Affordably. Professionally. Politely. I couldn’t have asked for more. The other thing is, Llew and I couldn’t have hired a ute, packed it, gone to the tip and gotten rid of all this stuff ourselves for less. So the big question is WHY DO IT TO YOURSELF? The short answer is, don’t.
The outfit is called Cheapest Load of Rubbish
02 9699 6591, email@example.com
Now it’s just the cleaning and final inspection to go. Yes, the end is in sight.