Part 5

I looked around the inside of Misterton and decided I did not really like the design of the interior; it did not make any logical sense. The bathroom was small and smelly and home to some gargantuan spiders and the sink in the kitchen area was the focal point of the living room the way some people make the television the centre. I considered the possibility that the sink had the status of a favourite photo or art work and thus the obvious lack of use. Perhaps this was the reason why we appeared to have eighty years of dirt to clean including remnants of the cargo she carried when working. Perhaps this was a little harsh, but I was beginning to see beyond the superficial dirt and realise that underneath this superficial surface substance was real hard core filth, but not the sort you can ask the man behind the counter for at blockbusters. Only some extreme perversion would gain any physical joy from the hardcore filth we had on offer.

The bathroom posed another challenge, as I had come to the conclusion there was no circumstance upon which I would like to use a portapotti that had been nurtured lovingly alongside the hardcore filth. The challenge was to find somewhere in which to do the things that we all need to do with running water and a clean receptacle, and one that was not shared with the gargantuan spiders. As long as the spiders were in residence in the bathroom I was not entering that room. We realised we would have to do the work in time slots that worked around trips to places with public conveniences, garages, bed and breakfast and the occasional pub. The later was only permissible at the tail end of a day as once entering a public house it is extremely good manners to partake in the local specials and once indulged, all sorts of health and safety issues come to play. We scoured the local areas and found enough public conveniences to work with and I felt relief. Its always the case that if you aren’t anywhere with a toilet you always need one, knowing the time required to get to one seemed to settle my bladder, all worries about cleanish facilities had gone.

On the drive back home I asked Simon what worried him most about the state of Misterton, again he reiterated the word ‘chipboard’, and went a translucent shade of grey. I considered asking him to pull onto the hard shoulder and place his head between his legs to calm the panic that appeared to be bubbling beneath the surface. ‘Let me explain’ he said and as he begun talking the colour returned to his cheeks. Simon loves explaining the mechanical details of the way things work and has an abundant knowledge of all things mechanical that never ceases to amaze me.

I, on the other hand, consider myself to be a genius, I just do not understand the simple things and really struggled to get a GCSE in maths but find complex theories and concept generation relatively easy. Someone in my youth told me that real genius did not understand the straightforward things in life but always operated at the higher level. I suspect it was my teacher in junior 4 who felt sorry for me as I had not made the top seat that year. Our teacher was from the pre PC days of education and had arranged the class desks in number order from one to twenty-nine. Every week we had a test on Friday and on Monday she would announce where you were sitting for that order. She must have had slightly sadistic tendencies as her students spent the weekend worried about the seating position on Monday. I was always relieved when we had a week or more off as the tests would not happen and the seating would remain the same for the week of our return allowing for a worry free break. I did not have to panic about whether I would be knocked off the front row which had desks one to six on it. We were well into the second term, I had sat in desks two to five regularly, never in desk one, and on one week when I was paying no attention because I was too busy chatting to Shaun, and I missed all the key points, I ended up in desk twenty-two. That was a miserable week. Shaun was in desk twenty-three and I got to talk to him all week, by Wednesday I felt that I had talked to Shaun enough and that put our friendship on ice for awhile. It was when I was constantly shifting along the front row and not making the top desk that my teacher explained the theory of a genius. I felt relief as this was the problem, I was a true genius and tests were just not going to show my best side as the tests were designed for everyone and did not have a genius focus at all. I believe the next week I made the number one spot, once the pressure was relieved I was finally able to achieve, knowing I was a genius released me from the tension of failing.

Simon therefore had a problem when he expected me to understand the simple things in life, like why chipboard is a disaster in a boat fit out. He made a good parallel between chipboard and weetabix, I now know that when chipboard gets damp it becomes like weetabix in milk, no longer hard but soggy and begins to disintegrate. Misterton had been completely lined in chipboard, apart from the odd piece of plywood and occasional pub sign, and as she had got damp the smell was not just the damp patch in the bedroom but the chipboard floor rotting away. This meant we would need to go back to the hull at floor level. I quite liked the idea of having a new wooden floor throughout and did not see this as a total disaster, and shared this thought with Simon.

Simon smiled and explained it will be more work than taking up the floor as to get to the floor we’ll also have to take out the partition walls. I could see that made sense now he had explained it, and tried to look horrified at the amount of work that would be. Secretly I was delighted, I did not like the way they had designed the space and the opportunity to start again and design a new clean bedroom and bathroom was greatly appealing.

Simon said he thought we could salvage the walls on the side but the rest would have to come out. I asked would it be a long job, and he told me we would see next weekend how far we got. ‘We’? I was a DIY disaster, I had put a picture hook up once and half the wall had come down. Well not exactly half but a piece the size of a ten pence piece, I realised then I was no DIY goddess and put it down to the genius theory. I explained this to Simon but he appeared quietly confident I would be helpful, so I decided to make sure I brought some really good books with me on the next visit once my futile attempts became annoying I would be able to sit in the sun and read.