Part 6

It was the May Bank holiday and we decided to spend three days working on Misterton and start dismantling the chipboard. We had realised we needed to economise on our accommodation as the weekends at Misterton were going to be an ongoing expense (at least till the end of the summer) and the wedding had to be paid for. We thought we could probably save some money by staying somewhere slightly cheaper and did internet research. We found a bed and breakfast in Thorne that was nearly half the price of the premier inn – bargain!

Simon rang and made the booking and there was plenty of availability over the bank holiday- possibly Thorne is not in the top ten guide of where to have a weekend break with your betrothed four months before the wedding. Still Bridget Jones was burnt with flashy weekend breaks and I knew we were investing in our future so this was romance wasn’t it? Also the money we saved could go towards treating our guests to a drink from the bar at the wedding, a treat I knew all my friends would appreciate, and I was pretty sure Simons friends indulged in the odd tipple too.

The day before we left for Misterton Simon gave me a gift as I arrived at Iris, his Narrowboat, we were going to spend the night on his finished boat before working for the weekend on making our new boat less fit for human habitation than it already was. It was wrapped in lovely paper and he was displaying his stunning smile as he presented this gift of love to me. I love presents. I love buying them for people, wrapping them, seeing people’s faces when they are pleased with the contents, drinking wine quickly when they are clearly pretending to like the contents, and I love receiving presents that are total surprises. Simon knows this and I had not realised he had a love gift for me.

I unwrapped the gift quickly and it was something in a cardboard box, annoyingly it was upside down so I had to turn it round to see what the contents were. This was a gift no one had ever given me before and a gift I was not sure how to use. It was every girls dream, my own baby power screw driver. Simon looked delighted with himself, and assured me this was my screwdriver as he already had his own. I felt slight concern about what further love gifts may be but showed appreciation and wondered what on earth I had let myself in for.

The next day we went to Misterton and started taking apart the front third, this included two and a half bedrooms (there was a single bed in a cupboard - I decided not to let my imagination follow this one through), a bathroom with still resident gargantuan spiders and a bizarre crooked corridor. To compliment the screw driver Simon had purchased some disposable white overalls with zip and hood to protect my clothes, some safety glasses and face masks as he suspected it might get dusty. I did not want to think about what I looked like, but having just tried a lot of white wedding dresses on I was not convinced this would be my best look. I started off slowly with a hand screwdriver working at a slow but sure pace. Once I got the hang of things I decided to try out my power screw driver. My shoulder was feeling sore already and I asked Simon if the power tool (note my technical jargon) would be better. I had had a lot of physio on my shoulder after breaking my elbow and did not think the hand screw driver for many hours would be a good move. It took a few attempts to understand how you lock the pieces together to stop the slipping and then I was away. My power tool virginity was disappearing and I begun to take screws out and rip piece of wood down in what I considered to be a very professional manner. It gave me great joy to take apart the interior and as each piece came away I felt that Misterton was going to be our home and the old owners hold on her was waning. We took apart the two and a half bedrooms and most of the corridor over the next two days.

Simon had thought we would keep the walls as then we could put new walls in the space we had created. However, the fit out had been done in a very bizarre manner and we had to take some of the wall panels off. Underneath the wall panels we found very damp fiberglass that was causing some of the rotting smell. Simon became quiet again and I realised this was not a good sign but as the perfect bride-to-be I carried on taking out any screw that my eyes could see. I had learnt that this was not a time to ask Simon what the problem was, I guessed he would tell me in his own time.

I was right, Simon said we would need to take all the walls off as these had also been made out of chipboard and would need replacing. He suggested we could bag up any dry fiberglass as we may be able to reuse this once we had got wood to reline Misterton with. Personally I thought this was ridiculous as fiberglass is horrible stuff and bagging it to take out again would not be a lot of fun. I thought Simon was being economically wise and this was probably going to have to be done in order to keep enough money for the wedding, so merrily started filing bags with fiberglass and removing screws under the guidance of Captain Sensible.

We had an awful lot of useless chipboard and we filled up the back of my car and went for a visit to Stainforth dump. Simon knew how to show a lady a good time. I got quite excited by the experience when I saw a truck drive off with some of the junk from our boat to be eternally banished to land fill heaven. I took a photo and the man in the truck waved and seemed pleased that someone was being so interested. Simon was giggling away to himself, and I asked him why, it turned out the truck driver had been copping an eyeful of my best assets and when I turned round to take a photo he looked like the cat that had got the cream. Lesson to be had here, when a girl hits rock bottom the local dump is a potential place to meet men with a regular income. I had to break the truck drivers’ heart as mine already belonged to another, but I made a mental note to think carefully about what I wear for my next dump visit.

By the end of our bank holiday weekend we had made thirteen trips to the dump, I suspect the man thought I was stalking him and was ringing a helpline somewhere, and cleared a lot of junk. Only the bathroom left to take out, but that would have to wait till next time. I had been deliberately avoiding this area and had yet to step inside the room for in the room was the dreaded portapotti and the gargantuan spiders. I was happy to leave and return my focus to wedding planning to avoid thinking about the horrors that awaited our next visit.