Is it a requirement for people in the DIY trade to be potential jesters?
Harold and I toured the three local warehouse retail outlets, Harold oohing at the (rather pathetic) range of exterior doors. He was rather taken by a half-glazed one in oak that would have gone quite splendidly on an ex-council house but would look cheap and tawdry on the manor. He insisted I give an opinion on everything that looked remotely studded.
I almost lost my perspective outside the third place, where a gentleman (all of seventeen, at a guess) offered to see us windows. “No thanks,” I said. “We have some already. It was either that or live with the big holes in the walls.”
Harold came away disappointed that I’d poo-poohed all his suggestions, so as a treat I took him to the local coffee shop where we both insisted on tea lattés. “Nothing but awkward,’ as Ada used to say.
That took up another half an hour, by which time, when we got back to the manor, Devious had finished installing the new door. It was exactly what Harold dreamed of: eight feet high with an arched top, studded with iron, with a cat flap cut into the bottom. Devious had had to retro fit it, cutting out part of the kitchen wall to fit the new frame and pair of thin windows with crystal tips at either side. He’d lined the whole doorway with stone and extended the stoop four feet. Harold was ecstatic and thanked me and congratulated Devious and his two lads on a job well done.
Fortunately, they’d also sanded and varnished it – happily removing the carved words: “The Church of Saint Magdalene, Our Lady of Pity” which had graced the door for sixty years.
NB: I was pleased to find that on our walk today, three out of three people we encountered were pleasant – A couple, the woman of which smiled at Felicia before saying hello, a group of three people with two dogs who all smiled at waved and a single gentleman who mimicked my ‘good morning’. It must be people who like dogs, like people with dogs.