After several decades occupied with managing a corner shop and restaurant, you’d think that I’d earned myself a break.
Retirement’s a funny thing. Many people yearn for a time when they can ‘quit their day job’ and pursue the hobbies and passions that they’ve put on the back burner for the majority of their lives. Although I’d had similar plans of following more of the cricket, perhaps even playing a little myself, nothing of the sort has happened.
After watching Afghanistan thoroughly beat my team (on home soil nonetheless!) I didn’t feel much like watching any more cricket, so I turned off the TV and looked to the rest of the house for activity.
Pival and I have never been fans of home making. We were raised to keep our house tidy and clean (which for some people is more than enough) but we’d never invested in making it anything more than what it is: a 2.5-bedroom terraced house in Rotherham.
Busy with the business, we’d let the old place fall into disrepair somewhat. Now that I was spending more time in the home, the little imperfections in the decor were starting to become more apparent.
My wife must’ve thought I was losing my marbles. When she came back from visiting the girls, I was systematically checking the walls for scuffs and marks, tutting to myself as I took down notes. The whole house would need a few coats of paint – a job that would no doubt take me months to complete.
Our kitchen, renovated 10 years ago, was starting to show it’s age too. Bangladeshis know how to make the most of their kitchen spaces and ours is no exception. Every cupboard was packed with utensils and pans, worn from many meals cooking. Thanks to our experience in the catering industry we’d had good practice at cleaning, though it could probably use a good scrub nonetheless.
Most noticeably of all, our windows and door have got very tatty. The wooden frames of the single glazed windows have been serving us well for over half a century. Even though we’ve tried to look after them, treating them bi-annually with varnish and paint, they look like they’ve been hanging round since the turn of the 20th Century!
Energy efficient double glazing will help us save money in the long run (I can’t believe we’ve waited this long to get PVC!) and should hopefully smarten up the front of the house for the neighbours. I’ll be sad to see the front door go, it’s been a staple of my living experience for years now, but everything must change eventually.
Of course, I won’t be doing any of this work myself. I’m a retired man in his 80s and the least experienced window fitter. I always enjoy having workmen in the house to chat to and it’s always good to have some company whilst you paint.
With this Indian summer well and truly over, we best get to it soon, otherwise we’ll be a little exposed to the harsh Northern breeze and we’ll have snow drifting in the living room!