Honey Pot and Treacle

Honey Pot Cottage, Outgate, near Ambleside
Honey Pot Cottage, Outgate, near Ambleside

A change of pace, and a different ‘day job’ – even if only briefly – seems to be conducive to a disturbing shift in personality. I noted this after spending some time with a dear friend who kindly (and possibly unwisely) offered to help with the renovation programme at our new holiday let cottage; Honey Pot Cottage in The Lake District.

Tasks seemed to include speaking in three different languages, Indian (BT), Polish (2 x furniture delivery chaps) and French (other delivery chap). And then there was the constant stream of teas and coffees to be made while scrabbling about for words common to everyone. Most disturbing perhaps was the builder’s mate banter we seemed to fall into, calling each other ‘Treacle’, drinking tea the colour of Dale Winton’s spray tan, affecting low-rise trousers (well, our painting pants kept slipping), and adjourning to the pub with paint in our hair for a post-mortem pint (of Sauvignon Blanc).

I developed a raw fear of men carrying tool bags, and kept moving bubble-wrapped furniture around to try and find places of safety. I insisted everyone sleep in sleeping bags on top of the still plastic wrapped mattresses and refused to let anyone sit on a new leather sofa (said sofas swathed in heavy duty cling film).

Reluctantly, the resident team, is allowed to use the expensive Dualit toaster, but frankly I’d rather they seared slices of Warburton’s on a hot van carburettor. Worst of all I’ve had to leave Himself and his team there, where I can’t keep an eye on finishes and furnishings, because real work beckons. Actually, no. Worst of all, I suffered a bout of ‘Capuchin’ rage.

This was sparked by numerous problems with the treatment of some beautiful Sanderson fabric chosen to cover an armchair. It seems the upholsterer is the Bono of upholstery. He also assumed I was an interior designer and that him not liking the fabric wasn’t a big deal. It is; the fabric alone is £100s. I am now, dust settled (but not on those sofas) assured that all will be well, and he’ll manage with the primates and the old Parker Knoll.

Oh well, let’s see what happens with the little monkeys….


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