So I am nearly at the end of my first 2 weeks of full-time employment in 6 years but more of that another time. No, what I would like to share with you now is one of the downsides I suppose of occupying any house which is over 150 years old.
I should begin by saying that I am something of a creature of habit. I like tea first thing before anything else, coffee later on. I like being first one up in the morning and I especially like being alone in the kitchen with the radio on, in that short time space before the children wake up.
Over the past 12 days or so of adjusting to employment again, I have used these precious minutes to take stock, plan (as much as possible) my day ahead and enjoy the peace. Until today...
You see we now have some new, rather famous neighbours (yes, even more famous than Lionel!) and they have set about re-plastering and goodness knows what else to the house. Not a problem you might think since the workmen don't arrive before 8am. But they are not the problem, in fact I'm delighted that they are having the work done.
No, it's something else. We are semi-attached and I suspect share common underfloor spaces and possibly also roof spaces although I can't be sure of that since I have never been up in the loft. Not to put too fine a point on it: Mr (and I suspect Mrs and the children) Mouse have packed their bags and moved into ours. We met this morning shortly after I switched on the lights in the kitchen. They seemed to have been having some sort of meeting in the middle of the kitchen floor - no doubt concerning their new accommodation.
Having spent a not inconsiderable sum over the years on pest eradication, I am gloomy about the prospects of shared co-habitation. It won't work because I now know too much about their hygiene habits, reproduction etc. But the memory of the smell of decomposing mouse/several probably, under our floorboards is also still fresh. If we call in the experts again, the Mouse family will simply head on back next door for a while I suppose.
I suspect I may have to broach the subject of a joint instruction (with new famous people). It's not what I had in mind when I pictured our conversations over Christmas drinks.