IF I’ve been looking a little creased of late that’s down to a weary wardrobe saga that unbelievably was set to run for weeks and weeks on end.
When the Szecowka family prepared to head back to the UK after a ‘come for two, stay for 12’ year stay in the kingdom, we’d sold everything we didn’t want to take back and the last thing we expected was to end up hastily buying any more furniture.
That all changed when I suddenly did an about-turn on the career front to join the merry ship GDNonline.
As a result I needed a few items for the unfurnished apartment I was going to move into, small enough for me to live comfortably (and cheaply, what with the fear of exorbitant electricity bills) but with an extra room for when the children returned on visits.
The good lady wife Kathryn spotted a cheap wardrobe advertised and arranged for a man with a van and his team of helpers to collect, dismantle and re-erect.
It seemed perfect but, of course, it wasn’t.
The man with the van and his team delivered the parts and said they’d come back to fix it whilst I was away in the UK with the promise that it would be done by the time I returned from my summer holiday.
Of course, when I landed back in Bahrain and made my way into the apartment, it was still in bits and pieces in one of the bedrooms. The man with the van apologised when I called him and explained that his ‘carpenter’ had misplaced the screws and brackets etc. and had himself gone back to India on vacation and would return ‘probably’ in a month.
I waited, and waited and waited a bit more. In the meantime I used the shower rail to hang my shirts as well as the doors of said wardrobe. I lost most of my trousers that had somehow hidden themselves between two of the doors piled up against a wall.
They remained fairly scrunched up and the dodgy iron I’d been left behind with didn’t seem to master the creases either. Weird really, because it badly blistered my finger when I checked to see if it was hot.
I rang the man with the van several times but I think he remembered my number and deliberately avoided answering his mobile. On one occasion another gentleman picked up his phone to relay the message that the chap was in hospital. What’s wrong with him, I asked, he has a ‘fever’ I was told.
I thought of joining him in casualty with my throbbing burned finger.
In exasperation, ‘she who must be obeyed’ called him long distance from our family home in Bristol, muttering something about ‘you need a woman to get things done’, and the man with the van and his crew promised to call round the following weekend.
So, several months after purchasing it, the merry men arrived, now with a ‘different carpenter’ and a bucket load of screws, nails and joint connectors, and set about the task of erecting the wardrobe.
There was plenty of crash, bang, walloping going on as I kept out of the way in the living room watching the football.
The match had ended by the time they reappeared and it wasn’t good news. They said they would have to go back to their base to collect some more tools. I thought that would be the last I would see of them for another couple of months. But no, two returned with extra screws and nails to finish the job a few hours later.
The mighty wardrobe now stands. It will probably need a sledgehammer to dismantle when I eventually move out. The doors might not be quite level and the hanging rail on one side is at a weird height, but at the least I can place my clothes undercover with pride.
Goodbye scruffy Stanley … the smart one is back in action.