Observant readers may have noticed one or two mentions that we have been tiling over the past week.
This is because we are waiting the arrival some time this month of our new staircase. The old staircase looked tatty but elegant and we were enthusiastic to keep it to maintain an air of gentle decrepitude. However, once my mother had fallen through a step it was blindingly obvious that a new staircase was necessary - and fast. That was 2 years ago last month. Last week we phoned M.Chaboisson to tell him we had completed the floor under where the staircase was to go, so he could come and do the final measurements.
He arrived after lunch with a collection of spirit measures, tape measures and measuring sticks (you can see a theme developing here) and delivered a bravura performance I will attempt to recreate here:
"Oh la laa.....tut......phew...tut tut tut...dododododododo.
Tut tut tut.
After thirty minutes of measuring, squinting, climbing up ladders and checking levels, climbing down ladders to inform us the floorspace was 10cm out of square and the walls have a 5cm lean on them, and during which I was becoming increasingly alarmed (you just know that teeth sucking is a sign of growing expense) he smiled and said:
What sort of performance we would have been treated to if the job wasn't a good'un goodness only knows!*
We have asked if we can record progress of the work being done, so later this week we will be visiting the workshop to see the work commencing on the staircase. I am really looking forward to that; the opportunity to watch an artist creating something as complicated as a staircase out of lumps of wood doesn't come along that often. He has promised us a staircase to live up to the beauty of the floor it is going on (he was most complimentary about the floor, which was nice) and we just can't wait.
*We have since decided that they were thinking noises, because he was doing 5 dimensional mathematics - width, height, depth, money and time - in his head as he went along.