The phone rang and as usual I was as far away from it as its possible to be in our cottage. By the time I’d put my paintbrush down very carefully, hurtled over tools and stray skirting boards, thundered down the staircase and vaulted the assorted boxes and furnishings that litter the living room the voice mail was well under way.
“It’s Gnomical Carpets. You’re having a carpet fitted on Friday.”
At which point I managed to grab the phone and say hello.
“Er, right. Hello. It’s Mike from Gnomical Carpets. You’re having carpet fitted on Friday, two bedrooms, landing and stairs.”
“And the hallway.”
“Yes.” A confirmation call. How lovely.
The silence wasn’t so much stunned as the pause needed whilst my brain caught up with the general direction of the conversation.
“It’s t’ware’ouse, see.”
Light was beginning to dawn. “The warehouse.”
“Aye.” Clearly Mike the Gnome felt that he was dealing with the next thing to a very silly person. “Aye. T’carpet won’t be here ‘til next Monday at earliest. Tuesday most like and even then it might be pushing it.”
For some reason I had a mental image of seried ranks of gnomical gentlemen of indeterminate age pushing a very large roll of carpet over hill and dale on a set of rollers or else carrying it on their shoulders and possibly whistling a well known Disney tune whilst they were about it – certainly Mike’s tone was not suggestive of a lorry transporting the carpet from warehouse to shop and from there to my front door. It sounded altogether more Herculean. “That would make it difficult to fit this Friday,” I agreed as he seemed to want me to sympathise with his plight.
“Aye. So we’ll do it next Friday – I’ll keep you informed about the carpet.”
“Right. Thank you.”
And with that he was gone leaving me feeling slightly perplexed. What did he mean that he’d keep me informed about the carpet? It’s not as though it’s being hand-woven by a dozen beautiful handmaidens in a far off land. It’s mass produced and ‘always in stock.’ Perhaps the gnomes carrying the carpet who turned up in my imagination during the conversation have a very bad sense of direction and are lugging it up hill and down dale without the aid of a map or compass?
Intuition is beginning to indicate the gnomes of Gnomical Carpets might not be telling me the total and utter truth about the carpet I chose always being in stock…in which case…I am not so close to wiggling my tootsies in brand new carpet as I had cheerfully imagined…nor to the completion of the cottage. I wonder if Mike realises that if the carpet doesn’t turn up next Friday that he may have a bona fide fire breathing, uncalm and uncollected, dragon on his hands.