Having / not having

I see amazing things when I’m out and about. Much as I’d like to sit here all day writing, I often work with my husband as a specialist window furnishing installer. That’s a fancy way of saying we fit tracks, rods, curtains and blinds – mostly in houses, but sometimes in commercial situations. We contract to some lovely decorators, so we get into the cream of Wellington’s houses. It’s interesting! (And it‘s sometimes a heck of a workout for both brain and body.) Not quite a logical career progression for a TV guy and a copywriter, but that’s another story I might tell you sometime.

       Wellington city

The biggest job we ever did was a seventeen-storey hotel. Just the two of us, tagging along after the builders had finished each floor. Hundreds of rooms of identical tracks, drapes and sheers. At least the conference floors had different fabric. I should write a book set in a hotel because it was a great learning experience seeing it all come together over several months. Yes, writers are nosy, and we eavesdrop shamelessly.

Yesterday we worked in a beautiful private home with an enormous swimming pool and tennis court. Not unusual. But this house was so big it had a curving staircase at each end!!! (I climbed them both.) The kitchen was vast - eighteen of my paces long. I’ve just paced out my perfectly good sitting room for a contrast. Nine paces, so around twenty-seven feet. That makes this kitchen/family area more than fifty feet long. Impressive.

We also see the other side of people’s lives. I’ve had elderly ladies proudly point to something like their painted and chipped sewing table and have them tell me their late husband built it for them when he was a young man. I had a darling oldie who showed me her cheese grater a while ago. It was a tin can that her fiancee had punched raggy holes all over when he returned from the Second Word War. She demonstrated with a carrot. Smallest bits I’ve ever seen, but she still considered it efficient seventy years later.

We had a 7.5 earthquake in Wellington last November. It did enormous damage to parts of the city. Although our old wooden house came through fine, a lot of places didn’t. One was the home of a friend who’d been saving up for a Kindle. Once again her longed-for purchase had to be delayed while the money was spent on fixing broken pipes. I couldn’t help thinking it would be great to somehow magick some money away from Mrs Two-Staircases and into Ms Broken Pipes’ account. It’s a good thing I’m not that clever…

Tags: Kris Pearson's blog, window furnishings, curtains, blinds, Wellington New Zealand, earthquake, Kindle.