8.30am: I’ve just been awoken by Gary Glitter shouting about ‘Another Rock and Roll Christmas’ and I am reminded that I really must change my keen Christmas alarm soundtrack. Not long since having recovered from the mild heart attack that this caused, I am launched into another state of panic as a loud hammering begins at my front door. Am I dreaming? No, the dog has heard it too. Are we being robbed? Has a polite young burglar made it his New Year’s resolution to knock before demanding valuables? Has my Grandma lost the plot and arrived with hot steaming porridge for us all on this cold morning?
My Dad has taken on his role as man-of-the-house and is galloping down the stairs. I hear a commotion of male voices. Perhaps I should provide backup? I scan my bedroom for armour, picturing the headlines “GIRL FENDS OFF ATTACKER WITH FUMES OF NAIL POLISH REMOVER” – too risky – how about “INTRUDER DETERRED BY BLOW TO THE HEAD WITH MULTILINGUAL DICTIONARY”? This is useless. Wait – did I hear someone offering them a brew? There’s keeping your enemies close, Dave, and there’s outright silliness. He’s downstairs, alighting the kettle to warm the stomachs of a group of intruders.
9.00am: I’ve just found out that, as it happens, this invasion was entirely planned. My parents knew about it, my sister knew about it, but for reasons unknown to me, I was blissfully unaware. It turns out that today is the day that the gaping hole, that emerged in our kitchen ceiling all the way back in August, will be fixed. This comes with the mortifying news that we will have limited access to the kitchen for the next two weeks, about which everybody but me seems unnervingly calm.
10.00am: The invaders have terrible music taste. 10am seems to be the time they consider it acceptable to begin blasting Fifth Harmony’s ‘Work From Home’. Correction: you are not in fact working from home. You are working in a home inhabited by an impatient 20 year old with 5 January exams on the horizon who, between your offensive song choices, is trying to absorb information concerning French syntax and morphology. Deciding to use the music to my advantage, I propose to use it as an indication of their presence, and will plan a quest for food when the intruders pause for lunch.
12.00pm: Silence. My opportunity. I dive into the kitchen and head straight for the bread; I need easy, filling food. Undeterred by the jungle vines of electric cables hanging from the ceiling and becoming unusually adventurous, I search for some chicken to fill said bread. Nobody has yet returned, and the sheer joy brought by the possibility of a sandwich fuels an extra ounce of bravery as I head towards the cupboards in search of Ryvitas (I have to consider snacks too, okay, this could be my only chance!)
A bearded man enters through the back door and grunts as I scuttle towards the cutlery drawer, hoping to salvage a knife for some crudités (you know, carrot sticks and the like). I spin around with my findings and greet the electrician with a sinister flash of the blade I’m wielding proudly. Sorry, innocent labourer, I didn’t actually mean to threaten you there. Do continue installing brightness into my kitchen ceiling.
12.30pm: I’m in my bedroom, sandwich going rather stale as I wasn’t actually hungry when the empty kitchen opportunity arose. Some alarming news has been broken: my mum and sister are leaving the house. “My daughter is upstairs if you need anything” I hear. This prompts an immediate bedroom Anderson shelter style lock-in, just in case they do in fact need anything. Don’t approach me, please, I have no knowledge to offer on the placing of tiles or the installation of kitchen appliances, and I certainly am not up for making you brews.
2.00pm: There seems to be a commotion occurring downstairs, with amplified cries of “aw f*ckinell, I can’t get f*ckin through it either” accompanied by progressively furious drilling reverberating through the floorboards. It momentarily occurs to me that I should go and offer some input, but the thought of removing my dressing gown (underneath which I am dressed, fear not) and venturing downstairs seems rather more painful than yet another unexpected hole occurring somewhere in the house. After all, I was beginning to warm to Hole the First.
3.30pm: The dog has been left in my care. He is equally frustrated by one intruder’s frequent trips to his van, during which he feels the need to finish whistling his tune before returning to the house. If I could growl at him as much as the dog is doing without being deemed fit for psychiatric analysis, I probably would do. My throat is dusty and craving a brew, but with the kitchen out of reach, I have lit some scented candles in the hope to achieve the same warmth and relaxation as a cup of tea. (Warming of the room, I must add. I’m not turning to fire eating; water will have to suffice for the throat).
3.35pm: It hasn’t worked. I keep raising my eyebrows after being tricked by hallucinations of the dog’s tail on fire, or a fallen revision card smouldering on my carpet.
3.40pm: I’ve blown the candles out.
3.58pm: “HELLO?!” Oh God, time to shine. I de-dressing gown myself, pull out my scrunchie and do a shampoo advert style hair whip before hurtling down the stairs. Still dizzy from the hair whip, I arrive a little too close to a startled male who has begun to roam the house. Afternoon, young ma- “Er, we’re off now” he informs me, and I try to disguise my relief.
4.00pm: The intruders have left with the promise of retuning tomorrow. They have planted a small, electrical device in the kitchen that appears to be squealing a little – probably best not to approach it. With only the oven and fridge intact, I plan to prepare a few emergency meals – and extract the kettle – to see me through until order has been restored.
Call it creative writing, call it extreme procrastination brought on by the distraction of unexpected builders. Either way, it provided me with far too many breaks throughout the day. All events are true if not slightly enhanced ;).