If there's one thing I've always said, it's that time flies when you have no teeth. I realised this week that it's almost two months since Amelie and I tried to measure up to Lisa's expectations of a new sideboard, and eight weeks later, we still haven't got one. We returned from Blackpool on Monday, but I'd already booked the rest of this week off work in case I needed time to get over my holiday sunburn, so despite nursing some frostbite in my fingers, it meant I had the chance this week to remedy that situation.
So on Wednesday afternoon, Amelie and I headed back to the secondhand furniture shops of Hove. Amelie got a little confused, and kept telling me that we were looking for "a wardrobe that Mummy won't trip over", but despite that, it was a productive outing. Ideally, we wanted a sideboard exactly four feet wide, not too deep, and with no glass whatsoever. We ended up with a bookcase.
Admittedly, it wasn't what I'd intended (I'm not much of a reader), but having failed to find anything remotely suitable, we came across a well-made pine bookcase with exactly the right dimensions. We also found a 'Honey Bee Tree' for 99p which really should be the subject of some kind of court injunction by the makers of Kerplunk...
But that aside, I decided the bookcase would fulfill our requirements for additional storage space without the risk of death, so I bit the bullet, fired up the credit card, and bang went another week's wages.
We're due to visit my parents today for a couple of nights, and the bookcase is being delivered on Monday, so I basically had Wednesday evening and yesterday to empty the old sideboard and dispose of it in a (fairly) legal fashion. It also meant finding a home for everything it contained. Which involved reorganising half the flat. By the end of yesterday, I'd made so many trips to the tip, I felt like Stig of the Dump. But the good news is that after thirty-six hours of ceaseless work, I've created so much extra storage space, we now have nothing to put in the new bookcase. So that was money well spent.
Fortunately, however, my days of having to complete hard manual labour on my own may by coming to an end. I accompanied Amelie to her weekly free playgroup at the local Methodist church yesterday, and met a number of children the same age as her. Not only is she twice the size of most of them, but while others are communicating through single words and hand gestures, Amelie was telling complicated jokes, inventing intricate games and telling people how she can "download other fun games from the internet". So give it a few years and she'll either be doing the heavy lifting herself, or earning me enough money for a handyman.