CHIRPSES

THE FINAL CURTAIN

Slatz describes moving into a new house including missing curtains, chiropractors, cooking with beetroots and not mentioning the war.

Day 30 in the Big Slatz House. I awake to a much more pleasant lighting level as – with help from the Eastern European housemate – I have a curtain rail and curtains in my room at last.

The language barrier slowed the process, he asked me to stop talking to him like an Englishman as he couldn’t understand me.

We were supplied with a box of full nails and drill-bits but none of them fitted the drill we had. The Eastern European promptly emptied the box out on my floor and began searching through them but with no success.

Eventually he found something suitable in a kit that had come with his Vespa Scooter – his pride and joy – as he loves bikes.

“In my country, I love to watch the beautiful ladies drive a motorbike,” he declared. “People, they say to me “Why do you like so much? Is it the girl or the bikes?” I say to them, it is the combination!”

A Kawasaki Ninja. Baby not included

His dream was one day to own a Kawasaki Ninja bike but unfortunately he would only be allowed to drive it in Britain as he has been banned from driving in his native Romania for five years.

“That was the saddest day of my life,” he groaned.

Midway through our conversation, the female housemate who is the landlady’s niece, entered with the curtains. Width wise they were perfect but they were about two feet too long so they help to sweep the floor when I open and close them.

The change in my room’s décor was also matched by a change in the household with the guy who had his wife and young daughter leaving. This has meant a more quiet atmosphere but has robbed me of my opening greeting with the father which would go something like this:

Slatz: Hello!
Father: Hello, how are you?
Slatz: I’m fine, and you?
Father: Thank you.

The conversation would then end there usually although I once managed to sustain it long enough to find out that he’s a painter for a living but that work had dried up, so to speak.

The housemate replacing him was an English girl training as a chiropractor. I didn’t raise my own qualms with this brand of nonsense — dubbed “spine-wizards” by Simon Singh – as I felt that wouldn’t make a good impression but I certainly won’t be accepting a massage from her in the unlikely event that it was ever offered.

One thing that was offered has been compliments for my cooking — which may seem strange to those who have lived with me in the past. A housemate described my activities as inspirational as I was midway through preparing a baked onion and beetroot risotto.

My culinary success may have to be reigned in as yesterday the landlady’s niece decided it would be a great idea to place a large, fluffy rug in the kitchen. When a beetroot fell onto the pristine white and added a splash of pink, I had to act quickly to cover my misdemeanour; although why anyone would think a carpeted kitchen is a good idea is beyond me.

As I make my evening meal, the Eastern European usually sits at his laptop watching various international versions of Britain’s Got Talent, interspliced with violent and disgusting clips from the BBC comedy Bottom.

After watching Susan Boyle’s infamous take on Les Miserables’s “I Dreamed a Dream,” the Eastern European asked me if I could find him the original on YouTube. Upon clicking on Elaine Paige’s singing of the tune from the musical itself, he declared it crap and went back to watching Romanian Idol or whatever it’s called over there.

When I walked in this evening, he expressed how he was amazed at how similar Romanian and German girls looked which he attributed to the two respective armies’ campaigns against Russia in the Second World War.

I declined to comment, not wishing to cause an international incident as another housemate is German. I slinked off to my room and closed my curtains which had been opened all day, safe in the neutral territory of my bedroom.


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