The one thing I’m really amazed about is after finally getting the keys 7 days ago, Jerome and I have worked on it together every day (bar Friday night, obviously). And so far there has not been one argument! Now this is shocking for a number of reasons:

1) I hate being told what to do
2) Jerome has dominated all the good jobs
2) I hate being told what to do

However, 1 week in and we’re still smiling…Just.

Today was definitely a test. We started off well, I’m still having to fit the girly requirements of the weekly shop and the like, so whilst I made my way to Asda (yes we shop in Asda) Jerome made head way on the flat. And I don’t mind saying did a mighty good job. By the time I made it back to the flat, the skip that I thought had already been filled – by moi – was more full and unless my eyes deceived me, I could definitely see a toilet neatly positioned at the end.

When I stepped inside, Jerome had completely removed all the laminate from the living room floor, and gutted the bathroom. So, now it’s really possible to see where we’re going with things…I’m still a little bit nervous about there being enough room for the new kitchen, but I’m sure it’ll be fine – yes, I know famous last words!

So as Jerome pops off for lunch, I take the big chisel, lump hammer and begin on the tiles in the old bathroom and after an enthusiastic start, my shoulder and wrist are killing me and I want to give up…Will I give up? Of course not, there’s Suzy Pride to play for and I’m not a quitter. However, there is one slight obstacle that let’s me down, I find it very difficult to work for three and a half hours, without any praise…And the problem is, that Jerome is really crap at giving me ANY, tiny, tiny, weeny bit of praise without prompting, which then makes the praise null and void. You know what I mean. Anyway, once the J Man gets back from lunch he starts on the getting rid of the rest of the kitchen, pops his head around the side says hi, and gets straight to it…Would it have hurt to say, ‘Good job babe,’ or ‘you’re doing well’. No, it wouldn’t, but I’m not going to ask, I know I’m doing a good job!

It gets to 3.45, I’m 9 10ths of the way through, I want to cry, I’ve had enough; Jerome comes through, to do what I’m not sure, but I can’t contain it…’Yes, well i think I’ve done a good job anyway,’ J: ‘Yes babe, you’ve done really well.’ Null and void!!!

Anyway, I finish up, which is accompanied, by a few small whoops and a lap around the room, Jerome like nice one and I can see he’s preparing to go. I’m looking at him through slightly squinty eyes, just thinking to myself – you dare! I pick up the shovel and rather pathetically start trying to put some of the debris into the cement bucket, Jerome looks at me and decides he’s got something else to do in the kitchen. I don’t say anything, put the shovel down and start filling the bucket with my hands. As Jerome re-enters he asks me, why I’m not using the shovel, I make some comment about it being too hard and he picks it up. Result! He sees it’s slightly harder to negotiate than it looks, double result! After a couple of shovels, the bucket is full and he takes it down to the skip…How could I even think about complaining, my husband is a saint….Jerome then comes back upstairs, dumps the bucket and decides that the skanky boards that are currently sitting in the hall need to be moved as they’re in the way, so I’m left to deal with the tiles on my own, which is fair enough really as they are in the way. However, Jerome’s light weight job is over in about 5 minutes and what does my saintly like husband do, go and take a seat in the arm chair, whilst watching me fill up the cement bucket. On the interior I’m close to combustion, on the outside, I’m cool, calm and collected. I can do this, I’m capable, I don’t need help. Jerome gets up every now again to take a full bucket down to the skip and then on return takes to the arm chair. After 3/4 bucket fulls, I look over at my saint like husband, thinking to myself I wonder how much damage I can do with a shovel to the forehead, the answer flashes in front of my eyes – serious. ‘Babe,’ I say…’this would be a lot quicker if two of us were doing the clearing up’ J Man’s response ‘I’m having a rest Suze I’ve been at it all day!!!!!!’ It takes every morsel of strength to not lift the shovel…I mean every morsel. I say not a word and continue on my not so merry way. Approximately 2 minutes later, Jerome jumps up, takes the shovel out of my hand – good move and makes more than quick work out the remainder…Inner balance restored, we turn the lights off and go back to Arthurdon – home, sweet home.