I love an expert. Someone who knows their subject inside out, someone who is so steeped in it they are in danger of becoming a bore of epic proportions, someone who can tell you what you you never thought you needed to know, but it turns out you did.
Replacing our ageing windows was teetering on the edge of being a grudge purchase. I mean, you can’t wear them, eat them, or travel with them, which are my three main criteria for happily parting with my hard-earned cash, well, I am from Yorkshire, my arms are short and my pockets deep. But as one window was virtually hanging off its hinges and another was being colonised by a black mould like something from the X Files, we agreed there was nothing else for it but to replace the lot.
You don’t buy windows every day, so where to start? Double-glazing salesmen used to have a bad press for over-promising and under-delivering. I think those guys must have preyed on the previous owners of our house, because when Dr Karl, the Window Whizz came to diagnose our problems he immediately spotted some major flaws. We’d chosen him at random from the interweb, based solely on the fact that he was local. We do like to support local businesses.
The most major of the flaws was that the windows had been fitted on the frames of the old wooden windows, which explained the draughts, the loudness of the traffic, the gooey stuff seeping through the plastic sealant. We didn’t know that, we were ignorant of all matters window-related. We were shocked.
Dr Karl confessed he loved windows, he’d studied them closely, no two were the same, they all had their own distinct characters. He could diagnose problems by touch and sound, tapping the plastic and the glass, listening for little vibrations, sorting out the problems, he was a window whisperer. We were impressed and signed on the dotted line.
Fortunately I was at work when Karl Jr and his window crew arrived with a big van and a lot of glass. Noel suspected they weren’t real workmen when they asked for Earl Grey with a slice of lemon and turned down choccie bikkies in favour of a little packet of dried mango. But once they got to work, it was out with the old and in with the new.
The cats Akers were traumatised and had to be confined to the bedroom and overdose on Felix Goodie Bags, but having hyperactive felines was a small price to pay for keeping them safe.
The result is stunning, when they finished I went around the house opening every window and waving to anyone or anything like I was royalty. Not so much of a grudge purchase after all.