How disgraceful. I am sitting here blogging at 9.38 in the morning, still in pyjamas. In fact, I am making the most of it – my first chance to do so for ages, and my last chance too for a long while. I am all alone in a rather congested and seriously-in-need-of-cleaning home and the feeling is good.
Last week my brother stayed for the week to do the preparatory work for the extention. It was a wonderful week (apart from me being overtaken with unexpected degrees of misery when my new neighbour moved in and we finally had closure – in both senses of the word – on the sale of Dad’s bungalow). My brother’s friend joined him for a few days and they achieved an incredible amount.
Most incredible, mind, is the bruise to my brother’s pride and his posterior. It was a good lesson to the Smudgelets on the dangers of losing concentration for a moment. He asked his friend, who was holding the ladder, to pass him a screwdriver and suddenly found himself travelling backwards in slow-motion, landing with a bump on the low garden wall. I have never before seen a bruise which covers as large an area and is as brightly coloured as this one. As it spread (and swelled to rather noticeable size) we sent him off to Accident and Emergency – they sent him home saying “Stop being such a wimp and get some work done” – or rather, “It’s possible you’ve fractured your coccyx but you’d do best to keep moving and ignore it and just keep taking the painkillers and anti-inflammatories until it gets better”.
The biggest jobs were removing the gate post (ironic, really) and getting the roof off the veranda as the tar had melted onto the roof. On Tuesday I went out for a good cry (the day the sale of Dad’s bungalow went through), leaving them struggling with the last piece of roofing. I came home to find a naked man in my lounge – my brother had just got out of the shower and hadn’t expected me home yet – who greeted me with “I bet it was a bit of a shock seeing that when you got back, wasn’t it? ” I had to agree! Mind you, he meant something different – when I arrived home wondering whether they’d still be up on the veranda roof struggling to lift the felt, I discovered my doorway looked very different indeed – the whole structure was missing! Once the roof piece had lifted, my brother and his friend had just waggled it a little bit to see where the next weakest part was to tackle next and.. slow motion yet again… the whole construction (brother and all) had simply tumbled down, taking the garden wall with it (just as well that was going to be taken down) and my rather shocked brother had stood up from where he’d followed the door frame down, dusted himself off, and congratulated himself on two days’ work completed in one minute flat! Flat being the operative word!
He’s cut back my hedge to allow the digger through, put me an outside tap to save the builders coming in and out for water, put a new ceiling extractor fan in my bathroom to replace the one the builders are going to have to remove and block in, made endless trips to the tip, and stacked all the demolished brickwork to build me some raised flower beds some time in the distant future.
My architect has found me the most impressive project manager and work begins in earnest this afternoon. In late October my brother will be down again to start work on the inside of the extension, and we seriously plan to have at least one room useable by Christmas. I am so excited. It means my inheritance will go in and out of my account without me even noticing, but it was rather special to go from being in debt yesterday to having more money than I have ever had today. Better not get used to it – it’s all spoken for.
But more precious than any building work or money in the bank, my father left me a far more special inheritance. My brother and my sisters. What a wonderful inheritance that is. Thanks Dad.