The members of our Nomination Whist Group all wanted to know whether we would be charging to visit us in future. It had been quite a surprise to all of them arriving at our house yesterday to find the whole front garden
turned upside down and several bare-chested fellas in charge of all manner of heavy plant including a churning cement mixer. What on earth was going on? everyone wanted to know.
There was no completely simple
answer because there were not just one but two projects underway Chez Nous: (i) a much needed face-lift for the exterior paintwork and (ii) the installation of a whole new driveway. This will both improve what I understand is called our "kerb appeal" and provide
easier passage for Mr B's mobility scooter.
I reassured our concerned group members that we were not entertaining delusions of grandeur. Unless they turned up one week to find stone lions on each of the gate
posts, that is...
We didn't plan to have two projects going on at one and the same time - indeed we were expecting to have to wait until at least October before either could make a start. Then suddenly first
one, then the other turned up to say they could make a start on Tuesday and we found ourselves agreeing. After all, why have one improvement project going on when you could have two. I chickened out of trying to negotiate between the two parties and suggested
they should work things out between themselves. Nobody has come to blows. At least, not so far. Or at least not so far as I know.
Watching the day to day progress on both projects is absolutely fascinating.
I do love watching the experts at work and, no, it's nothing to do with the bare chests. Every evening, after the Busy Ones have departed for the night, I slip outside to take photographs of Work In Progress. I usually forget to take Before and After photos
but this time I have excelled myself.
The downside of course is the sheer number of cups of tea and coffee and glasses of squash I am required to dispense. Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge them a single
drop of refreshing liquid over the course of each long, hot day - but it's quite a feat remembering who takes tea, who prefers squash, how many sugars per cup, whether a dash of milk or a real splash.
to remember before I go out to make sure they are all sorted. "Is there anything I can get you before I go?" I ask Kevin. He says that if I have a twenty year old Swedish bombshell indoors, that would suit him fine. I report this back to Mr B (who is chatting
to Team Driveway and keeping them from their work) and he says a young bombshell of the Swedish Variety would suit him too. I suggest, somewhat tartly, that he should perhaps be thankful for what he has - but out of the corner of one eye I can see the workmen
looking from one of us to the other. They are all on Mr B's side, I can tell.
A totally unexpected side benefit of Project Overload has been the early rising. In order to ensure I am up, showered and dressed
before the first of them - Kevin the decorator - arrives, I have had to set my alarm half an hour earlier than usual and make a few changes to my normal Early Morning Routine. No longer do I dally in my dressing gown over breakfast checking emails and Facebook
before I go up for a shower.
And guess what? That extra half an hour makes all the difference to my day. I seem to have oodles more time. So much so that, even after the workmen depart tomorrow, my alarm clock
will stay set to wake me half an hour earlier than previously. Let's face it, that's three and a half hours extra a week, 182 hours a year - nearly six extra days. What shall I do with all that spare time?
suppose I could just go back to bed?