Handy Andy wants to know if I am feeling excited.
I ponder on the question for a nano-second. I am feeling extremely
hot, a trifle bothered, and in need of a nap. But, yes, I tell him, I am definitely excited - I really couldn’t disappoint him by suggesting otherwise as he appears to be even more pleased at the prospect of starting work in our back garden tomorrow
morning as I am.
Indeed, in case you have forgotten, this week sees work begin on my latest initiative The Room Outdoors Project. To describe it as “my”
project when other people are doing all the hard work may seem to be pushing the boundaries of accuracy. All I can say is that it was My Idea.
Handy Andy pokes
his head through the open patio doors to say hello to Mr B and to announce that he is ready, willing and able to make his life very much more pleasurable. Mr B, who is feeling replete after a rather large lunch out, involving a King Prawn cocktail starter,
a main course of belly pork and two large glasses of red wine, nods at him non-committally. Mr B doesn’t do eager anticipation these days; if I ask him if he is pleased about / looking forward to something, he will invariably reply that he will let me
Our delightful lunch out was made even more special by the fact that it marked the reconvening of our Meals and Wheels Club after so very many months
of Lockdown and restrictions on dining out. It is a most exclusive club of just four members which was founded nine years ago on my retirement; prior to Covid-19 we would meet up roughly every month or so to enjoy food, chat and the very best of company.
Our previous eaterie of choice closed down, to become a karaoke bar, though I’m not sure whether this worthy ambition has been realised. This left me with the task
of finding another wheelchair accessible venue for today’s club meeting, one, moreover, which everyone would find acceptable. Just because a restaurant declares itself wheelchair accessible doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be able to accommodate
a wheelchair being pushed by Yours Truly requiring, as I do, maximum space for manoeuvre. After a visit to reconnoitre ease off access for the Spatially Challenged, I booked at the appropriately named Swallows Return. Well, it was a Return anyway. And a lot
of swallowing was involved...
Our carriage (the Dial-a-Ride bus) turned up all too soon, like Cinderella’s coach and horses so we reluctantly declared our
Meals and Wheels meeting closed and pledged to meet again soon.
We hadn’t been home long before Handy Andy turned up to unload equipment all ready
for an early-ish start in the morning. Would I prefer him to bring his own tea-bags, he asked. I can’t remember ever being asked such a question by anyone working in our house or garden before - I have always assumed provision of Beverages of Choice
was part of the unspoken contract between the two parties.
The Room Outdoors is my fanciful name for new decking to enable me to wheel Mr B out into the
garden where he will be able to enjoy the summer days which I am convinced lie ahead of us. It will do wonders for his well-being and increase his Vitamin D intake exponentially. I am already issuing invitations to friends and family to join us for sunny afternoons
in the Room Outdoors. Our social life is about to take off.
I have warned the next door neighbours on both sides that the next few days are likely to be somewhat
noisy. I’ve explained the same to Mr B, with the reassurance that it is a case of short term pain for long term gain. Handy Andy’s enthusiasm is contagious: Won’t it be absolutely splendid when it’s all completed? I gush.
“I’ll let you know...” says Mr B.