Jaqui's Daily Blog

Cups of Tea and a Brass Door Knocker

I can't believe just how many cups of tea I have made over the last four days. And I'm a coffee drinker, you may remember.

This morning the workmen arrived even earlier than usual, anxious to get on with completing their work on our driveway before the threatened rain came down. This threw me somewhat as I was still in the shower when they started up the heavy plant, interrupting my singing of "Ours is a nice house, ours is..." and sending me scuttling for a towel and my clothes.

Kevin the Decorator was even more put out than I was as he thought he had negotiated an agreement whereby he could spend his first half an hour finishing off painting the garage and side window before Team Driveway arrived with hot Tarmac and more heavy rollers. He was visibly distressed when he arrived to find his carefully laid plans had gone awry - and I had some delicate negotiation to do. "It took a lady's intervention," commented Kevin, when I reported back on the compromise I had reached.

We discussed, over Kevin's first cup of tea of the day (milk and one sugar) what it is like when you go to bed with a clear plan in your head of how you are going to organise your tasks for the following day - only to find those carefully laid plans immediately disrupted first thing in the morning. I was sympathetic because this happens to me virtually every day courtesy of Mr B's whims and fancies.

No fewer than seven fellas were assembled in our front garden when I ventured outside to take the first drinks order of the day. Three teas with milk and two sugars, one with milk and one sugar, one with milk and no sugar plus two orange squash. This meant that I had to promote Kevin to one of Mr B's "World's Best Grandad" mugs, having run out of my supply of Motley Mugs and being too mean (or too canny - I didn't want them to spend too long over their refreshments) to use my extra large mugs. Kevin said he felt old enough to be a Grandad some days. I guessed that, given the unfortunate start to his morning, this was One of Those Days.


It was fortunate indeed that I had over ordered supplies of tea and sugar when preparing for our Golden Wedding celebration in June. Otherwise I would surely have run out. Everyone was very appreciative of my tea making efforts on their behalf - Kevin's wife told me later that on some jobs he would go all day, all week without being offered so much as a glass of water. I do like to look after people who work their socks off for me. Even if I do feel sometimes as if I am running a builders' caff.

Kevin has removed the brass door knocker while he paints the front door. It is in the shape of a lion's head and is very, very dirty. I tried soaking it overnight in Coca Cola, then expended most of a bottle of vinegar on it. I have now, thanks to my BFF Google, found a recipe for treatment of dirty brass with natural ingredients - lemon and salt. So far the brass lion has had the benefit of two treatments and is looking marginally less dirty though nowhere near his Brassy Best. Kevin says if I can't manage to clean him up (the brass lion, that is, not Kevin - don't be silly) then he could always paint him black on his next visit when he returns to clean the soffits and paint the gates. We do agree, however, that he would look much better in his original brass. The lion, not Kevin...

Everyone has departed. The work is completed. Our front garden looks so very much larger than it did before though I can't quite work out why. We have to wait a couple of days before we can put the cars back on the drive and before Mr B can try out his new clearway on his mobility scooter. There are two important looking traffic cones at the entrance to our drive as a kind of silent reminder. Lest we forget.

It is blissfully quiet indoors. Not so exciting, of course, as watching progress from the front bedroom window day after day as the project unfolds before my very eyes - but definitely more peaceful. Plus I only have to make two cups of coffee at any one time.

Thanks to Team Driveway and Kevin the Decorator, ours is a smart house, ours is...


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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