Monthly Archives: April 2014

Day 301: All grown up

Birthdays eh? They really get you thinking. We downed tools this afternoon to spend a pleasant couple of hours celebrating Amber’s 40th. “Bitch!” said Heather when she discovered just how young Amber is. But you can’t hold people’s youth against them can you? But I admit there is a natural tendency to want to forestall the inevitable. Tanea says it would help if I lost the grey Albert Einstein hairdo, but it’s not so much my own ageing that has me worried as that of my baby: the house. I have a particular dread of the possibility that I will one day have to title a blog “Day 365: Still at it as winter sets in…” or similar.

I really want us to be able to move in. And soon.

Like those lines that graphs tend towards but never reach (they’re called what? Asymptotes? Why thank you.) the finishing work and painting seems to be endless, and this despite the best efforts of our generous friends working along side us as we push along.

Every now and then though, something happens to reassure us that we are actually making progress, not being hapless victims of some elaborate TV prank show in which we wake every morning to find the work of the previous day undone. And since we’re running with a “growing up” metaphor, I’ll share Jane Dunbier’s excellent simile: baby’s braces have been removed. Or, rather more prosaically, we did finally complete the main paint job so the scaffolders could come and remove their kit. They’re rushed off their feet, apparently, so they came round on a Saturday morning. Right on cue, the heavens opened over Buckley Rd to welcome them.


“We lift you up” is their tagline, but today was more about tearing down.

The weather didn’t seem to bother them too much. They set to their work the sense of purpose common to those who are already committed to (and late) setting their scaffold up somewhere else. That said, the young lad couldn’t help peering in to the warm dry interior rather wistfully.


Get back to work you young whippersnapper

While we readily talk up the view of this place it must be admitted that the scaffolding has been something of a distraction. Watching a Saturday soccer game, for instance, has a strangely prison-like quality to it.


Could someone spare us a file?

For those of us sensible enough to have inside jobs to do, the guys scampering about outside provided both drama and an enhanced sense of comfort (nothing like watching someone else in the rain to make you appreciate how warm and dry you are). The weather made their precarious position seem that much more perilous: not only slippery and wet, but freezing cold too. Hardly optimal conditions for swinging about on the monkey bars one wouldn’t have thought.


The leading hand, Nick (or “gaffer” as Heather insisted on calling him)


The dark, silent and really strong type (or “eye candy” as Heather’s attention seemed to imply)

We’ve got very used to clambering about on this structure of course, but it is dauntingly high at  the front, and as I discovered on the occasions when I removed some bits myself, with a few cross-members gone it can become alarmingly wobbly.


The full frontal shot captures that sense of height rather well

Despite my natural tendency to drive the workers hard, I let Tanea off painting for a while to capture the action. What follows is a summary of the progress as it happened.


The view from Buckley Rd

Day301ViewFromSW Day301ViewFromNW
Day301SW3 Day301NW2Day301InsideOutAs the last pieces were being removed the sun came back out, and so did I, abandoning the paint to see whether the gangly adolescent house had, with a simple cosmetic change, been transformed into a thing of poise and beauty.

And reader, I think it had (but you must judge for yourself; I’m too much the proud parent).