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Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Invasion of the Builders

I am surrounded by men, none of whom I would wish to spend ten minutes with in a cupboard, but against whom I nonetheless seem to have to press myself to wriggle in and out of our room (life’s necessities: bed, bath and computer – wot? no wine?).
For, yes, the building work has started in earnest and footings fit to receive an approving nod and a wink from Fred West lie just outside the back door to trap the unwary – or a daft puppy.
Note to self: do not wine take and go for a nocturnal stagger trilling, “Quickly! Quickly!” to the puppy in pursuit of satisfactory micturation.
Needless to say, when the skip lorry turned up, the heavens opened threatening a Glastonbury of mud to develop. Then the mini-digger man arrived and rather temptingly handed me the key. Quite fancied a turn on a mini-digger, but a man with a big tum beat me to it. I rather imagine he made a better fist of it than I would have done. In any case, the fence is intact and ramming into same was the one thing to make me pause. Expensive things, fences, as we know from cheque-writing experience.
Lots of the time today (theirs) seems to have been spent rasping on the phone, smoking (hence the rasping) and saying “Gerroff it Liam, you dozy prat.” And being rude about our fridge, which fails by not having an ice-making ‘facility.’
“But I hate ice,” I wailed, “it hurts my teeth, and it has to be wired up to the mains.” (‘the mains,’ like ‘foundations’ being terms to prompt conniptions).
“Use a straw,” they said.
But yet, somewhere along the line, in 6 scant hours, 2 monster skips have been filled (the product of Fred West trench debris wheeled by a tiny earnest lad, the barrow bigger than he and wobbling on the runway plank – I can’t look as he totters by).
It’s exciting, and it’s also scary. I feel for our funny little house being raped and scarred so and have to give myself stern words about It All Being Worth It In The End.
A whizz through the mocking Before photos stored on our camera also provides fine reminder of the necessity of the enterprise. Retro irony be *uggered, fond, too-late anxieties be stilled: the place needs nuking.
I, meanwhile, the Little Woman of the set-up, spent most of the time stirring boiling water into neat sugar, trying to get the spoon to move against the sludge and worrying for their cavities. Gaps in mouths tell me that this is a worry that should have been addressed long ago.
There is also a poor madman sawing in the be-sauna’d loft: he who pulled life’s short straw and is boarding the place so our Christmas decorations and suitcases have somewhere to loll in splendour. The ladder swings out all glorious and wooden, no screaming of metal to strip the ears of vital linings.
Day one, over and out, and over.

29 comments:

Inthemud said...

Ah , So you have blogged!
My sympathies with you over builders. I've got to get organised about our building works, plans all passed after 2 years and building regs done but now can't face going ahead with it, so traumatic for us and the house.I dread having builders invading my space, need to wait till I'm totally back to health i think.

toady said...

Why do builders never turn up when it's dry and the sun is shining. Good Luck with them. Toady

Suffolkmum said...

Brilliant blog Milla, was laughing myself silly over the ice. Poor you, poor house - but over soon, and then how smug and satisfied will you be ... (in the nicest possible sense of course!).
ps I am very far from beautiful, in fact am just about to go out to dinner (with some girls) and am feeling very drab in the face what I know will be sparkling accessories and lots of lipstick, but thanks anyway, I had a (hollow) laugh.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Oh you have my sympathy too. We had builders here for 15 months after the fire. In an odd sort of way I got quite fond of them and even had the nerve to miss them when they left. Especially white van man Roger!

elizabethm said...

Ian has always yearned for a go on the mini digger. think you were extremely restrained not to shout and go. hope all goes well. dont you just hate the little woman thing and want to stride around swearing and knocking out your pipe and spitting in the hearth?

CAMILLA said...

So pleased! You've blogged, was getting a tad worried, did leave you a short message on your last one. Eeek! builders, not the ones with bare bums, heaven help us. Remember having a builder come to do some work on a cottage we once owned. He would arrive just as I was doing breakfast, no, not the quick easy healthy ones like fresh fruit, cereal and Yogart, or even the odd croissant, no I mean the big fry ups(husband would not start the day without them) One whiff of the old eggs & bacon, and Paddy the builder was hooked, so he would make sure he came in time for breakfast. Just think Milla, how GORGEOUS everything will look when finished, but do agree, it can be a nightmare. Kisses for Lol.
Camilla.xxx

Hopping Moon said...

It's very stressful having builders in your space - we have just had them on and off for 10 months. The amazing thing is that ours looks better than imagined and I am sure yours will be worth it in the end...as long as you can stay sane through all the ups and downs.....( not easy!) and as long as you keep them happy with endless cups of tea!

DevonLife said...

Oh Milla, we've got Paul the porch man arriving today to, em, build a porch. I've already started moaning and he's not arrived and he won't be in the house (I hope). Mind you it is p*ssing down so perhaps he won't even turn up? Keep pecker up and puppy away from the mudslide. x

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

Oh dear shall I send you some french artisans? They work from 8 til 9.45 stop 15 minutesfro a hunk of baguette and ham adn a coffee. go straight abck to work tehn do an hour at lunch return adn work until 6. Very faast , no phone calls no coffee stops adn no fart arsing around.. That is why tehy only work a 35 week I suppose compared to rest of world who actaully go to work for longer...but when they are here they do work.

Shall I send Madame grognonne aroudn to help teh tiny lad on teh plank for you?

Pipany said...

Lovely blog, milla - can almost hear the teeth-grinding as you make the tea! x

ChrisH said...

Helloooooo! Nice to see you back - was worried that sleepless nights with the puppy had done you in.

Exmoorjane said...

At last!!! We, your loyal fan club, were getting worried about a severe case of blogstipation! But verily, a large and satisfying one has emerged..... When will the work be done (silly question!).....wonder if it will be sorted by the time we toodle past en route to Northern climes....
jxxxxxxx

MamaHen said...

My hubby is in the building trade and thankfully not like your builders in the body/teeth/anyway at all department. Nice year round tan, muscular arms, six-pack. Not a man boob in sight. Sigh. I hope you don't start moaning about the mess (like everyone else, round here anyway) - he says something about cracking eggs and omlettes. Nice to hear you're making them lots of lovely mugs of tea - donuts on Fridays always work a treat too. Good to keep them on side for those little extras that you'll probably need doing. Sorry, seem to have written loads. I'll bog off now. MH x

Frances said...

Hello Milla,
What is that other cliche about "someday we'll look back and this will all seem ..."
Well, it depends on one's memory then doesn't it.
Still, good to know that action is underway.
The beautiful building across the street from me is now got a very ricketedy looking pipe-built scafford all the way to its roof. I fear for the men who climb up to the top to do whatever it is that sends them there. (Their boss, paycheck, of course. I just hope that no one falls to the sidewalk before whatever is the project is completed.)
Now, doesn't that make your home life seem calm. No. Of course not.
Best wishes to all, including Lolly.
xo

Pondside said...

Hi Milla - good to see you're back. I don't envy you the muddy mess, but oooh the new place will be lovely. Will you do some before and after photos for we nosey ones?

The Country Craft Angel said...

Poor you, but YOu are so funny-My huge sympathy-have been there too and it's not funny and it's not pretty!! Think of the end result-will all be worth it.

Warm wishes
x

KittyB said...

I'm with you on this one - I haven't been able to face workmen since they deserted me before Christmas (apart from old Tsunami of course, but a girl needs a giant bath). There are so many jobs left to do and I'm building up the courage for it all to start again. The mess, the dust... although looking around, the mess, the dust already. Better do some housework and stop blogging.

Posie Rosie said...

I am just catching up Milla, your blog made me laugh, love all the witty comments on the builders, it will be worth it in the end, but it will also never quite be the same again...hate having building work going on so know how you feel, hope pup's okay!

IrishEyes said...

About ten years ago we had the builders in to "renovate" a few bits. The job, due to last a week, lasted six due to frequent disappearances, someones broken arm, t'other's appendix not feeling plucky...week five when we managed one days work I asked "what's the story Rory?" "We'll be finished next week luv, no doubt about it". I smiled sympathetically at this amadan who believed himself...right enough all was finished by the end of the following week..the reason? The little pets had to go to Cheltenham for the racing. Now, why didn't I think of booking them for the week before, and saved myself some hassle? T'would've been horse sense!

Eden said...

Durn it the thang wouldn't lit me leave a missage yisterday.
Wonderful blog, Milla, love the sludgy tea and gappy teeth. Oh the horrors of house tearing up and fixing. It WILL be worth it and wonderful, it must be. Get yourself a go on that digger, might never have the chance again.

@themill said...

Wonderful blog Milla. I was in Gloucestershire on Tuesday (depositing daughter and en route to see eldest son in Devon) and wondered where you were.

ChrisH said...

I've just read your comment on CCW today. Happy Anniversary! Keep soldiering on through the muck, poo, sand and builders!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

I remeber it well - coming home to eldest son saying -'don't look mum - it looks like Beirut on a bad day!' ...six weeks later it still looked like Beirut ..another six weeks ....but it was well worth it in the end and we do look back and laugh at it now...honest!

Blossomcottage said...

So glad you are back kept looking for you, no doubt you will be telling us all the horror stories in the weeks to come, I have renovated 8 houses over the years, and many times I have wanted to put the builders in the foundations, good luck. My son grew up thinking a skip was a fancy outdoor play pen, I used pop him in it from time to time, when I need to know where he was! perish the thought the social services would take him into care these days. Oh well he grew up in spite of me.
Blossom

Faith said...

Hi Mills, enjoyed reading as always. Yuck their tea made me feel sick, and you the little woman, never!!

annakarenin said...

Mother - in-law very kindly gave us a monetry gift from the sale of her house yesterday. Was very excited to think we could finally get on with our little building work. Now seriously gone off the idea.

Ditto the intention to keep a pup from our dog next time we breed her!! Am only just getting used to the odd nights full sleep when youngest decides to oblige us.

countrymousie said...

I am rather late in finding this blog - builders, what can I say. Nightmare, but these memories soon fade. Like childbirth!
I have a couple of pet builders, and I cant manage without them - wouldnt want to train a new set, thank you very much!! Good luck - keep them on side though - you might need them to back you up at times!!

ChrisH said...

Just popped back to see how you're doing. Still up to your eyeballs?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Fred West! How do you dare mention him, but it did make me giggle!
fab.