First thing this morning, a massive stack of bricks arrived along with an enormous sack of cement mix, all plonked on my front lawn beside the skip. two hours later, five scruffy workmen turned up and five minutes later, three had buggered off! They stood, looking up at my gable end, scratching their chins. They were supposed to be taking down the brickwork on the side of my house. They then informed me that they didn’t have the polytunnel with which to shoot the bricks from the roof down to the skip so Fred said he’d have to go back to the yard and fetch one. He was gone two hours and came back without one so it was scratching chins again! They stopped for their first tea break. Then after much “mmm…ing and aah…ing”, they decided they build one out of planks of wood (somewhat primitive!). Eventually they’d got it made and lifted up the side of the scaffolding and climbed up there too.
Bit by bit, they started to demolish the wall, chipping away at the cement and dropping one brick after another down the wooden chute, crashing into the skip. (Oh, I must have been so popular with the neighbours!) The noise ran right through the house and right through my head too. Soon, it was time to climb into the cab of their truck for another tea break. Back to work it was, then. The skip was getting full and such a glorious sight on a sunny morning…not! There it was, sitting there with half my house piled up in it.
(image credit – http://www.crestock.com)
I couldn’t get outside so could only imagine what a mess it was up at the gable end. They announced that they’d got down to the breeze-blocks or the inside wall of the house. They took a couple of tiles off the roof and stated that there was no ‘bracing’ up there, tying the bricks to the rafters of the house which was potentially dangerous. It had to be done and they informed me that bit wasn’t covered by the insurance and would cost yours truly, £200, which I haven’t got. They assured me that if this bracing was not fitted, and the gable end to come down again, it wouldn’t be covered by insurance as it would be classified as neglect. Then, followed a frantic phone call to my Mum asking if she could lend me the money to which she kindly agreed (phew!!).
One of the builders then went to fetch the bracing from a building yard or maybe even B&Q for all I know! Tea break time again, back at the ranch! The wanderer returned with said bracing. They should have ordered that the week before but obviously didn’t. . Another tea and fag break, after which they decided to call it a day and left saying the brickies would be here shortly to start rebuilding and bracing the wall.
(image credit: radharc images)
A welcome peace reigned until an hour later when the phone rang….It was the brickies saying they wouldn’t be able to come on account of the weather!! The weather?! The sun was shining and no rain was forecast till next week. I told them so and they replied that it was raining where they were! (a tropical monsoon, I thought?!). Well that was their excuse and they were sticking to it, never mind the fact that rain is forecast here for most of next week. This was hopeless…It was rapidly turning into….a ‘Right said Fred…’ job (for those of you old enough to remember the song)….it goes like this: