In case you hadn't picked up on it, Bob is a perfectionist. Today he arrived with Nephew as his mate. They spent much of the day kneeling in the mud doing something I couldn't see underneath the new decking he's been laying. Eventually he dragged me out into the rain to show me. The two of them have spent the whole day taking the trim he had used to finish off the sides of the decking down, chopping it up, mitre-ing it, and putting it back. It is now in vertical pieces about six inches long instead of one long horizontal strip. It does look better, he's right, but you know what? I could have lived happily with the one he'd already done. He plans to spend tomorrow finishing that change off. That's two days' work for two men, perfecting something which looked pretty good already. He has also decided what plants I need and his wife has been growing them for us - apparently we're having a variety of different scented shrubs and a Virginia Creeper, then lots of bulbs. I quite liked the flowering currants and winter jasmine we already have; I hope some of that survives the purge. The job just keeps growing; apparently the outside of the whole extension now needs painting, not just the new addition. Again, he is (irritatingly) right, but I do wonder whose house this is at times.
The good news is my ceiling has dried out, so hopefully we've got away without more problems there.
Bob is rebuilding this house for good. It's taking forever to do, but at the end it will be left stronger, more beautiful, more functional, for as long as we want to live here. There are no quick fixes for the perfectionist. I'm sure I could draw a parallel to something more spiritual here...
Mog's grandparents came to visit today. This set live further away than the others, so don't see her as often. They mentioned it was another family member's birthday and that they were calling in to see the rest of Mog's family before driving home. When it was time for them to leave (having given Mog a beautiful jacket and interviewed me on the precise nature of all her medications), Mog shouted and kicked and generally made it clear she had something to say. It's not easy getting to find out what Mog has to say - she smiles and sticks her tongue out for yes, and frowns (fleetingly and with great difficulty, especially if she is excited) for no. By a process of elimination we covered some of the more obvious ones - something about her shoes, her clothes, her new room decoration, Christmas? all no. Eventually we figured it out; she wanted to say Happy Birthday to the birthday girl. Now that's impressive not only because she managed to get her message across to us, but also because she understood what we were talking about half an hour beforehand and remembered when it was time to go. It certainly surprised her Grandparents; I hope they remember the message and appreciate it really did come from Mog and not from me.