Friday, 20 February 2009


Back in November, I had a message from Bob the Builder, saying he would be along in a week to finish our building work. When I replied only with "fine", and not "oh that's wonderful, fantastic, really looking forwards to seeing you and I'll stock up on teabags", he told me I was being very monosyllabic and then didn't turn up.

I got in touch with him again last week, and he said that he'd be out this week to finish off. It's not the first time I have heard this, so I took it with a large pinch of salt. And made plans as usual for us. Imagine then my joy, when he did turn up, on Monday, as planned, at the same time as my cleaner. As my cleaner cleared surfaces, Bob proceeded to empty windowsills onto the clean surfaces, scatter tools across the floor, and make cheerful plans for how to finish the job he started back in 2006.Thankfully, the friend who was visiting with children, including a very busy nearly-two year old boy was able to go and do her shopping and turn up later; she didn't miss Bob but she did miss the cleaner; I think our cleaner might just have spontaneously combusted if faced with six children partying on top of Bob disorganising. Bob worked hard for a few hours, and fitted a new plinth under our cupboards. He emptied the windowsill of clutter, and measured it up for a new piece of wood, for the fourth time in my memory - he has cut at least two new sills in the past but they have then vanished before being fastened down and finished off. *And he then broke the news that he wasn't quite sure how to make the ramp to connect playroom and sunroom. Now considering that Bob was aware from the start that my girls would need to be able to get in and out of the house, and considering that he built the sunroom with their needs in mind, this is more than a little annoying. He and his mate tidied up and hoovered (a Bob praise; he always aims to leave the house cleaner than when he arrives. I'm ashamed to admit that's frequently not difficult to manage), and left, promising to return on Wednesday or Thursday.

Friend and I could now allow the children to explode into the rest of the house, where they found the ballpool and bounced in and out happily so we could get on with the real business of the day, drinking tea and chatting. The children developed a great game of fishing in the pool for various toys - we have a lot of toys which talk, giggle, vibrate or light up if you press them, squeeze them, or walk too close to them. Great for children, great for inducing heart attacks in older people. So they would run in, bringing their latest find, and half a dozen clear balls for good measure, show it off, then run off to find the next Good Thing. It was only after they'd left that I found the orange box with the pliers, set square, hammer and LARGE SAW in sitting on the side of the ball pool. Way to go, Bob! And sorry Friend, but hey, at least they thought the noisy toys were more fun, right? No photograph as I picked it up and put it somewhere safe. Too safe; I have just searched the house and can't find it.

So, friends left, we rested, had another busy day on Tuesday, and then waited for Bob on Wednesday. And Thursday. Oddly, when we came back from visiting other friends yesterday, items had been moved off the windowsills once more, but no further signs of progress. And I suspect the windowsill clearers may have been more feline than furtive sill-measurers.

It's Friday. Our cleaner will be back in an hour, we're off out for the day. Will we come home to a finally finished house?

I did just mention to Bob that we now have further building works planned and that various inspectors from the local council will be in and out to measure up and move walls, etc. I was hoping that would inspire him to finish up; I now suspect that was optimistic.

*is this the most boring photograph ever to appear on a blog? Probably.


Anonymous said...

We had the same ramp problem.. but the OT got a man to fit a fab plastic ramp between our kitchen and conservatory..problem solved..lifts on and off for cleaning and is fab!..will send you a picture:)
took minutes to fit aswell!

Doorless said...

The cats look like bookends in the window. We have some aluminum ramp things between the spa room and dining room and another one between the patio door and living room. The come in different lengths and widths and thicknessfor the rise and can be ordered on line. Very reasonable and just screw down.

Anonymous said...

Our mutual ot supplied the grey one you admired on Friday. I didn't show you the other half of it built up steeply to bridge the big drop down from the front door to the step..... Sounds the same as the first comment above.


Anonymous said...

(shudder) Our building work starts (theoretically) in April after 3 years of delays. They reckoned they can do it within 3 months. (clutches side with mirth)
Pass the gin
And a nosey note....Tia, do SS pay for your cleaners?

Tia said...

Indirectly they do - I receive financial support from social services on top of the girls' disability living allowances, and there is an element of this which I can use to buy in the extra support I need. I choose to use that to pay for a cleaner as this then frees me up to be more available to the girls.



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