Friday, 24 September 2010

Siege Engines



Damn. For the last couple of months my wordcount dials in the right margin have barely shifted. I'm just not getting any writing done. This is because my house is currently under siege by hoards of men. Which is fun and all, but it doesn't make for a good writing atmosphere. They are VERY NOISY - even the ones that don't sing along to Magic FM. I can do website tweaks, edits, posts ... but not one-handed typing, *ahem.* Mostly what I do is go out and buy boxes and bring them home to pack stuff up in.



Here is one of the men (actually an Oppressed Teenager) taking a lunchtime siege break in his wheelbarrow. Sadly I do not dare take a picture of my Hot Roofer to show you, because I would get a bad reputation (currently my reputation is The Weird Dog Lady Who Asks a Lot of Irritating Questions, like Would it be possible to have an external tap after all? and You do know that is supposed to go on the other wall, don't you?). But you can find a very reasonable approximation to Hot Roofer and his hair here.


Yesterday they broke through into the house itself for the first time. Ayeee - this was my pantry! Was I the last person in Britain to still have a pantry? Well, it's gone now. It's going to be something different ... Perhaps a room to wall up enemies with a Cask of Amontillado ... heh heh.

Now I have retreated upstairs and am hiding in the furthest corner. They are installing a RSJ downstairs. It feels like the biggest dentist drill in the world, only it's coming up through my feet. (RSJ = "reinforced steel joist" - I love learning the jargon. I also love climbing the scaffolding at night and having a nose around, but don't tell anyone because that is so not allowed by Health and Safety)

But when it's all done I will have a sparkly new Extension. And for the first time, a proper guest bedroom! Only another month and a half to go...

P.S: I'm sorry. I promised I would try not to turn into an Extension Bore.
Fail.

14 comments:

Jo said...

You're allowed be an extention bore. I love your Opressed Teen photo. Are you allowed do that?

You can take a jolly, 'hooray we're finished' photo of your hot roofer when they're done, they'll never know it's so we can perve over it on your blog.

I love that David Beckham is your roofer. I didn't realise times were so hard.

Janine Ashbless said...

Are you allowed do that? What, you mean sneak photos of sleeping workmen from my bedroom window? Erm, probably not. But it was funny.

God, everything is covered in plaster dust - and I can't get to the kettle.

Jo said...

There's a line in the Marian Keyes novel about publishing, whre there are Evil builders, who do little but not turn up and drink lots of tea - where everywhere they go in the house, their footsteps crunch over the fine layer of sugar that coats all floors. There is much tea making, but little building. Better your way round, maybe.

it's a nice excuse to go by fancy coffee somewhere smart. Can you bring a laptop and work there in the quiet, a la Shanna?

Janine Ashbless said...

Good idea. I should do a Germain or a Rowling! But that would mean leaving the dogs to be oppressed on their own...

Jo said...

'But that would mean leaving the dogs to be opressed on their own'.

Oh dear oh dear oh dear...

Kat said...

Hhmmph - how come your roofer looks like that and mine looks more like this. No fair!

Fulani said...

Given some of the stuff going on in my life at the moment, a builder would be great. At the end of the process I'd have something built.

I'm currently heavily involved in trying to get help for a young ADHD relative who's temporarily staying with me, and I'm having weird episodes like wondering where all the forks went (answer: he sneaks down to the kitchen in the early hours, eats a pot noodle, puts the empty pot in the dishwasher and throws the fork away. Several just recovered from the dustbin!).

Jo said...

You know, I don't think I could have resisted sneaking down and covering the kiddie with a lovely warmy blanket.

Fulani - forks! That's challenging alright!

Fulani said...

On the forks thing - that kind of thing does get wearing, not because the forks in themselves would be a problem to replace but much of this guy's life is lived in a non-logical, impulsive way that is sometimes funny but mostly just creates problems for those around him, and frequently big problems for him. Earlier in the week I had to rescue some of his stuff that had been stolen and ended up in a crackhouse (yes, we have them in the UK). That was a story in itself; how and why it got there in the first place and how we managed to get it back. In fact it may well be a story, sometime soon, though not an erotic one - probably horror, which I also write under another name!

Susan D-L said...

Ooh, I love a good extension story. Even when it's about houses.

We were This Close to putting an addition on our house this summer--had plans drawn up and all. But the day before we were going to tell the contractor to load up his nail gun and start knocking holes in things, Mr D-L got the word that 3/4 of the books he was working on were getting the ax. Ouch.

So we settled for knocking out a wall in the living room and putting in another window. The house is still small, but it feels bigger. ; )

Janine Ashbless said...

Fulani, you must be incredibly brave! Looking after someone so challenging - even before the crackhouse bit - is something that sounds completely daunting to me. I'm humbled.

(But I can't resist a relatives/forks story too: my little cousin was a notoriously difficult child in a quite creative and unpredictable way. One day when he was about five his mother came downstairs in the morning and found ALL the cutlery missing from the kitchen drawer. It turned out that J had got up extra early, taken all the the knives and forks and spoons, and carefully fed them all into the fuel tank of his father's work Landrover...)

Janine Ashbless said...

Kat, I have several walri too ;-) Hot Roofer was a delightful surprise!

And oh, Susan, what a pity! But the timing could have been a few days later and a whole lot worse. Here's hoping you both get all you want, in time.

Fulani said...

On the bright side I guess cutlery in the fuel tank would have been better than earth or sand... at least the engine would run even if the Landrover rattled a bit.

I didn't feel brave about the crackhouse thing. Just picked I time when we figured only one or two people would be there; because I heard there was a machete on the premises I had a safe call lined up - it's useful in more circumstances than bdsm - so if I hadn't been out within 10 minutes there would have been a call made to get a police response. And it was in an area where the police tend to take reports like that seriously, fortunately.

In the event because I'm middle-aged and grey-haired, more or less, I think the guys there figured I was my friend's social worker and handed over what was left without arguing. He didn't get his Xbox and games back though and they weren't at the property; my best guess is they'd been sold, probably for drugs.

There's a tail end to the story that I got from my relative's friends, which is that apparently the people at the crackhouse had pulled in unwary people, encouraged them to bring stuff round and stolen it from them, a few too many times. Word is that a couple of days after I was there three or four people turned up, trashed the place and beat up those living there. Not sure if they were others of their victims or friends of victims and will probably never know. I think it's a case of what goes around, comes around.

If you ever see a short story that has this kind of stuff in it, it will probably be me, writing under the name I use for horror and 'urban fiction'... It's too good not to use at some point and in some way.

Janine Ashbless said...

Bloody hell Fulani. That is a facet of this society so far beyond my personal experience that even imagining doing what you did makes me scared. Like I said before, I'm humbled.

But oh god yes, you've got to write it!