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and now the screaming starts...part five - The Villages

Date: 2007-04-08 00:14
Subject: and now the screaming starts...part five
Security: Public
Music:everybody snoring
Well, wasn't that an interesting week...
For those of you who haven't been bored witless by this unending circus, Monday brought the arrival of The Plasterer. I was at home on Monday waiting for the delivery of the hardware and software which will make our broadband connection work (no, we don't have broadband yet and I don't particularly want it, but it's another story) when The Plasterer arrived, and I think I can safely say I have never seen a British workman work like that. At around five in the evening I popped upstairs to see how he was getting on, and he was still working. We had a chat and I went away again. At six, I popped upstairs again and he was still at it. I mentioned that time was getting on and he might reasonably consider going home, but no, he wanted to get the job done. He finally left around half past eight, when the light started to go and he couldn't see what he was doing (we still haven't had the lights connected up upstairs)
Tuesday, he brought his own lights and he would not go away. I went out on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday night, he was here until ten o'clock at night.
On Thursday night he was here until half past nine (thursday also brought a leak in the new piping upstairs which dripped through the kitchen ceiling and necessitated a hole being cut in the ceiling - which will have to be replastered anyway when we have the kitchen done, but after a pretty intense few days at work I wasn't wildly impressed to come home and find the plumber cutting a hole in our kitchen ceiling. My sense of humour is a fragile thing at the best of times, as you'll all know, but around then it evaporated completely.)
Friday - that's Good Friday to you, a National Holiday - The Plasterer turned up and worked for twelve hours to finish the plastering.
I have mixed emotions about this week's events. First, it would have been such a blessing if I could have had some peace when I got home from work, but no, The Plasterer was here. I became grumpy. Oh, all right, grumpier.
Second, the work he's done is outstanding. He worked sometimes fourteen hours a day, and I've never seen plastering done so well. And it was a big job, probably the last major piece of work, and he did it all on his own. He wouldn't be reasoned with, he wouldn't be negotiated with, he was going to plaster until he was ready to stop, and he did a brilliant job. Anyone wants to employ him, I have his phone number. I believe he may be a national treasure.
So, where are we now? Well, pretty obviously we didn't make the six-week deadline. There is still much to be done. The lights and sockets need to be connected, the wood-effect flooring (I wanted carpet, but never mind) needs to be laid. The toilet for the Bathroom In The Sky won't be delivered until Monday or Tuesday. But, but...
But we are nearly finished. I cannot recommend this as an experience. If any Villager thinks to themselves, "We need a bit more space, let's have our loft converted," I can only say, try clearing out all the stuff you don't need instead in order to make room - it's cheaper, less invasive, and you won't go more or less out of your mind.
I've been so grumpy this weekend that I haven't taken any photographs for your amusement; I'll do that when my mood improves. And no, the broadband stuff  still hasn't been delivered.
To the Villagers who observe Easter, Happy Holidays.
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User: hundakleptisis
Date: 2007-04-08 01:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm glad it's working out though. First house I ever bought had to have the whole of the ground floor rebuilt. We lived upstairs on stilts for about six months. Phew

I know what you mean when you wish it could all be done wtih :)

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User: hutch0
Date: 2007-04-13 22:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hi, SJ

I was fine for about five and a half weeks; it's just in the past week or so that the whole thing has really started getting on my nerves. I've been getting very short-tempered with people recently, and anyone who knows me will tell you I have a fairly short fuse to start with. Fortunately, we appear to have entered the final lap.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2007-04-09 16:47 (UTC)
Subject: the sign of an artist...
The Plasterer's artistry and passion for his work must have reminded you of when you are in your writing state-of-mind. Mind you, the difference lay in that your creative process denies each and all of your delightful harangues whereas his obsession merely creates fodder for dinner party (and blog) conversation to which he'll probably never be privy. Ah, the sacrifice of the true artist for his/her work.
Take care with that phrase "we are nearly finished." The last touches will probably take months. Now is the time to stock up on comfort foods and favorite cuddly things (make sure that they are OK'd by your wife though). You're going to need 'em.
In our most recent case of remodeling, after 4 months of cooking on the grill rain or shine and 6 months since we last saw the contractor, we are still awaiting two small things to be finished. Actually, our contractor was fabulous is so many ways, not the least of which being that he had been a shipwright for many years and always spoke as through the winds were high and the waves were crashing. You could hear every word of his delightful banter over both the band saw AND the palm sander.
Alas and alack, the worst of the bathrooms is next on the schedule. My husband LOVES big projects. Sigh. I think I'll start drooling and twitching now.

Happy spring celebration of your choice.
- the other jean-marie
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User: hutch0
Date: 2007-04-13 22:33 (UTC)
Subject: Re: the sign of an artist...
It wasn't writing at all, it was just seeing a good job well done. My father made precision machine tools - the things you put into an industrial lathe in order to make other things - and at his funeral his boss told me of how he'd often seen my father check a piece of work and find it was a micron or so out, which would have been fine for the piece he was producing, but instead of letting it through he'd damage it on a grinder so nobody could use it and start again. I have to admit that the idea of my father as a compulsive perfectionist was a new one on me, but you do learn to appreciate good work.
When I say `we are nearly finished,' I mean the bit that needs other people. The stuff we can do ourselves - the decorating and stuff - will take ages, of course, but if we wanted to use the new rooms upstairs and didn't care about decorating and stuff, we almost could. The Little Room With All The Boxes just needs moulding putting on the new doorway, skirting board put along the new wall and a door put on a cupboard the builders cut under the stairs for me. Once that's done, I'll consider it finished, even though it needs completely redecorating and shelving before it even starts to resemble a habitable room.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2007-04-15 17:53 (UTC)
Subject: Re: the sign of an artist...
My apologies for not having written more clearly. The points I was TRYING to make were:
1. He is an artist, like yourself.
2. I cannot resist teasing you about your creative process because writers confound me profoundly.
3. I was clear on what you meant by "nearly finished," and that I believe "nearly finished" to be the longest part of the remodeling process because when there are just little things to be finished up, the craftspeople may or may not return to do them simply because they are so small.

Thank you for the tenderly told story of your father that you learned at his funeral. (I learned a few things about my dad at his funeral, and we were very close. In the weeks ensuing, just about everyone I met had a similar experience.)

Feebly yours,
the ojm
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