Friday, September 22, 2006


The builders working on a house a mere two doors away with drills making such a piercing racket that it rendered all attempts to sit at the laptop exruciatingly painful and pointless, prompted me to get out front and get that exterior paint that's been blocking up the hallway on some flaky but previously painted brickwork. There was some slight ladder envy at work: The three-man team of builders had two sets of triple extenders while I had two mediocre pairs of steps, one slightly taller and more complicated to use than the other. I looked at them and they looked at me and I promptly made a right mess of putting up the more complicated sets of steps, putting on a performance that Norman Wisdom would have been proud of. They shouted things at each other, such as "pass me a screwdriver!" "The posi or the flat ended?" and "ruddy hell, this brickwork's shot to pieces." Meanwhile I hummed Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue while thinking to myself, "This garden was his garden and it always would be, no matter how hairy and intimidating those builders next door-but-one might be."
After about an hour of being up the steps holding a pot of paint, the lack of physical work on my part over the last few years began to show. The arm holding the pot began to shake uncontrollably and my legs had gone all aquiver. As the builders stood about laughing and talking about ladies breasts and bottoms, I nipped inside for a sugary lollipop to boost my engergy levels. Sadly, they were cheap lollipops and didn't really do the job, so after another hour or so, with the job half done, I admitted defeat and, taking my inferior steps, brushes and heavy pot of paint with me, skulked back inside for a rest. It could be paranoia but I swear the builders, all three of them, smirked as I left them to their drilling and triple extender ladder-stroking.
It is now around 20 hours later. I still ache. Thankfully a small amount of rain has given me the excuse not to go back out there. There's that saying, isn't there, that "hard work never killed anyone". It is, I think, a very silly saying. Because hard work can and does kill people, especially if, say, you have a heart condition, or if, like me, you left the real world of work behind to bash away on a keyboard for a living and have thus become a bit of a softy with no muscles. Well, I say a living, at the moment it could hardly be described as that - if I'd been busy earning money from the writing I would have employed a decorator. At the moment, though, that kind of decadence is but a distant dream.

1 comment:

bazza27 said...

Fast forward to 3 builders in the pub at sometime in the future. "we were at that Dave W's house today, you know that bloke what writes that thing on telly". "oh yeah, that comedy thing about knitting, the missus likes that, what were you doing at his house". Oh the front needed painting, somebody had made an attempt at it, but it had been left that long, we had to do it all again". "What's he like then" etc etc etc