Fernando spent Day 2 jack-hammering. The next door neighbour called in to ascertain how long the jack-hammering would last. I never thought to let them know what was about to happen. Bad neighbour. The neighbours do not actually live next door: it is their professional premises. If further building work ever becomes necessary, I promise faithfully to advise them. Mind you, no one has ever advised me of what is going on. And in terms of nuisance, the gardening in the medium density complex across the road is far far worse. It starts at seven am, and chain saws and blowing machines go on for hours. I tend to think I should be able to wake up naturally, instead of being blasted into reluctant consciousness by chain saws pruning. The hapless plants across the road do their utmost to grow a bit, and then every few weeks along come some blokes, replete with earmuffs, and implements of garden destruction, gleefully wielding il chainsaw du jour. And leaf blowers! What is wrong with nice quiet rakes, I ask?
Every so often the little toothed thingy piece of the jackhammer, that lifts up and breaks the tiles, flies off and has to be found and put back. I have got quite expert in spotting where they fly to. Every so often we have a cup of tea and a biscuit. But tomorrow I am off to my Italian class, and will have to think of other things. Perhaps during the bus trip I can look up the Italian for damp, rotting, jack-hammers, stairlifts, timber floor boards, removalists, fine white dust, etcetera.
The jack-hammering has been finished, and Fernando tells me that the particle board beneath is very low grade stuff. This comes as no surprise, as the more I learn about the building practices the more depressed I get. Fernando has had a look underneath, tells me it is wet, and hands me a handful of soil to confirm his statements. I feel the soil myself and he is not wrong. He is about to get me some fans so that the underneath can become drier. Come the day. Naturally, what with all the damp, there has been a certain amount of rotting of the door frame. This plunges me further into gloom. All the news is bad. The door and window frame is rotting away there. It will have to be a patch job rather than a total replacement. What with having had to feed all the lawyers, financial prudence is in order.
I keep trying to remove all the fine white dust. This afternoon I took another four boxes of discards along to Vinnies. They could probably open a new store, what with all the stuff I have donated over the past year. I admire the way the volunteer staff receive all these things gratefully and graciously.
It is necessary to time drop-offs to Vinnies carefully, as there are parking restrictions and heavy traffic. You can't park nearby after 3 pm, as after that there is a clearway, and before that parking places are scarce. Today all went well. It required only four dashes across the road, carrying one box at a time, to donate my surplus stuff.
However: the stair lifts have been removed, and repose elegantly in my garage, until such time as I can work out what to do with them. People suggest E-Bay. This is yet another experience in waiting. To accommodate the stairlift bits, I had to tidy the garage, and it is now in quasi-pristine condition. It is LOVELY having a full width staircase. You can almost float up and down it.
The removal men arrived to take away the furniture I have sold to the vintage furniture people. Fancy being old enough to discard vintage furniture. They agreed to take away Dr P's desk, which gives me a whole room to play around with. (Late last night I realised that the drawers had not been emptied, and thus had to work out how many of the biros worked and how many staples, etc, should be kept. It is exciting work.) And they have taken away most of the other pieces, except for the wardrobe. The men were not happy with this piece. The corridor was not wide enough to get it into the stairwell. They alleged it must have been hoisted into the house by a crane. I was not present when Dr P moved his stuff into this house, but don't believe he would have agreed to have a crane used. However, the vintage furniture people have organised another firm to come and take it away, with four men, by means of ropes and the balcony.
I rang my friend M this evening, and we sang that classic of Bernard Cribbins Right Said Fred. She could remember all of it, and I only the odd verse or several. What goes around comes around.
Most stuff is still upstairs, and the downstairs things are now covered in sheets, but the fine dust managed to drift imperceptibly onto everything. It will be fun washing all the sheets.
Taking all my cookery books off the bookshelves made me more aware than ever that I have too much stuff. Accordingly I devoted some time this evening to examining the cookery books to see which of them can be discarded. Not all that many, alas. Although, do I really need one devoted to how to make crepes and pancakes? Maybe not, but the grandchildren might enjoy a meaningful cooking interface with their grandmother.
I will have to find something to do once all this excitement is over. To sleep, perchance to dream?