Out back of us, work on the Home for the Bewildered nears completion. Our beloved "Geordie Roofers", with their Bob Marley music (No Woman no Cry with a Geordie accent! Bizarre) have long since finished the roof and moved indoors, so we hear them nothing like as much now.
Today, though, they are laying out gardens and paths and getting ready to build the brick wheelie-bin store just beyond our back fence, so we hear them again, especially when one driving a fork lift to move pallets of bricks around must have nearly got into harm's way, as there were.... ahem.... voices raised in anguish.
At one stage Dad wanders down there to have a nosey over the fence and calls across "Hi, How's it Going?" "Why Aye - Champion!" comes back the rich Geordie accent "Loovely Weather Right Enough!". I have to say, that we (ignorant Kentish) people are calling them "Geordies" - they are probably nothing of the sort - I know that there is fierce rivalry and jealous guarding of such tribal handles - you probably have to be from a specific part of Newcastle (Byker or Walker for example) to earn it, and these guys might well be from South Shields or Sunderland. Mind you, they probably call us all "Southerners" or "Cockneys".
Dad has a day off, for a meeting of the Village of the Year judges (and it might be something to do with his Birthday (Happy Birthday, Dad), and takes advantage of the chilling opportunity, to fit in his due 24-hour blood pressure test. He has to wear all day a box of tricks at his belt, and over his shoulder to the sleeve on his arm, an air pipe. Every 20 minutes the box beeps, then pumps up the sleeve, taking its readings, clicking a few times as it all deflates. At 11pm it will change over to night mode (hourly), and at 08:30 tomorrow he must hand it back in to have the readings downloaded and analysed. No winding Dad up today.