We think they've gone, the lads. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet an' all that. Work seems to be 99% complete on the Home for the Bewildered out back and all the lads vanished on Friday. It's all gone quiet. No more Bob Marley music sung in Geordie accents, or brief discussions across the fence as they accepted our cups of coffee, no more scream of stone cutters, chug of diesel engines, or the clunk and clang of excavator bits, or their shouts as they hail each other across the site, or laugh at a bit of banter.
Sometimes they'd play football in the almost-complete car park, so when we found a stitched football behind our shed, we guess it's come over the fence on one of their last kick-abouts last week. It's great - Dad brought it to the Rec for me tonight and Smudge and I had a great game chasing it about. Even Meggie had the occasional playful pounce on it.
Being terriers, mind you, the mission was to leap on it, nip it somewhere vulnerable and shake the life out of it, so it's not the clean, nearly-new perfectly skinned item it was when it came over the fence - there are big chunks ripped in the outer skin (it's not real leather), but that's just a dog-to-ball expression of lurve.
Mind you, after "Toon's" fate at the weekend, maybe they dumped the ball over the fence in disgust....
Look after yourself Lads
We'll miss you