Tuesday 6 December 2011

E minus 6 days

E-Day minus 6 and the big adventure is coming at us like a parachutist's ground-rush. We dogs have already moved, of course and can only see Mum and Dad left behind via the frequent video-Skype / Facebook chats which flow between Diamond's place and the Silverwoods here. Dad is working his way through the final scenes of the play tying up loose ends. He has to pay the Big Green Lorry guys and give them the "any time after" date. It looks like for that we have now run so close to Christmas that BGL is now likely to be after the Season but that suits us as it gives us more time to prepare a landing site for all the stuff.

Dad has been to see the house in Faversham which Diamond's John is renovating in a similar way to what we'll be doing in Roscommon. John is a very particular and painstaking kind of bloke, so his stripping back of brickwork for re-plastering nibbles away every last shard of old plaster leaving a very clean brick face to screed. He winkles out every last bit of old lead gas-pipe and redundant water pipe or electricity cable, pulling up floor boards to gain access and re-laying them properly.

He does all this little by little, clearing away the debris each day, never letting an awesome pile of rubble or old broken wood build up. Radiators are stacked neatly in the cellar and all open pipe ends are sealed off with cloth and tape. It is stripped back so clean, tidy and safe that you could almost lay out a sleeping bag and sleep there. He also takes plenty of photo's so that should his spirits ever flag he can look back at the old shots and buoy himself up by how much he has achieved. John also talks a lot of common sense about what he does himself and when he calls in the trades, and how the budget works as a result.

Dad is inspired by all this and can see his way through how it's going to work at Roscommon. He was going a little wobbly about the destruction phase, worried that we'd end up with one of the houses on D.I.Y. S.O.S. but with no TV crew and purple polo-shirted builders to rescue us. He feels a little bit more confident now, but it's still a mammoth beast. Bizarrely, he is also mildly concerned about what happens after, say 18 months down the line. We will hopefully have a lovely renovated farmhouse in the back of beyond to retreat to and hang out in after..... after what? Allotmenting? Work? A full and exhausting day involved in local projects and society? Volunteering?

Meanwhile, 2CV Llew is cutting it a bit fine (no surprise there!) building the promised 2CV trailer. Dad was down there yesterday to get the car wired for trailer-pulling and has seen the trailer such as it is so far - a wheel-less steel frame of angle iron and box-section about 6 feet long, 4 feet wide and 2 feet tall. No wooden panels, wheels, paint, light-bar, tow-hitch, cover or any other finishing touches. Llew is confident that it will be ready for Sunday morning. Mum is shaking her head and the look on her face says "why does this not surprise me. It's Llew after all!" We all love Llew to bits but he is a bit of a one for flexing deadlines.

His standard MO is to take a car off you to work on it while you go for a fortnight's holiday and then, when you get back indoors and phone him to see how it's all gone, he'll say "Ah yes, I must get started on that, mustn't I?" So he had the 2CV for all the three and a half weeks Dad was in Ireland, and did the wiring yesterday, almost a week after he got back. Still, the trailer, although it would be very useful in Ireland and has been paid for, does only contain the most non-vital stuff for our move (deliberately - we knew it was the least likely bit to get there!) so if it all goes Pete Tong and we have to leave it behind for another day, it's no great disaster. One thing it might prove to be useful for is if the famous BGL cannot be threaded out of the lane and up the drive of the Roscommon house, it can be parked a few yards down the lane in a lay-by and the 2CV and trailer used to shuttle stuff up to the house.

Exciting times

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