Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Building the future

I’m not fond of webmail but one feature can occasionally be useful: the date and time stamp on conversations. According to Gmail, what occupied me fully yesterday started a mere 24 hours ago. In the ensuing day, I spent many of the daylight hours on the telephone and emailing, trying to sort out details for our house move. Council approval has been given pending one issue and this issue is complicated. Having done little unrelated to this yesterday, in the early evening I took a few moments to reflect on the twists and turns of the day. Little did I know that life had an even more bizarre twist with which to amuse me.

The phone rang. I checked my watch. At 9pm it wasn’t likely to be the house removers, the local council, my mortgage broker or even a telemarketer. Concluding that it was likely to be someone with who I wished to speak, probably my parents, I lifted the receiver. It was our builder, or at least the person I wish to be our builder – highly recommended by the delightful people who renovated our bathroom, restructured part of our floor plan and constructed a replica archway to complete the flow of rooms. Sadly this couple are now focusing exclusively on bathrooms, but their own removal house had been completed by this builder. This very builder who was calling to explain why he hadn’t returned any of my calls since before Christmas and on whom I had given up.

If you are going to excuse a month of silence, unreturned phone calls and messages, you need a good excuse and this was a doozy – a stay in a mental health facility. He had only just had his phone returned and was allowed to communicate with outsiders. I must come across as sympathetic or he was just thrilled to talk to someone outside the facility. We had an extended conversation complete with recommendation of the clinic.

The conclusion: I’ll call him in a few weeks to see how he’s going. My partner isn’t sure that we need to add a mentally fragile builder to the already interesting mix. My sympathies have been aroused and besides, given my past experiences with the building profession, I think I prefer a depressed builder recommended by people I trust than a cheerful scoundrel.

The second conclusion: based on yesterday, I suspect that I won’t get much writing done over the next few weeks, but we’ll see how it goes.

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