English is a fantastic language. It has a word I've never got the chance of using - "builders' crack" - meaning the buttock crack that a builder bares when he works (or just sits). In German: Bauarbeiter-Ritze.
Well, up until this morning I thought "yeah, well, I don't think it's THAT bad." Then my builders arrived. They were very nice and friendly, but they were all cast from the same mold. First guy was no older than 16-18, I call him "wee lad" in my head. Second guy was what I call "strapping young lad", early to mid-twenties. And their middle-aged boss.
All of them had very short hair - we're talking maybe a millimetre left - all of them had those very typical English football hooligan faces. The type of guy that makes me cross the road when they haunt the streets when they are drunk on a Thursday/Friday night, jeering and hollering and sometimes accompanied by skimpily-clad equally drunk bimbos. I'm not making this stuff up.
Strapping Young Lad bent down to remove the heater from the wall - and there it was. The Builder's Crack. Nice ass overall, too. I've seen almost all of it after he was done with the heater.
They covered everything up, then basically told me to leave ("We don't want to keep you..."). Talked to Boss Man about removing the concrete in the front and back, too, I guess he'll write up a proposal (which might or might not cost an arm and a leg, but the concrete is really bugging me and is shit for drainage. That's my excuse and I'm sticking by it).
My biggest accomplishment of the day so far? I oiled the lock in the front door and it's now much smoother going. There were days when it took me five minutes to open the door. I hope the garden door lock agrees to the oil, too. There are days when I can't open that at all. And while I embrace quirks of old houses, my temper then wants to kick down the door and smash the window. NOT HELPFUL.
So, when I left, I heard them begin to hammer off the plaster in the hallway and kitchen (they have to damp-proof a couple walls). The hollow ringing sound of Strapping Young Guy's big hammer (hehe) made me wince a little. I guess I'm like a parent who has to leave the kid at the dentist, trying to ignore the tears of fear in the kid's eyes. It really tugged on my heart there and I realized they told me to leave because it might be a little tough to watch the process.
Gods, I'm getting way too attached to that house, but I just can't help it. I'm a Taurus, so "my house is my castle" squared. I know it's going to be awesome when it's done, and I see it getting there. It'll be all worth it.
And what really occurred to me yesterday was that my mother would have loved the house and especially the garden. I want to plant roses in her honor. Big, old world roses with a fragrance. My mother (who trained as a florist) always complained about beautiful but soulless, fragrance-less roses. She especially loved the English roses, and having lived here, I see why. I'll plant roses in the front and in the back (there's an enormous sprawling rose bush/tree which I'll have to show you guys or you won't believe it) in her memory.