Picture the scene: it is mid morning on the day after the builders were supposed to have started our pergola. On day 1, a truck finally turned up at 2.30pm with all the materials, but there was no sign of a builder. Now, I am dressed to the eights (I rarely make nines nowadays) and coming out onto the back, half built-patio to say goodbye to Himself, whom I can hear in conversation with what must be the builders. It is 9.30am and I am due to meet my friend for coffee at 10am (I am on holidays after all).
Hoorah for the building starting.
For several weeks, Himself had been in conversation with Lance and No 2 Son regarding the progress of their paving and the impending arrival of the pergola guys. Despite his constant reminders, today there are two substantial piles of dirt and bits of broken brick, paver and vegetation, sitting oh about approximately exactly where they will be most obstructive to the recently arrived builders. I am aware of this, after all, we had spoken to No 2 Son last night as he arrived home around 1am. I had also decided that it was not my problem.
So, there I am on the semi patio, about to say goodbye and leave Himself to it, when the conversation begins to get challenging.
Builder: Well we will definitely need this stuff removed. We need to get scaffolding in here (indicates pile one) and of course this (indicates pile two) is where we need to dig a hole for a post!
Himself: Arizaphale can you go and wake up No 2 Son and let him know this will need to be moved?
Arizaphale: Sure....(thinks....I have no need for this head anyway)
Sound FX: tramp tramp tramp down the stairs to No2 Son's bedroom....knock knock knock
Voice from within the room: MMMMffffff???
Ariz: Hey No 2 Son, you're going to have to move those piles of dirt. The builders are here.
No 2 Son: uhhhhhhh. OK.....Uhhhhh....how soon do they need them moved?
(Did he NEEED to ask??????)
About 10 minutes later No 2 Son emerges from the depths of his unclean bedding and regards the piles of dirt.....He is is ropeable.
No 2 Son: I TOLD Lance that we needed to do this but oh no, he was too cheap to hire a skip and wanted to do the tip run all in one go.....
Himself: Well, you'll need to move it now
No 2 Son: Why am I left to do all the work?????
Himself: Well go and wake Lance up and get him to come and help.
No 2 Son : Well I told Lance that we needed to do it and he told me that you'd said it would be ok.....
(clearly the waking of Lance is not something No 2 Son relishes, a sentiment I am familiar with )
Himself: I never said it would be ok! I have been telling you for THREE WEEKS now that that this area would need to be cleared for the builders!!
And this is where it went pear shaped......
No 2 Son, if I have not mentioned it before, I suspect to be on the autistic spectrum. If not, he is definitely language disordered and fails constantly to fully process what we are saying to him. Unfortunately, because this was not diagnosed early in his life, he has plodded on convinced that he has made himself clear and continually angry becuase the rest of the world has NOT made itself clear. No teacher ever made him aware of due dates, no ex-employer really told him what he had done wrong, no parent ever clearly defined what was expected of him in the home environment! Apparently.
So here we go.......
No 2 Son : NO ONE EVER TELLS ME WHATS GOING ON AROUND HERE. I TOLD LANCE THAT WE NEEDED TO MOVE THESE PILES BUT HE TELLS ME ONE THING AND YOU TELL ME ANOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is not going to go well is it?
Himself: I told you three weeks ago and my instructions have not changed in that time
No 2 Son: I WISH SOMEONE WOULD JUST TELL ME WHAT'S GOING ON. THERE'S NO COMMUNICATION BETWEEN YOU AND LANCE AND NO ONE EVER LISTENS TO ME.... WHY CAN'T YOU ALL COMMUNICATE PROPERLY????
At this point Himself, who had been doing a reasonably good impression of a patient father, completely lost it and began throwing things into wheelbarrows himself whilst roaring at full bark volume (as in, more bark than bite) that he had clearly explained the need for moving the dirt, and enhancing his protestations with a hefty dose of 'f' related invectives to emphasise this point.
The next 5 minutes involved a fairly fruity (those weren't the 'f' words by the way) rendition of the same three points: 'I didn't know' and 'I definitely told you' and a fair bit of 'go **** yourself', 'no you!', 'no YOU!' etc
At the end of all this, Himself stamped off late for his appointment and in a hell of a rage; the builders were hiding in their truck; I had changed into my digging gear and No 2 Son had driven off in a rage, presumably to go and try and wake up Lance who was conveniently not answering his phone. I also had to text my dear friend to explain why I would not be there on time.
I called on the BAmeister to give me a hand in the disassembling of the two piles of dirt and she manfully put on some gloves and started sifting through the piles for greenery. Before I could lift a spade to assist her, the builders, who on the departure of my men folk had emerged sheepishly from their truck, pointed to the pool plumbing and announced:
"According to these plans, there's meant to be a down pipe in behind there........"
Now it was my turn.....
After several phone calls to the supervisor, some creative thinking and the dramatic realisation, on my part, that these builders were not going to connect up the stormwater....
("Read the fine print madam, it's there in your contract..."
"What, you mean the one I never saw because I thought my husband had organised it all????")
.....the pergola frame is up, the plumbing did not need to be disassembled and the down pipes are in reasonable locations to assist me (and whichever boys I can co-erce) in connecting up the stormwater.
I think the builders may have been traumatised for life. I know I certainly was!!!