Sunday August 22, 2004
Accompanied by the sound of hammering, cursing, and drilling, Graham has been populating the walls with pictures, plates, and other bits of our stuff. The cursing happens when he discovers that a particular wall is not made of soft building block but hard engineering brick—this house is well built in the way that a traditional builder builds well. Pins do not penetrate engineering brick, so they bend, Graham curses, and out comes the hammer drill to make a new hole. Dolly and I exchange glances. I make comforting noises at her, she huffs, and stomps off to the opposite end of the house to where Graham is working. The job gets done.
Now, it’s wonderful to see old friends, pots and pictures and such, appearing all over, taking their rightful place in our lives, and the house is improving out of all measure as a result. It’s hard to see the logic of it, however, since they’ll all have to come down when we strip the wallpaper, reline the walls and paint them in colours rather more suitable to our taste.
“Wouldn’t it be better to wait until we’ve redecorated?” I asked, all wide-eyed innocence.
“I can’t decide what colours to use until I’ve seen our stuff up on the walls.”
“Oh. Well, it’s looking a lot more like home, I must say.”
“There you are, then.”
It’s that old, familiar phrase again. The one for which there is no answer. “There you are, then.”
The return of old friends