Prison Break

The house is coming along really, really slowly. Really slowly. Outpost speed. Which is really slow (did I mention that?)

The contractor, Maulidi, has fallen out with the owner, Mr Kitumba, who has really bad teeth, little broken yellow shards stuck at random in big gums. Maulidi was all polished shoes. And teeth come to think of it?

So now, every time I go and inspect on progress, or not as the case is, Mr K tells me how useless a contractor M was. Everytime. I’m getting quite bored of it.  Especially as I’m not sure Mr K is any more effective on the building front than M was; at least M strode purposefully around the property and even got his hands dirty. Mr K lies dozing on a vast plastic carpet in the shade of a Flamboyant tree gazing up at the feathery leaves above him (when his eyes are open, which only happens when O’Rafferty – thank you Primal Sneeze – and I come belching and farting up the drive at which point he scrambles up and tries to look lively).

Everytime I visit the house, urgently champing at the bit, desperate to get in, Mr K mildly tells me, ”another ten days and it’ll be ready”. The thing is, he’s been saying exactly this for the last ten.  Our moving day never looks any closer: neither bathroom is ready, nor is the kitchen, the plumbing hasn’t been finished, the roof isn’t all on and the wiring still looks alarmingly dangerous – hanging in suidical nooses strung about unpainted walls.

He and a friend were lounging together when we went to inspect anti-progress on Saturday. His friend was called Richard. Richard works at the prisons.  He has a very big smile which means that you can see how good his oral hygiene is, especially as he has no comprehension of personal space. As you speak, he shuffles closer and closer and closer until his face is within inches of your own. So that you can see his teeth in all their pearly white glory. I suppose I must I be grateful it is he, and not Mr K, who is the non-regarder of personal space?

Richard was there again yesterday, he waved like the Queen from his prostrate position on the mat when we drove in.  He has been supervising prisoners he said. What? From there? Almost. He has been overseeing their work as they crudely hacked at a jacaranda tree in the corner of the garden.

– why on earth did they have to chop all the branches off like that? I asked (they’ve made a real mess, poor amputee tree).

– because there was a snake, he told me, creeping closer so that I had to begin a crab like shuffle to the side.

– a snake?

– yes, a big, big snake

Surreal isn’t it? My new garden is being landscaped – really badly – by a gang of criminals managed by a man who looks like a docile old optician/dentist/dermatologist  (given how close he feels obliged to get to your face) who directs proceedings from a supine position in distant shade.

Why couldn’t I have got Alan Titchmarsh instead?

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7 Responses to “Prison Break”

  1. ann Says:

    I just visited your friend over at Nogrobob House and I cried. What beautiful writing, and what a powerful story she has to tell. You are both an inspiration to me.

    I am also in the throws of building work. Ours has been ongoing for 1 year and will probably take until Christmas to finish. Be afraid, be very, very afraid! I have come to the conclusion that builders are the same the world over.

  2. Roberta Says:

    ~~ why on earth did they have to chop all the branches off like that? I asked (they’ve made a real mess, poor amputee tree).

    – because there was a snake, he told me, creeping closer so that I had to begin a crab like shuffle to the side.~~

    Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water!

  3. Tom Says:

    Had a start when you mentioned Alan. I loved him when he was on the boob tube. Why oh why did he leave such a successful show?

  4. Maggie May Says:

    Oh dear……. the slow builder”s brigade. Nothing worse. Hope they get a move on. And that poor tree. Maybe it will bush out a bit later on.

  5. Janelle Says:

    so fawlty towers man! i can see it all exactly! so so funny anthea…but they must bloody well haraka haraka now, sindio?

    thanks for your great comments chez moi….last night was really chilled and bono bloody well stood me up. damnit.
    lots love to you all that side.
    xx
    j

  6. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    thank you thank you thank you all for universal commiserations regards builders. i have appealed to Mr K to please hurry up, given we’re supposed to be moving in in ten days (for real this time). He sighed deeply and told me, again, that it’ll be ready. In ten days time. Yeah. Right. x

  7. uohaa Says:

    http://www.contractor.ma was here!
    Thanks for the good and hard working blog!
    I looking forward to see more posting fron you!

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