Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I've considered starting a special blog about our neighbour's building project. but I would really have had to have started way back when they first came up with the idea to get the full thing - the smarmy architect, the neighbour having a fit in the tribunal hearing, the long wait for them to find a builder, etc. but I must say I enjoyed today's instalment. the Wall is going up where the Tree used to be. I went into the yard and the bricklayers said "good morning". so I had a pleasant chat with them about finishes and we agreed they could come into my yard to clean off the mortar later.

when I went to leave, I opened the gates (of course the brickies' truck was blocking access, despite various calls to council and the smarmy architect, not to be confused with our annoying architect). someone who I suspect was the actual builder came racing over, probably in deep fear of my expected burst of temper. I went straight past him and had another pleasant chat with the brickies while their labourer cleaned the wall and they moved their truck, no problem. then of course I had a committee of stupid building types watching me back out - including the builder, who in that quintessentially male patronising way, felt he needed to "guide" me out. so I rolled down the window and said "I've done this about 200 times. but thanks". if he was the builder, I kind of enjoyed doing that in front of his workers. after all, he has declined my invitation (via smarmy architect) to make contact so we can sort out all these access/early start etc issues properly. it was nice to deal directly with some sensible workmen, and to demonstrate to myself as much as anyone that I'm not actually an insane homeowner hellbent on stopping their project.

in fact, after 2 1/2 years waiting, it's kind of a relief to have the wall finally there. it's red brick and solid and I can now get on with erecting giant trellises (trellii?) to grow creepers up. the sooner the whole thing is done the better. then I only have our unspeakably arrogant and unpleasant neighbours evil-eying me every time I come and go to worry about.

Monday, February 02, 2004

must type quickly, baby sleeping but threatening to wake up.

hve discovered advantage of being a "new mum". when your annoying architect responds to your queries about why he's sent a final bill when he hasn't finished the actual work with a very lame and vaguely threatening joke about "well, we could arrange a meeting in a carpark at midnight with headlights", you can plausibly respond "what? I'm a bit vague at the moment, I don't understand, what do you mean headlights?".

and when he further suggests it's your job to write up yet another list of what's not been finished (get a clue mate, it's the list you had last year minus what's been done, plus final documentation), you can further say "I'm a bit too busy to do that right now."

architects are very clever people. and frankly, I adore this new house except for the bit about noise travelling in it. but client handling skills? Zero.