Friday, August 19, 2005

Happy Birthday to one of my favourite people,

Today is my brothers birthday and this seems like a perfect opportunity to introduce him. Let’s call him Ben.

Ben is thirty-five, has a top job, owns his own home, and is single. People love him. He sounds like quite a catch, huh? Damn shame none are fast enough! He likes his life the way it is and he’s honest about it. After all he has a mother and sister at his beck-and-call, and we seem to be the only women prepared to see him at his own convenience.

And this is handy because when Ben’s not working or distracting himself, he’s a lazy git. I don’t mean lazy as in lying around, no, for Ben is always studying and throwing himself into new fads (this year’s cookery). When I say lazy, I mean he’s never learnt to cope on his own and has little desire to try.

Of course I could make a stand, demand he doesn’t call me sounding like a desperate husband for whom I should drop everything and run to his aid. But I’ve been there, done that. And all that happens is everyone thinks I’m a bitch, and my mother has to do everything.

So instead I advise on electrical issues, building maintenance, ingredient explanations, fruit-loop girlfriends, and choosing his sofa colour (he wouldn't want to ask a girlfriend because they might, *gasp*, think he was keen).

I bet you’re wondering why I bother…well, apart from obviously being a wonderful sister, his life is full of stupidness I find highly entertaining!

I’ll save the stories of insane women banging on his door in the middle of the night, and keep his connection to Charles de Gaulle for another time. I shall instead begin by telling you about his house.

It’s a very nice house.

It was once my* house – and at this point I should add - don’t ever, EVER, sell you house to family, because fours years on they’ll STILL be calling to ask why a fuse has blown!

And then there’s the occasion he called and asked when he could have his plants back (this made about as much sense to me then, as that sentence does to you right now); WTF?

Oh yes, my little brother discovered his two fir trees missing from their pots by the front door and went to work assuming I’d taken them. Two days later he called to ask me why. Why indeed.

What was I supposed to say to that?

I called him a bloody idiot, and told him to report the theft to the police.

He couldn’t be bothered, or maybe didn’t wish to explain why he thought I’d taken them, and so the poor pots stood soiled but empty…


…the thief returned the firs the following week. Seriously. Both of them. Re-potted.

And then he had the vandals.

When I sold the house to Ben it was PERFECT after we spent three years renovating the 1836 property, replacing everything but the roof and the walls (all re-rendered).

So earlier this year Ben walks home from work sees this:

And eight more like it. It seemed his home had been the victim of some bizarre new form of violent expression.

He was near tears as he explained how these bastards had chipped through the render to the granite below. WHAT SORT OF PEOPLE DO THIS?

I am an evil person. There was never a single minute this didn’t amuse me. But he was getting really pissed at my giggles and I suggested he talk to the neighbours to ask if they had seen anything (he didn’t want to because he didn’t know them, I said it was okay as I had provided all relevant information on him the last time I saw Diane).

He called me back. The BASTARDS had a blue van, and worked most of the day.

I sent him to the other neighbours.

He found poor Mr Brett stood paralysed on the pavement opposite. I think he took it worse than Ben.

Mr Brett’s builders had gone to the wrong house.

Umm, you might be thinking easy mistake but come on… one house is crappy and cracked… next door is perfect…one you VISITED when you gave the quote… the other you didn’t…


* I should say ‘our’ as the BH was there too!


Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

I confess ignorance. What happened to the house, and why? I'm befuddled, Deb. Are those cracks? Spray paint?

Saturday, August 20, 2005 1:20:00 am  
Blogger MarkD60 said...

What were the builders supposed to be doing to Mr. Bretts house that they would do that?
I'd be near tears too!

Saturday, August 20, 2005 2:43:00 am  
Blogger Jona said...

This house – being old – had outside walls built of granite (think of the radion!), then rendered inside and out. When a house shifts you get cracks… and when those cracks have open enough to look threatening you call the builders in to gouge out the render, brace the crack and refill. But unless you render the entire wall you can always tell where a repair has been made.

My brother returned home to find the gouging complete - except he hadn't had a single crack in the first place!

I don't think I'd be upset, as my fury would prevail! He allowed the same builders to fill the cracks - I would have got my own builders to remove ALL the render and start again, but he doesn't always listen to me ;o)

Saturday, August 20, 2005 8:06:00 am  

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