|The Garden, October 2019|
The gardeners. They comprise an older and a younger lady, whose leaflet advertising their services is headed 'Genuine Lady Gardeners'. Whether that indicates that they are genuine gardeners or genuine ladies is not clear at all, but anyway I had booked them to deal with my lady garden on Wednesday. They had expressed concern several times that they might not be able to park their van and trailer outside the house. So on the designated morning I kept watch on parked cars, went out to talk to my neighbours, borrowed a cone associated with the skip that has been in front of my house for many weeks and reserved a suitable spot.
The skip is there because the alley that runs behind the houses on the adjacent road is accessed directly opposite my house. Within one of those houses lives K, who very politely knocked on my door some time ago to let me know that his significant building project would require a skip, and was altogether very nice about the fact that it would need to be outside my house. Since then I have had several conversations with the builders and even loaned them my parking pass when I overheard their discussions about the parking enforcement, and K has offered to pay for me plus one to have a very fancy dinner (which I declined with thanks). Anyway, what has this to do with my lady garden?
The GLGs did not arrive as early as they had indicated, and K's builders were fussing about because they were due to have a delivery of screed, and I was constantly nipping out to see what was going on and to defend my reserved space. On one such occasion I discovered that a van had taken the spot, so I went to talk to the driver who was still sitting in the van, talking on the phone. He made no attempt to cut his conversation short, and at first denied having moved the cone before making it clear that he didn't care that I was reserving a space - at which point I went to get my phone to give K a call. Before I could do it, one of the builders stepped in and told the driver in no uncertain terms to move his van, saying that I'd been very helpful and they were happy to return the favour. That's how we do things round here.
The other LTRP project that I have just started is the downstairs shower, and possibly the whole of the wall that side which is showing signs of water damage. So far one company didn't phone me back and I had to phone them again two days later, and a different tradesman didn't turn up as arranged - he has since texted to apologise that he dropped his phone in a bath of water and it has only just dried out. It can't be denied that this is an inauspicious start to the project.