Another day of icy, sleety, windy rain and working on the Grand's Cottage with the Machinist. This time, wearing my own brand of Armani tracksuit pants and son's jacket, which the Machinist had zipped and buttoned for me - right up under my chin (when you're wearing those leather labourer's gloves, you're all fingers and thumbs). So there I was - a picture of beauty, with stray strands of hair, rebelling against their ties. "I look really attractive today, don't I, Machinist?"
Number one son started chuckling.
"The Machinist thinks I always look beautiful, don't you?" I asked, looking up at the Machinist from the task of unpicking a roll of masking tape.
"You know I do..."
Ahhh.... So utterly reassuring....
I was supposed to be painting the eaves and guttering with Duragal, but as everyone knows, you can't paint in the rain, so the Machinist set me to the task of cleaning inside. Lots of empty tile boxes, plastic wrap, crumbled cement and grout, the Tiler's (numerous) cigarette butts, crushed pieces of chalky gyprock left over from tearing down mould-infested walls, a variety of broken tiles, the Tiler's snack wrappers, crumpled newspapers fully of paint-stripped paint (the girls have spent four days stripping many years' worth of lead and non-lead based paint from one window frame alone), sanding dust, broken pieces of quad (used in lengths to cover the joints between pieces of gyprock in the 'olden days'), villaboard off-cuts.
I was thinking about grouping tools and materials together and labelling them - "Plumbing", "Electrical", "Painting", "Gardening", "Power tools" etc etc, while gathering yet another pile of waste with a stiff bristled broom, when I heard the Machinist calling my name.
"I need you to help me divert the water from the rusty gutter, as well as finish scraping the flaking paint from the eaves before the weather gets worse"
Don't you hate it when you're just getting 'into' something?
"Ok, I'll be there just now. I first want to finish sweeping my 99th pile of dirt..."
And so - there was the Machinist and I - up on ladders in the drizzle, scraping old paint from the eaves in readiness for painting. We worked towards the corner of the building and met, looking upon each other. The Machinist blew me a kiss, and I blew one straight back to him.