We are exhausted. For two days we locked ourselves off from the world. We watched no TV, we did not interact with the internet and we had only a vague idea of what day it should be. The little man’s grandparents came to stay at the cottage and help out; they had no idea what they had let themselves in for. The lovely Sharon and I took this visit as an opportunity and we took advantage of it. I threw myself into getting some necessary jobs done around the place and the lovely Sharon threw herself into painting the little man’s new bedroom.

Granny was the babysitter for the weekend as the mother was covered in speckled green paint and the father was covered in sawdust and mud. Bampa (Grandfather) was not wasted; on day one he was put to work trimming the hedges. I set up a 10 meter extension cable attached to another 25 meter reel. Soon he was back looking for more and I gave him another 25 meter reel. An hour later he was back but he knew I was exhausted of cable, so he rummaged through my boxes in the garage and fashioned together an extra 20 meters with a daisy chain of various electrical detritus.

That evening I washed the caked mud from myself (power hosing debris) and the lovely Sharon and I headed out for a valentine’s meal to ‘unwind’. In truth we felt that we both were like two rusty old springs. We dined and enjoyed a nice meal. We chatted and laughed and missed our little man.

Today we woke up and threw ourselves into the day again. Stuffed with fresh pancakes, the lovely Sharon coated herself in paint speckled clothes and once again picked up the brushes. I joined my father, who was now weary of hedges, and we both tried to bend our heads around the electrical system of the garage and the woodshed. We had established that a flood light out the front had a break in the wiring and so we replaced the cabling. We then established that the original cabling was quite fine and that we had been using two dead bulbs to check the flood, even thought the two bulbs stood up well to visual inspection. We then used the old ‘faulty’ wiring to set up a new fluorescent tube that gives us the option of switching on one tube when entering the garage or the original ten fluorescent tubes (NIE will be disappointed). Then we wanted to fit a new fluorescent tube to a dark corner of the woodshed. It is in this corner that I have set up a potting table and put up shelves to store all the gardening gubbins. We found the cable that we believed to be the lightning circuit and diligently installed the light. Then we reconnected the power to find that we had found the mains ring circuit and not the lights. We now had a permanent light that could never be switched off. At this point many would ring the professionals. Not us, we scratched our heads and grabbed a coil of cable and a pair of pliers. An hour later we had it all figured out and the lighting is now behaving as it should (I think).

Tonight we re-introduced ourselves to the little man and his grandmother reluctantly went home. Tonight we found out that piglet was completely surrounded by water. As the little man snoozed I told him about his lovely new bedroom that his mummy had worked so hard to get ready and he seemed happy with the thought. I hope he approves.

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