OR NOT. The plasterers have finished. They’ve done an amazing and difficult job and we feel we’ve come to the end of an important stage. From now on, we’ll really start to see a difference as flooring goes down and skirtings are fixed.

One of the last jobs done by Ace Plastering Contractors (they were well-named) was the ceiling of the utility room on the ground floor. We tried to learn everybody’s name but there were too many to remember. In the end we managed to capture on camera Jason, his brother Neil, and Roy, as they worked. Only problem is that I can’t get any of the pictures to upload. Technology – what a pain. Will try again tomorrow. Which is when the floor covering comes for the railway room, come to think about it.

In the meantime we think about trading in the car, now 11 years old, under the government’s scrappage scheme. We see pictures of brand new cars laid end to end in car parks the length and breadth of the country; thousands upon thousands of unsold, unwanted vehicles. So we drive to the showrooms and decide  on a Skoda – which takes me back to the one Malc had 40 years ago when we were first married and I was learning to drive: the gears were the wrong way round because it was built abroad and not adapted – and imagine we’ll be able to drop our little Daihatsu off and drive home in a nice shiny new car. 

“They’re made to order in the Czech Republic and they just can’t keep pace with the demand,” says Steve, the happy salesman. “Delivery time’s about eight weeks. Probably mid-August.” Mid-August? I thought there was a recession on and nobody was buying anything? Not any more, apparently. Everybody’s buying new cars and before we know it the scrappage scheme will be scrapped six months early because too many people are using it. Better be quick.


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