The builders arrive at seven thirty. A cue for dogs and master to head off down the hill to the stream. When we return Caroline the cleaning lady is in the house. She is not happy. In between sighs there are staccato bursts of invective. Dust, dogs and debris. An unholy trinity.
Bob's ears dip in the water when he drinks from the stream. Time for the angelic duos hair to be trimmed and their fringes thinned. PONs are nervous when they can't see clearly. Purists disapprove and say you shouldn't trim the hair over their eyes. PON purists have never had to live with a house full of builders who shout and make sudden and unexpected movements.
For the briefest of moments I consider trimming their beards but think better of it. They've accepted the ear and fringe trimming with good grace. Best to quit while you're ahead.
The old walls in the kitchen are out and the new walls are up. The builders are heavy Gauloise smokers. I ask them to open a window. They mutter. A vent for the hood extractor hangs jauntily from the ceiling. They've been in the attic to fit it. Amazingly the ceilings seem to be intact.
The trolley with the ancient, and very heavy Godin cooker, remains mired in mud up to its axles. Around lunchtime a pick axe through a central heating pipe raises the blood pressure. Time to display a stoic mentality. The miniature flood is mopped up and the pipe repaired by the time 'The Font' returns from London. Bob is overjoyed his flock is home and demonstrates his delight by lying on his back and howling. Sophie checks the carry-on bag to see if there are biscuits.
Today the red trousered kitchen furniture man is due. Angus has to tell him that all his measurements are wrong.