And so they have finished for the year. Tools have been laid down, the skip emptied. The scaffolding has come partly down and removed offsite. The remaining tarp blows lonely in the breeze. The builders have gone back to their own families for Christmas.
I have been quite used to having them around, an endless parade of men in short shorts and big boots.
Now the temporary clean-up can start. I started with the dead bird in the carport, though I hope that had nothing to do with the builders. I can blame them for the empty drink bottles and cans dotted through my rose garden and the occasional cigarette butt under the scaffolding (it says No Smoking On Site guys!). I think it's cute that I keep finding bits of Gladwrap along with the Red Rooster litter, someone must bring his lunch from home.
I collected a Bunnings store worth of nails and screws and other bits of functional metal, and dumped them in a box next to the broken bags of cement, spilling into little piles on my verandah. Although it's not really my verandah at the moment. Nothing here is ours until everything is finished, and the last piece of scaffolding has been removed, the last sign packed away.
I want the weather to cool so I can begin to sweep away 6 weeks worth of sawdust and brick dust. That's all it's been - 6 short weeks and a new house has sprung up where once there was nothing. I have floors and external walls, a new roof, windows, the skeleton of the plumbing and electrics and what looks likes hundreds of dirty little sheep shoved in between the timbers of the roof (apparently it's insulation).
So to my friendly builders, thanks for building us a house! Merry Christmas and I will see you in the New Year.