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Tuesday, 18 November 2008

...of strained ligaments, relationships, budgets and patience...

The ligament belonging to Dazza, the brickie. Dazza looks like he never sleeps - he has dark rimmed eyes, and a stretched exression to his face, as if he is in pain most of the time. Which is all explained by his confiding in me that he has a really bad back, and has recently been finding physical work harder to do, despite enjoying his craft. As luck would have it, he texts me on Monday morning, just as we are about to build the damn extension, to inform me that his ankle ligament is injured. Dazza cancels work for the week, and the build of the extension extends.

Meanwhile back at Nickson Towers, the cheap smoke alarms in our apartments are malfunctioning like crazy. Perhaps it is just one of my own peccadiloes, but if I was a landlord, (and I was at one time), the LAST thing I would stint on would be the tenants safety. Quite aside from the potential for lawsuits that is always there, the thought of causing or being responsible for the death of my tenants as a result of being cheap is an absurd risk.This observation is brought to you without even mentioning cats, who are the principal victims of our landlord's cheapness. In our apartment, the smoke alarms go off at the drop of a hat, or the singeing of a toast, which ever is sooner. This alarms cats, who immediately hide under a bed. Unfortunately, our neighbours, experts in Szeuchan Cookery, set the alarms off with monotonous regularity.

This weekend, the usual happened, namely smoke alrms at intervals of twenty minutes during supper time. Later that evening, the cats went out for a pre-nap walk, and met Something. As yet the Something has not been identified, but it was possibly a fox, OR black mouth tabbie, a local, yet lovable hoodlum who catches squirrels for fun. Whatever the Something was, it cornered our guys, and sprayed Calli with urine. She ran into the house, stinking to high Heaven and obviously terrified. Tosh, thinking she was "Other" attacked her and a night of chaos ensued. The end of this long story is that our cats have adopted a psychological condition known to cat psychologists as "redirected aggression syndrome". Cock and bull might well spring to mind, and every time, in Canada, I saw tv adverts for 'acid reflux disease' or 'anal bad diet complex' , or 'lazy bastard condition' accompanied by a Helpline number and an advertisement for a pharmaceutical guaranteed to relieve this symptom of too much wealth and time-on-our-hands, I would laugh. But i can now, from personal experience testify that, at least as far as cats go, "RAS" is very real. End result is that we have to completely re-acquaint the little bundles of fur(and teeth) with eachother as if they are complete strangers.

The mechanism for this involves loads of time attention and strictly controlled contact, all of which means time. And time is not something that we have an abundance of, as we are trying to use this commodity to rebuild a house. The cats,as usual have thrown a rather large spanner into a gargantuan set of wheels. Never mind, it could be worse. We could have gone over budget on our project.

Oh, hang on a minute, it appears that it is worse, and we have gone over budget. The culprit is of course, Concretia. 10 tonnnes of garbage, six weeks of effort and even after we have removed her, more surprises manifest - this time a mysterious mains water supply that comes from no-where , and goes nowhere and runs right down the line of our new extension - all revealed since Concretia's demise. Photos will follow, but more costs have been added to get this situation resolved, and perhaps more crucially, more time has been spent resolving it.

Nel got me the best birhtday gift I've had for years, and a great birthday card, which read "I have a very good feeling about the next year". This sentiment, if realized is some ambition. despite Concretia, despite the Estoinians (who, we have been reliably informed have wrecked their new accomodation already), despite the change of life to being a student (and it's attendant pressure) despite too many trips to Liverpool, because for me, life, at least in England would be difficult to beat. I hope it does get better, but only because I want to see how good it can get. Thanks for the birthday, RHB.

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