Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Dad's been and gone

It's okay. I'm calm now.

Dad was supposed to show up late on Friday evening. He showed up late on Friday night because MwK ordered the National Express ticket on-line.

MwK ordered a ticket which left Golders Green at around 2pm, 2:15pm or 2:45pm, something like that.

Dad would have preferred a later depature time and wasn't ready when MwK came to pick him up to take him to Golders Green.

The traffic to Golders Green is always bad. Dad prefers Golders Green instead of the central Victoria Coach Station, because the 260 bus takes him straight there from the top of a nearby street. The fact it takes the better part of two hours to get there doesn't seem to bother him.

So. With a bagload of tools, Dad starts off late from the house. Then MwK couldn't get out of the traffic jam. He tried different ways but, naturally, he didn't and it's all his fault because he didn't stick to the route Dad was recommending.

So they were late to Golders Green and Dad missed the bus. Dad re-booked his ticket and MwK left him there after calling me to warn me that Dad was late and on the warpath.

Dad arrived just as I was starting to walk down the road to find him. He was late. And on the warpath. MwK was getting cursed left, right and centre.

After that initial disaster, things went okay-ish.

Dad had sold his shares and had brought up a blank cheque for me. He told me how much to write the cheque out for and shakily signed it.

Weighed down with guilt, I put the cheque in the bank the following morning, while Dad set about digging up the old floorboards in the front room.

By the end of Saturday, he'd dug up half the floor and replaced it with the solid oak floorboards that have been stacked in a corner of my back room since, what, 2005.

By the end of Sunday, the floor had been almost completely re-laid, a gas pipe had been laid from the main to the fire (in case someone wanted a real gas fire at some stage) and the old floorboards had been taken out, scraped and cleaned and prepared for preservative so that Dad could finish the back garden fence.

Yesterday, Bank Holiday Monday, Dad started on the fence.

In a house in the next street, one family reign supreme. The kids are jumping out of the bedroom window, throwing things into the next door gardens, regularly burning large amounts of rubbish and generally making a regular nuisance of themselves.

They have recently surpassed themselves. The window the kids jump out of, has fallen off its brackets. It's a lever hinge, up and over affair and it's now out of kilter with the frame. Broken, it hangs at an angle and can't be closed.

So the handyman of the family decided it needed to be fixed. He helped himself to a new window from next door. Leaving a large hole in the frame and leaving the house open to the elements and birds. And attempted to fix the "new" window to the hinge with a hammer and 6 inch nails. He sent his mother through a hole in the fence to ask us if we had eight.

Um. No. We only had 3 inch nails. We gave her eight of those instead.

Dad finished the fence and it looks good. He got to the bus station on time and rang me when he got back.

I tidied up and went to bed and cried.

I'm 40 years old next birthday and I'm relying on handouts from my Dad to keep the roof over my head.

I don't fell like a success.