Today I had my usual after lunch sleep. I sleep after lunch because being a golden oldie my daily rhythm needs this lunchtime sleep. I do my best to avoid falling asleep in the armchair in the evening and find this a very good method to avoid such events. I generally sleep OK during the night, but after the morning chores, perhaps shopping and definitely cooking lunch, I like to relax.
Mr. Swiss is a great help after dinner, clearing everything away and then we relax for half an hour with a coffee or tea, according to our taste. I check through my iPad to see if anything spectacular is happening in my world and then we both disappear to our own preferred places of rest. I choose my bed where I can cover up and sink into oblivion. I need my after lunch sleep and so does Mr. Swiss.
And so life goes on until the builders arrived to do good things to our building. Although there were no real threats of our building falling apart or submerging into a sink hole. We were happy. I would look after my gardens and we would sit outside for meals in Summer, weather permitting. My cat would curl up beneath a tree or lay in a shady place and do what all cats do, mainly sleep. This is now a thing of the past. We are now fighting to survive the summer that never was.
Today I was almost there, eyes shut, brain turned off and sinking slowly into the world of sleep. It was then that they decided it was time to perform the last rites on the corridor next to our appartment on the ground floor (see photo). I had been following the work process over the past weeks. First of all the top layer of the wall is removed with aid of a cutting tool. Of couse it is noisy, but a quick job. the next part you hardly hear when they remove the polysterol foam layers from the old insulation. These layers were fixed with cement, and the cement has to be removed. There is no way to do this manually, with a light tap of a chisel as was the case in the old days. No, today it is done at high speed with a pneumatic chisel, breaking all records of decibel noise. They began to remove this layer from the corridor next to my bedroom (right hand side of the photo behind the brick wall) which almost pushed me out of bed. It was unbearable. Adrift was not the word for it: more attempted murder.
Mr. Swiss appeared and said that our cat was now hiding beneath the settee and would not come out, no way. He was more than adrift. He was sure that lives No. 5-9 were now used up (he lost the other 4 some time ago).
To take the photo above I took a walk to see the cause of the trouble. The workmen were overjoyed to see me of course, although I said it was not enjoyable to have such noise when wanting to sleep and my cat has now disappeared under the settee. They reassured me that by lunch time tomorrow all the noisy work would be done. When I appeared the words I heard from the worker “here comes the boss”. Big joke and when I returned to Mr. Swiss he was also laughing. In the meanwhile a pile of roof rubbish had assembled in my garden, crushing the remains of my hollyhocks and forget-me-not, which had already been crushed last week and were making an effort to revive themselves. I now had 3 roof workers in front of my window with a bucket of some sort of black liquid painting parts of my wall. Apparently they were sealing the wall. Mr. Swiss tells me it is bitumen. Whatever it is, it smells quite strong. I am gradually becoming an expert of building techniques.
I suppose it is all the name of improvement. I wonder if Christopher Wren or James Hoban, annoyed the neighbours as much as I am annoyed by our building processes.
Somewhere in the distance I can still hear drilling – this is reminding me of the Ephraim Kishon “Blaumilch Canal” book. Read it if you have not yet. I used to laugh when I read it, now I am not so sure.