Two Old Fools and Builders

Winter has arrived, but we’re very cosy and the log shed is full. Although we yearn to take another trip to Australia to see family, Spain is beautiful at the moment with some wonderful winter sun and truly spectacular sunsets.

Sunset over El Hoyo

Way back in March I contacted our favourite builders. We needed a new back door, a new terrace door, and front door burglar-bars fitted. None of it was urgent but we wanted the work done before this winter. Our present terrace door lets in the rain and we need burglar-bars fitted before we leave for a holiday in Australia.

“We’ll come and look at the job next week,” said Julio. He’s the boss, Romanian, and fluent in English and Spanish.

The builders arrived in June to take measurements. We chose the doors and burglar-bar designs, and were excited about getting the work done. A week later we received an estimate and agreed on the price.

“It’ll be nice to get it all done before our family come in August,” I said to Joe.

“Pigs might fly,” he snorted.

He was right. Nothing happened. Our family and granddaughter arrived and summer passed. The sun blazed and there wasn’t a drop of rain, so replacing the leaky door wasn’t essential.

In September we phoned the builders again.

“Your new doors and bars are ready,” said Julio. “We will start work next week.”

“Pigs might fly,” snorted Joe.

The builders arrived early in October. They brought the new doors and laid them out on the roof terrace and in the garden. They tapped the walls with a hammer and left a few pencil marks. I was delighted that work had begun.

“That’s good!” I said. “It’ll all be finished before the Gin Twins’ visit at the end of the month.”

“Hurrumph!” snorted Joe. “Pigs might fly.”

The weather was beautiful for the Gin Twins’ stay in October. The swallows stayed longer than usual but there was no sign of the builders. The Gin Twins had to share their roof terrace space with the new doors, laid out and ready to be fitted, and the garden with burglar-bars, already rusting as they hadn’t yet been painted. The Gin Twins and the bars were the same colour.

New door lying on the roof terrace

November came, and the days shortened. After a couple of wild nights of driving rain the old door leaked. We mopped up the water.

One evening after dark, Joe was in the city taking a short-cut through some waste ground to get back to the car. A huge figure suddenly loomed out of the shadows. Joe clutched his car keys tighter and quickened his pace.

“Joe! Joe! It is I, Mario!” boomed a voice from the darkness. “My boss is Julio! We are your builders. We come next week.”

“Oh! Hello Mario,” Joe said, greatly relieved. “That’s good news! We look forward to seeing you next week.”

“Did you see that pink thing flying past our window?” Joe asked me a week later.

You may have guessed the end of this story. The builders still haven’t come. We’ve laid bets on when they will turn up. I say this month. Joe says June. In 2025. I think I may lose this one…

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