It's happening again! Chez Evil Landlord is once more infested with an Army of Reconstruction, only four years after the last one, and with the traditional pinpoint accuracy the blitzkrieg has been unleashed just in time to coincide with my exhaustion-making orientation frenzy. This time the panzer divisions are rolling only over the front wall of the garden, which they are assaulting for processes of dismantling the gate where I park my car and moving it five metres to the right, lowering the ground by a foot or so, paving, and installing a carport. I should add, for posterity, that the conversations around this particular proceeding have gone as follows:
(Approximately four years ago):
ME: Gosh, you know, that extreme right-hand corner of the front garden under the plane tree is an awful little space, nothing grows there, it would make more sense to move the second gate there and use that space for a carport. We might actually get something to grow in the space where the car currently stands, which is further away from the plane tree and has more light.
EVIL LANDLORD (dismissively): Nah, it'll never work, there isn't enough space for a car in that corner.
(Invoking the well-known "Well it's his house anyway" clause, I give up and go away.)
(Approximately a year ago, on a more or less averagely drunken Sunday evening):
JO: Gosh, you know, that extreme right-hand corner of the front garden under the plane tree is an awful little space, nothing grows there, it would make more sense to move the second gate there and use that space for a carport. You might actually get something to grow in the space where the car currently stands, which is further away from the plane tree and has more light.
EVIL LANDLORD (struck): You know, you're right!
(Various tape measures are unleashed and measurements slightly wildly made; it is determined that there's plenty of place for a car if you remove the small sad mirrorbush. Plans are submitted to Council for the necessary delay, circumlocution and meaningless quibbles, and Kurt the Amazing Builder and his panzer division are contracted. I roll my eyes. Memo to self, next time suggest interesting renovations only when the EL is safely sloshed.)
The blitzkrieg started on Monday, and by yesterday evening they had already cleared the corner of the tree and all the associated guff that's accumulated there over the last few years (piles of branches, decaying veggie boxes, the old birdbath, weird bits of broken garden ornament, small pocket universes, the like), dismantled the wall where the new gate is migrating to, and dug a large and mysterious hole under the current one. My vague theory that this was probably foundations for the new wall was proved correct when I came home today to find that a new section of wall had mysteriously sprung into being in the gap.
I note, also for posterity, that this has done exactly what I gently suggested it might, which is to block most of the light from the front garden so that nothing much is likely to grow there anyway. Within the terms of the Well It's His House Anyway clause this is covered by the fact that the EL is more interested in privacy and security than in flourishing gardens, which sunk my suggestion that they stick in a lower section of wall with iron palings atop it. We're getting the extra bit on the whole wall anyway, with electric fencing, which I have to admit is something of a balm to my wounded druiding. It is difficult to overestimate the extent to which I am now bored with being burgled.
I include for your amusement pictorial evidence of (a) the chaos, and (b) the size of the gap which will contain the second car and carport. (As of today it's about a foot lower). The presence of the elderly tumble drier is somewhat mysterious, but I think represents a migration from where it's been standing for a year or so in the back courtyard after it died and the EL replaced it. I think it may have been some sort of shrine.
I also hasten to add that, theatrical whinging notwithstanding, I am delighted by this development and ecstatic at the possibility of a carport which will prevent the damned birds roosting in the plane tree from crapping all over my brand new and recently washed car. (Last weekend I drove it back from the carwash and emerged from the car exactly as a hadeda let fly all over the roof. Actual time between stopping and desecration: fifteen seconds). The EL, while somewhat impervious to suggestion from the Lawful Good front, is a kind and generous man of whom I am somewhat fond even while I gently mock his idiosyncracies. I shall also attempt to forgive the Army of Reconstruction for disconnecting the grey water system without warning, plonking their ladder on top of the struggling plants in the bed below the bottlebrush, and piling sand in front of the pedestrian gate so it narrowly missed bouncing back and clonking me in the teeth when I opened it yesterday. These things are sent to try us. Car port, I tell myself. An end to the bird crap. It'll be worth it.