I was sitting quietly reading the newspapers this morning, well as quietly as you can sit reading the newspapers when a few houses down our road the builder with the electric drill, or is it a saw, continues to turn the morning calm into a surrealist dentist’s dream. In all honestly I’m being quite tolerant to those charming neighbours who have had builders in since the Spring noisily making a fine extension for their house which happens to be identical to mine. Why can’t drills have mufflers though…you know, if we can put a man on the Moon etc. It’s the high-pitched moments from that drill/saw that turn my teeth on edge. I suppose people don’t use hand saws any more or those charming hand powered drills where you turn a little handle on a cog.
I was thinking this, pondering on the paucity of imagination in our modern everyday household tools when a thunderous noise crashed in on me from much closer to home.
In a pleasant break from the torrential rain that has been falling in these parts for some time now, there was a new burst of water outside, the windows were soaked with streaming water once again and then I remembered the window cleaners. Now here is a wonderful invention if ever I saw one. A hose pipe connected at one end to a white van with its own water tank and at the other a man with a long pole with a water propelling brush. It might sound like an earthquake but it is perfect for these parts where we all live in very tall Georgian houses. It may look bizarre too, suddenly being confronted by this aggressive-looking, water-squirting monster when you are least expecting it but you have to admire the inventiveness.
I admire the three cheerful men who operate it too down there on street level. Soon all the houses in our street will have nice clean windows – just in time for this afternoon’s scheduled rain storm. Can electric drills/saws function in the rain or would something unspeakable happen to the builder using it? Hmm.