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May 1999 Issue
Make or Break
by Krafty
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'Tis the Tuesday after Easter, and all is not well.

"Enjoy your break", they said, as I left work on Maundy Thursday. Everyone was exchanging the same wish for a happy Easter time. "I'll do my best", I replied, thinking, "If I have the energy".

I, along with millions of others I suspect, had been looking forward so much to the long weekend. Spring was just about winning over Winter, and I hoped to getting out a bit in the sun for that vital vitamin D. Add to that the fact that my work holiday annual entitlement had kicked in at the beginning of April so I was in reckless spending mood, and wanting to exercise my power with an extra day off. I had asked for the Thursday to make the weekend even longer, but a lot of other people had had the same idea, and they had got there before me, so I was out of luck. So, by the end of the day, I was feeling pretty resentful, very tired, and determined to make the best of the run of five days from Friday to Tuesday.

I had a few plans, but none of them included anything energetic. Pampering myself was high on the list, and that included playing my favourite card game on the computer for hours, pottering in the garden between April showers, watching loads of films on TV, and going for a day out somewhere in the countryside.

Apart from two commitments, it sounded fine. One commitment was to be a stallholder at a local fair on Saturday, and the other was that on Tuesday a man was coming to replace the roof on the lean-away (so called because it doesn't lean-to, and is held up against the house by a few pieces of wood, several screws, a wing and a prayer).

As far as the stall was concerned, there was more preparation than I had first thought (isn't it always the way), mostly paperwork - leaflets, handouts, etc. I don't know the word processing package as well as I would like, so of course everything took longer, too. I called on my reserve tank of willpower and got through it. I finished at 11 pm, so bang went Friday. At least I would be able to sit back for a while behind the stall on Saturday. And talking about bangs, the washing machine packed up as well. No hope of getting this mended until after the Easter break, so it was time to get philosophical.

The stall was on an inside corner and there were three of us and three chairs in a square metre or so of space. So much for sitting back.

I can't remember much about Sunday except that the lighting circuit failed. A neighbour's brother was handy and luckily he is an electrician by trade. Unluckily he condemned the circuit and promised to come back after the Easter break. I watched TV by candle light, and thought how romantic it could be, and it would have been if it wasn't for the fact that Pete and I had a row on Friday and I was still sulking.

Monday - the day we planned to go out for the day - still sulking so we didn't, but I did play my computer game for six hours.

And so to Tuesday. Having spent most of Monday telling myself I deserved a day off (sulking), I was too late that day to go out and buy the roofing materials and clear the area for the man to do his job. The alarm woke me at 8.15 am - in my book that's a sin when it's a holiday, but I reckoned I had to suffer for my pleasures. The DIY store is just down the road so we decided not to take the car. We carried three 4 x 1m sheets of polycarbonate sheeting (which wouldn't have gone in the car or on the roof rack anyway), six edging and joining strips, screws and sealant back home without casualty to them or us, which turned out to be a surprise. The wind got up and it was like trying to walk through a brick wall while holding onto an enormous kite at the same time.

Now, the corrugated plastic roof we are replacing had been a worry for some time. That side of the house gets most of the sun, and sun is quite destructive to plastic. Not that it destroys it completely, which would be a wonderful thing for the environment. No, it just makes it brittle, and when the wind takes over from the sun little bits snap off and shatter, making it impossible to mend, and leaving a hole. Bear in mind that I should have done something about it seven years ago when I moved into the house, and you can imagine the scene.

Add to this that I have indigestion. Yet a surge of hope and relief overcomes me as I write, because the man is listening to Steely Dan, whistling, drinking my coffee and putting the roof on, and I get the impression nothing else can go wrong.

Give me a break!



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