After 2 years of miscommunication and stupidity, the carpenters are finally here to fix my doors and windows.

When they arrived, they’d forgotten the wood they were going to use, so carpenter 1 took off for 2 hours to get other wood.

Carpenter 2 – the slightly older, smarter one, was on his first day after 4 years of unemployment. He cheerfully told me about the trip to Graceland he’d made the year before – and what a moneygrabbing scam it all is. He’s 55, and an adventurous chap in his own way. Not too enamoured with the bland hotel food, he would coax his friend outside to the diner accross the road, for some real food. Good on him, I’d do the same.

I’m not comfortable with this invasion of privacy. I try to be cheerful and friendly towards the guys – they’re only doing their job, but as it’s not something I arranged but something forced on me by the house owners, I tend to get quite grumpy. Though carpenter 1 is too cheerful to be grumpy with.

Carpenter 2 is back, he looks like an overgrown toddler in his dungarees. I don’t like him much – he stumbles over his own words and thoughts, and he’s twice missed the appointment we had settled.

They don’t speak with each other much. Their first day together, they’re sussing each other out. Carpenter 1 must do as (younger) carpenter 2 tells him to do. That would bother me, but he seems to be an easy going bloke, taking it as it comes.

He asked me what I do – and I said I worked for VARA. ‘Oh… we’re with TROS’. Funny how older Dutch people define themselves by the broadcasting organisation they’re a member of. ‘Are you a typist?’ he asked. ‘I do internet stuff,’ I answered. ‘Don’t be downloading any dirty pictures!,’ he jokes. I guess that stigma’s going to last a while.

They’re drilling now and discussing the holiest of holiest: their morning break. Carpenter 1 keeps making jokes carpenter 2 doesn’t understand. I’d make them coffee if I could walk. Honest.

The leg seems to have found some peace after last night’s mad spasms. I’m working on getting the foot to make the proper steps, heel first and then roll over to the toes. It doesn’t come anywhere near the proper way, but at least it’s not kicking up murder when I try. Tomorrow I’ll try travelling to work again.

The carpenters found bits of newspaper from WWII underneath the threshold of my back doors, talking about a German submarine.