The plasterers are here, lingering over their work. They should have been gone last week. Water has been coming in the front of the house, requiring urgent attention, and now a subtle film of sticky plaster dust covers everything, including the linings of my lungs.
The plasterers know people in faraway places, to whom they shout at high volume through their mobile phones. Frankly, I think the phones aren't necessary because you can hear them at the end of the street, but maybe that's just me.
The plasterers are robust, taking numerous fag breaks just outside the front door in spite of the fact that drenching rain is cascading down.
The plasterers don't want tea, although they have pilfered my laundry bucket; maybe they are brewing up in that? Who knows.
The plasterers are polite, though loud.
I'm scared to go upstairs in case the thumping noises that I can hear are the sound of my remaining furniture being destroyed; rather than covering everything in the promised thick-gauge plastic, they simply flung a bit of canvas over part of the bed and then lathered it in layers of pink concrete dust.
I could weep at it all, if I weren't weeping at the broken washing machine full of water and sodden towels, the broken computer wrapped in plastic, the blocked dishwasher that I was fishing about in with a tea-strainer at the crack of dawn, and the living room full of half of Offsprog Two's belongings waiting for the room to be finished.
Which is should be tonight, I hear.
I predict a late-night room-scrubbing session and a sigh of relief so loud that it will be audible in the land of plasterers, goddammit.