The builders are still here. We’ve become so used to having them that it’ll seem odd when, eventually, they’re gone. Patty Hearst was like that when captured by the Symbionese Liberation Army, forming a bond with the people who’d taken over her life. A house without a couple of Poles in the basement would now seem strange.
By coincidence, UK Power Networks has chosen this moment of domestic turmoil to renew a rusty piece of infrastructure called the service head: the point at which electricity enters our home. It might have been fished out of the engine room of Titanic. First, one team dug a preparatory hole in the pavement.
The next lot went away again, saying that power to the whole street would have to be switched off. Will they return before it rains? No attempt has been made to weatherproof the hole, immediately adjacent to a front step on which I’ve just, this very week, spent a large sum on sealing. A neighbour had a hole outside her house; the area wall fell down.
If awash, we’ll retreat to our new laundry room. The door opening turns out to be too small to accommodate the washing machine, which, in any case, is too heavy to get downstairs.
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