No, don't worry. I'm not about to throw myself under the no. 21 bus, or stick my head in the oven.
The 'point' to which I refer is this......
PP has been rather preoccupied with pointing for the past week. The hard landscaping behind our house was really well done, but over the years the mortar between the patio paving stones has deteriorated and started to break down. So last week PP set about hoiking out all the muck and decayed mortar in preparation for repointing the gaps. We bought a bag of building sand, and another of cement, plus a pointing trowel (see... the label is still on it in case we have to take it back) and over the last few days she has been experimenting with the best way of persuading mixed cement into the deep cracks between the flagstones and bricks.
It obviously isn't easy. Kneeling down, crouched over, painstakingly filling each crack wouldn't be many people's idea of a good way to spend a Bank Holiday weekend, but it has to be done. We're not averse to having someone in to do stuff we can't do, like plumbing, or electrics, but for a merely manual task like painting and decorating, or repointing the patio, in these cash-strapped times it makes sense to do it ourselves.
Well that's the theory.
In practice it's taking much longer than we anticipated, and while PP's perfectionist approach is ensuring a perfect finish, it'll be a close run thing as to whether her cervical vertebrae will hold out long enough to complete it.
Small Dog has been helping in a supervisory capacity. This mostly involves her lying on the lawn, in the sun, on her back, with her paws in the air, giving the occasional glance in the direction of the re-pointing to check it's all on track.
In other news, in anticipation of a lovely, clean, re-pointed patio, we set off to Eastbourne yesterday in search of a bog-standard basic white gazebo to provide an al fresco area for outdoor entertaining during the long hot summer of 2013.
We've had one before. It lasted for a whole 2 1/2 years on our patio in all weathers (I remember PP brushing 2 feet of snow off it the year before last) before it finally gave up the ghost early last year.
It's like that thing where you go into a shop for a 49 pence widget and come out with a new Cadillac.
Honestly though. It was an absolute BARGAIN.
Lovely metal gazebo. Very posh. Weighs a ton so it's not going to blow away any time soon.
We reckon it's a "4 beer job" by which we mean it's probably going to take the time it takes to drink 4 beers to put it up.
Or to put it another way.
It's a "two 'domestics' then a divorce job".
I've read the instructions and they recommend that it's a 4-person installation.
Pish, tush, phooey.
We are hard-core flat-pack veterans and we're determined to do-it-ourselves.
Come hell or heart attack.
I'm sure it will all be fine........