Perhaps it’s no coincidence that my two year old’s favourite CBeebies character is Bob The Builder. After all, builder is probably the trade he comes into most frequent contact with in his everyday life in
So why all this fervent construction work? Basically, the wealthier citizens of Nappy Valley
As a result, these narrow suburban houses are rather like Tardises - their slightly shabby exteriors belie the vast, extended state-of-the art kitchens and designer minimalist bathrooms within.
Builders are consequently a favourite conversation topic here. Of chief concern are the woes of the wives, who, because they are not out at work all day, are forced to put up with plaster dust, dirt and chaos, and make endless cups of tea for the builders while trying to look after several small children, cook in a non-existent kitchen and empty the washing machine several times a day. Inevitably, because hubby is too busy, they also have to ‘deal’ with the builders - a delicate set of negotiations that becomes more strained when the work takes twice as long as promised and usually ends in sacking one set and hiring a new, preferably Polish, lot.
As the 'two week' project stretches on into several months, the house becomes more and more unliveable in. Things often get so bad that entire families of four are forced to ‘housesit’ other people’s homes for the weekend, or decamp to a parent’s house for the entire summer. If this is not an option, desperate measures are required; one friend spent several weeks eating her evening meal with her husband in the car, as the only usable room in the house contained her two small, sleeping children. Oh, and because people tend to call in the builders when an addition to the family is imminent, all this usually takes place when the wife is about eight months pregnant.
If you can’t stand this mayhem, there is another option – Seb, the Nappy Valley Fixit