You cant beat a “good ole family barn raising“.

Well, technically there was No barn’s raised, Or any Barns at all really. And the closet thing to an Amish was a tall blond in skin-tight jodhpurs who walked past at one point. (What is it about boots, & Tight Jodhpurs? Sorry was distracted there….)

The other weekend there was Three generations of my family doing some work at my parents place. (Gen1) My Father (Gen2) Me (Gen3) Two of my Nephews. We were rebuilding some wooden parts of the garden that have started to rot from old age, and repaint the wooden fences, etc.. (This is Just Scene Setting)

While we were having a much needed Ten minute Coffee break, Nephew No1 was talking about a row of houses near where he lives where they all got a government grant to do work on the houses, apart from the end house in the terrace who’s door is on the other road so missed out. So it got mentioned that the grants been going round for ages now (Slowly) and that My Grandfather had it for his place, had the whole place gutted and rebuilt with the grant paying 70% of costs.

This led to the story of the rebuild. Which was such a touching story of Love & Romance that I thought I’d share it with you Dear Reader.

My Grandparents house then was built over an old mine shaft, meaning you could not get a mortgage on the building, and it was a bit unstable. This did mean they were able to buy it for very little money. So when they had the option of a 70% Government grant for building work, My Grandfather jumped at the chance.

After discussions with the builders it was decided to strip building, fill the mine shaft with a concrete plug & cap, rewire the house, re-plumb, Install new central heating, re-plaster, the works. This would involve the floors Upstairs, and down being removed, the walls stripped of existing plaster, and the electric/water being off. Basically the house would be unsuitable to live in for roughly a month.

Now my Grandfather being a practical man, he decided that was no problem. They would simply move into the garage for the month.

I should point out here, the garage was a large building, Brick walls on three sides. The roof was Tin sheeting, and the front wall was a full length wooden door, which only partially fitted with huge gaps. So all in all, a draughty cold room

To make it more liveable he put the carpets from the house down on the concrete floor, he put a bed, sofa and TV in there along with a kettle and cooker. Now, my Grandmother was not a plan of this idea. She was not living in a cold, spider infested garage.  She wanted to go on holiday while the work was being done, or at least stay in a B&B or Hotel.  So my Grandfather sat her down and explained that they could not go on holiday as someone needed to stay and keep an eye on the builders. Also if the builders saw “an old woman” living in such a bad place they would work harder and get the job done.  He also pointed out that they had a daughter living next door, so they had access to a bath, toilet, and such. After much discussion she finally decided to do what he suggested. So she helped him make the garage more homely and comfortable. After all, they had lived through the War, what was a few weeks of discomfort, as long as they were together.

Two days before the builders were due to start, my Grandmother walked into her bedroom to check everything had been put away. There she saw my Grandfather packing a suitcase with some clothes. Confused she asked him what he was doing. “Didn’t I remind you? I’m off to Australia for a month tour with the choir. Its been booked for over a year.

He’d never had any intention of living in the garage himself.  He had made it as comfortable as he could for his wife of many many years, he was just not staying in it himself…

Who says chivalry is dead.

I should point out before anyone gets upset about my Grandmother. After a long monologue of mostly very bad words that would make a sailor blush, my grandfather was forced able to get a second plane ticket, and upgrade his hotel room to a double, so she could go on holiday with him.