Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Hand me the hammer!

It was 9am on Saturday morning and I was holding a hammer tightly in my hand. I looked at my target and swung with all my might. I heard a loud ‘smash’, and felt extremely satisfied.

I’ll bring you up to speed as to why the hell I was wielding a hammer at 9am on Saturday morning. The Boys Brother and Sister in law have recently moved house and are embarking on a renovation project. There was an old brick outhouse standing in the way of where their extension would be built and it had to go, so that was why we were there.

 - Brick outhouse on the right -
We (The Demolition Squad) being the people listed below:

There was me – Over excited novice builder.

The Boy – Who didn’t really share my excitement, but loved playing with the sledgehammer just as much as I did.

The Boys sister – Who provided a much needed hug on the second day when the going got tough, she also has pretty amazing brick laying skills.

The Boys Brother aka ‘Project Manager’ – Who adopted dare devil status after attempting to knock down the wall he was standing on with a sledge hammer!

The Boys Sister in law aka ‘Wee boys Mum’– Who snapped pictures of our efforts, cooked our meals and kept the little ones out of the danger zone.

‘Wee boys Mums’ Mother – Who made much needed cups of coffee (Clearly not a proper builder otherwise I’d be drinking tea) and made yummy cake.

‘Wee boys Mums’ Dad – Who created the vegetable patch, and had a fantastic pair of yellow pointy slippers.

Back to the demolition and what better way to start the day than with a sausage butty and a strong cup of coffee (in a Cath Kidston mug no less), all of this courtesy of ‘Wee boys Mums’ Mother. Breakfast over and it was time to tackle the brick outhouse.

Before getting to work I had to put on my ‘Workies Attire’, high vis pants and steel toe caps. I think I was looking pretty darn cool.

- Demolition had begun -

After The Boys Sister and I smashed the two windows in, the men in the squad took the roof off. Then it was time to let rip on the bricks.

I’d never used a sledge hammer before, but from taking one look at it I knew it had my name written all over it. I held the hammer over my shoulder and swung it at the bricks, I wacked the wall as hard as I could, feeling quite proud every time a brick fell out.

My Dad's a builder and I always toy with the idea of having a more masculine career. I like the idea of being a mechanic, a builder, a plumber or even an electrician. I opted for electronics over cookery in school. As soon as I pulled up my rather fetching bright yellow pants I felt my manly instinct kick in. I embraced the builder in me. Although after lunch I couldn’t help but re touch my make up and fix my hair before going back outside.

Back outside and it was all systems go, the bricks that came from the outhouse where being used to create a vegetable patch for the ‘Wee boys Mum’. The Boys Sister and the ‘Wee boys Mums’ Dad were busy building it, The Boy and I were busy bashing the hell out of the outhouse, the little ones kept an eye on the proceedings with their noses pressed up against the windows, ‘Wee boys Mum’ and ‘Wee boys Mums’ Mother were on hand to provide refreshments and Project Manager was... project managing?  By ‘Project managing’ I mean getting a rather nasty looking war wound on his leg after a brick hit him and somehow getting a perfect rectangle shape cut out of his trousers with no explanation as to how it happened.

- Almost there -

By the end of day one we were all exhausted, sore and extremely tired. It was hard work to even lift our pizza to our mouths. The Boy looked at me wild eyed when I said we’d be coming back on Sunday to finish off. I would have felt like a failure if I didn’t, there were still walls to knock down and walls to be built.

- Tired and sore -

Sunday morning came and I have to say the excitement I had the previous day had definitely vanished. I had pulled a muscle in my left bum cheek, but I wasn't going to let that stop me.

I was on ‘Brickie’ duty, and was given the task to finish off the vegetable patch. I’ve never lay a brick in my life, and I don’t think I did a very good job. The vegetable patch is a little wonky. It was alright when I was knocking the wall down, but to do work that actually has to stay there and be looked at every day is a little daunting. Now every time I visit I’ll see my not so handy handy-work.

- Look! No outhouse! -

Finally after what seemed like hours of hard labour we were done. The outhouse was gone and the vegetable patch was finished. It was time to tuck in to some steak and chips. ‘Bootiful!’

The biggest achievement of the weekend was not the amount of work that we did, but that none of us ended up in A&E. :)

For another version of the weekends events why not take a look at ‘Wee boys Mums’ blog, it’s all about how the renovation’s going.

Love from a rather bruised and battered

Laura – Who never wants to see another brick in her life.


  1. Sounds like a good day! Next time I come to Leeds we should go and find a wall to knock down!

  2. Oh good work, looks like a lot of hard work!!