Mr Ayak is building a balcony. Yes I know I have mentioned before that his attempts at DIY consist of using only a hammer but I have no choice but to accept his decision on this occasion.
Look at this picture. The kitchen is to the right of the open terrace. Behind the terrace are three rooms...a sitting-room, bathroom and bedroom. We decided that as we have plenty of space we could enclose this terrace and make it a sitting room, thus giving us two bedrooms. To do this we would first need to build a balcony at the front and steps leading up to what will be a door on the right hand side...otherwise we will just open the door and sort of fall out.
The builder who was finishing off the septic tank and concreting when I arrived just over a week ago seemed pretty efficient so we decided to ask him to build the balcony and steps. That was on Friday and he was due to start work on Saturday.
He didn't turn up so Mr Ayak went to find him. He had unfortunately broken his leg and was in hospital, so Mr Ayak set about finding someone else to do the work. After several visits by different men, and much drinking of tea and chatting, Mr Ayak settled on a rather elderly, frail man. He is 76 years old. I was rather concerned about this as he was determined that he could undertake the entire job on his own. I had serious doubts.
So on Sunday he made a start. The base of the balcony consists of large rocks, of which there are lots in the garden. Of course he couldn't lift these so Mr Ayak started digging them up, loading them into the wheelbarrow and shifting them. Then he couldn't manage the bags of cement so Mr Ayak shifted those and mixed with the sand. You're getting the picture now aren't you?
By Sunday afternoon, Mr Ayak was busy building the balcony, whilst the old man was sitting in the shade. I did mention to Mr Ayak of course that we were paying this man to do the job and it seemed a bit ridiculous for Mr Ayak to be doing most of the work. He replied that he had to help the man as he was old and couldn't manage on his own. (OK Mr Ayak's too kind for his own good and people take advantage of him but I've given up trying to get him to toughen up).
Monday arrives but no old man. In the meantime, Mr Ayak continues to build the balcony and carries on with it yesterday (Tuesday). The old man put in an appearance at midday to say that he wasn't feeling well the day before (but obviously didn't think to let us know). He then sat in the shade whilst Mr Ayak was continuing to work up a sweat.
Enough is enough. I took Mr Ayak to one side and said that there is no way that we could consider paying the man to build the balcony and that he would have to tell him. He did so and offered him a day's pay (which I think was over-generous) and the man went on his way.
Therefore Mr Ayak continues with his DIY. The balcony is sloping one way and I dread to think what the steps will be like..but what choice do I have?
I'll keep you posted.