The normal things people think of have two critical omissions in my experience – bricklaying and plastering. Sa can do both pretty competently, and has saved us on several occasions. She has now redone the wall at the end of the new patio and it looks great. I’ll leave it a while until the shame subsides and I have another go at laying bricks.
Knowing it was going to rain hard today, we blitzed the garden yesterday – not only finishing the wall, but laying the base for a shed down the side of the house next to the patio which involved laying huge concrete paving slabs (the ones we saved from the old patio) and half a tonne of concrete. We finished late, but got it done, so we can now put up the shed without worrying about the wet ground.
One other useful skill as I think about it – keeping folks entertained. A few quotes from Sa in the last week or so :-
After the first long bike ride in a while, when I suggested going out the next day, and that the aches would subside – “My bottom, darling, is a piece of precision human engineering”
Helping the kids understand how to handle mosquitoes – “If you leave them alone they won’t bother you”. Yea. Right. The kids saw straight through that one, and Sa did have to concede that maybe she was thinking of wasps!
When I asked her about why she was laying bricks differently to how I’d seen bricklayers do it “It’s because all the ones you’ve seen are amateurs.”