What with all the baby stuff, I have quite neglected writing about the cottage.

I met the Methodical Builder there the other day. I like the Methodical Builder – he is doing a terribly good job and soon I will have a habitable place to live.

He wanted me to choose the bricks. He showed me some bricks. I didn’t like the bricks. He then showed me some more bricks. I didn’t like those bricks either, and suspected they were the same bricks as previously demonstrated.

He pointed out that, like teenagers, bricks change their character immensely once they’re laid. I pointed out that in that case there wasn’t much point in him pointing out non-laid bricks to me, if they were going to be completely different once they were pointed. He took my point.

We agreed to go and look at some walls together. We went to see a wall. The bricks in the wall seemed hauntingly familiar. I asked the Methodical Builder if they were the same bricks that I had previously rejected (see para. 3 above) and he hummed and hawed a bit and said that they might be. I said that I didn’t like these bricks, so we went on to a builder’s merchants to see some more samples.

“These ones are pretty good,” he said, indicating a sample board on the wall. Once more, on examination, I found myself with a creeping sense of recognition, which was confirmed with a brief cross-referencing of the label. I made terribly English noises about not wanting to be a difficult customer and all that, but that I would much rather have some different bricks, which I subsequently chose.

Since then I have spoken to the Methodical Builder on the telephone, as he wanted to double-check my choice, in case he hadn’t heard correctly. I am now worried that I will not be there when the bricks are delivered and signed for, and am keen not to find that my choice of bricks has been overruled and in fact he has ordered the ones that he always wanted to have, but used various half-baked methods to disguise this, e.g. colouring each one slightly differently with felt-tip pen.