Work has begun this week on the new extension we're having added to the house. After just a day and a half, most of the garden has been excavated, part of the front wall and back fence dismantled and we currently play host to one digger and two skips. My car is, with permission, on a holidaying neighbour's driveway; the Natural Blonde's car is halfway up the kerb.
The dogs, from behind their cordon, are a mixture of bemused, scared and aggressed as they see strange men in boots lugging wheelbarrows and large implements around their territory. The barking is incidental though, as whatever noise they try to make is drowned out by the sound of the JCB engine.
This morning, a lad aged about seven from down our street, riding his small mountain bike to school, stopped to ask the builders if they'd knocked down my 3ft wall. When they said yes, he asked, all wide-eyed and serious: "Did you use one of those big things with a ball on the end?"
They're so cute at that age.
In three months time, we shall have a new two-storey addition to the house built, plumbed in, decorated and furnished. A new bedroom with en suite bathroom up top; an enlarged living room and kitchen and hallway (we've never had a hallway) below. The upheaval will be worth it.