The bricklayer

Not so long ago I featured a Hoffnung book and I could, here, mention a Hoffnung monologue entitled, ‘The bricklayer’. But I’ll gloss over that absolutely hilarious tale of woe and move on to my own attempts at bricklaying.

It was before 1980 that I built a porch on the front of our house. And here I am in the early stages of construction work.

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I see I have some mortar mixed on a board. I have hammer, bolster for halving bricks, kevel and rule as I start on the third course of bricks, just above the damp proof course. The porch still stands, well over 35 years on so I can’t have done too badly. But I really lacked speed. You watch the professionals slap on a trowel’s worth of mortar and bang on a brick – all done in seconds. I seemed to take minutes over each brick, trying to make sure it was as perfect as possible.

But what I really love about that picture is the cat flap hole in the front door.

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That’s our baby son peering through, trying to see what dad is up to.

Once the porch was built the cat flap in the door was closed. Our cats, if out, can access the porch but not the rest of the house. They have learned to ask if they want to come in and we are spared the remnant of rat that we sometimes found in the house.

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