Being Tony, Chapter 3, Part 1

 

Maggie

 

Lynn News – Accommodation

“Beautifully decorated holiday home available soon for rent by the week or month. Great location right on the beach with easy access to the popular resort of Hunstanton, the wide open beaches, and the countryside around Lynn. Also comes with vouchers for 10% all food at the famous Harbor Inn on Hunstanton beach.”

 

As winter came in, my life was full again. Back in the house, Betty and I were making plans for our first Christmas together. Her parents were very aloof about us living together without getting married, but they were at least reconciled that the arrangement was what it was. Her paying guests came and went, and my job on the cottage brought in enough cash for our needs plus some extras, and we were content.

At first, I had been overwhelmed by the project, but once I found out that Graham was just about as clueless as me, I started to feel better. The basics of the building were reasonable. It was a long ranch style building on top of the sea defenses, with fantastic views of the sea in front and the sand dunes behind. But it had not been lived in for several seasons, and while the roof was intact, there were signs of damp coming in from the windows, and the whole place needed gutting and redoing. If I had been looking at doing that sort of renovation today, I’d throw my hands up in despair. Back then I didn’t know enough even to know that I didn’t know enough, so I just got on with it.

To start with, Graham and I would work together, with him instructing and me doing the hard graft. The first priority was to get it secured from the elements, and then to get electricity and water reconnected. After about 6 weeks, we had a home that was, at least, habitable, and then we started working the rooms one at a time to get them to be fit for renters. It was at this point that Graham began to leave more of the work to me, as he spent more time on what he called his other projects. As far as I could tell, these other projects involved betting and drinking, but I was not complaining, after all, he carried on paying me.

Every morning I’d kiss Betty goodbye, jump in my Jag and speed off to the cottage. I’d work there all day, sometimes going out to get more materials, or just for a ride along the coast. I’d come home in the evening and take Betty out to the Harbor Inn or one of the other places we liked. Then we’d come home for a meal, and snuggle together against the cold before the day would start again.

All of these things were good, but none of them was excellent. I was OK doing the work in the cottage but hated being alone all day. I didn’t think that “General Handyman” was much of a job to have; it didn’t fit the image of someone who drove a Jag.

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About Derek Knight

Transplanted Brit, now in the US Mid West | Writer, blogger & author | passionate about life | Traveler and home body | amazon.com/author/derekknight | http://derekknight007.wordpress.com/ | https://twitter.com/DerekKnight1 | https://www.facebook.com/Derek.Knight.Author
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