LOML announced two days ago that numerous tradesmen are moving into the house on Monday.

They plan to bash down a few walls, rip out the skanky old bathroom, sort out the ceilings, deal with the electrics and put in a new heating system.

We’ve been planning this for a while and I sort of assumed that when it did happen, the Dog, the Teen, LOML and me could move in with Mother for the duration.

Turns out we can’t.

She and the Step are going away and she doesn’t feel we should be left there unsupervised.

I blame LOML for her reluctance to let us squat in her home. He is like a clumsy toddler.

In a matter of weeks he has managed to break the TV while trying to rig-up the karaoke machine, the knob on mum’s highend cooker broke off when he was preparing a Mother’s Day breakfast, then he broke the hinges on the beach hut doors (blaming the unseasonal wind).

Last week he managed to set fire to her tea towel and barbecue implements on the beach, which I think was the final straw.

It wasn’t just any old tea towel. It was a special souvenir tea towel and part of a set. It’s irreplaceable, apparently. She wasn’t best pleased.

And of course, she still harks back to the “party” I had when I was 16 years-old when she and my dad were away, and then there was the time when I couldn’t find the ironing board and accidently burnt the table.

I can’t think why she isn’t keen for us to stay.

Anyway, LOML rang the plumber and builder and told them they would have to work around the Teen and me, the Crazy Cats, and the Dog.

“Impossible,” the builder scoffed.

“There won’t be any water or a functioning loo and quite honestly, mate, it’ll be a health hazard.”

LOML looked at me.

“I know,” he said triumphantly. “We will put up the tent in the back garden. We can have a bucket in the shed and we can use the washing up bowl for water. What do you think?”

I was apoplectic.

“Ok, Ok,” he said, stopping himself from verbalising any more ludicrous ideas.

The thing is, LOML had wanted to do the work himself to save money. This would have meant living in a war zone for upwards of a year so I put my foot down and insisted we pay for someone to do it properly.

Now, on top of agreeing to pay tradesmen, he was reluctant to fork out any more cash on anything that he didn’t deem necessary.

However, what he thinks is essential and what I think is essential are two very different things.

I rang Sandy Balls holiday park in Fordingbridge and got us a lovely lodge.

There’s a heated swimming pool, spa facilities and we can even take the Dog.

Bucket in the shed?

I don’t think so.

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