Men at work in the lane. Shovels on gravel. Affable voices. Transistor radio yodelling. Last week a fair-sized digger took up the central bluestones and the soil underneath to make space for cables for the new townhouses on the other side; at last our new neighbours, who have been camping out in their not-quite-ready homes, have got electricity. The trenches were filled in with muddy gravel, and the huge bluestones left carefully stacked along the side of our house. I’ve been checking them suspiciously. So far not one has touched our weatherboards.


Yesterday another digger took out the gravel with a lot of beeping and flashing lights. Today the men in their high-vis vests are putting the bluestones back. It’s a matter of fine judgement. One of them on his knees, a couple of others watching. Will this one fit, or is there a smaller one over there? Thump as the stone drops in. By the end of the day we should have our lane back to normal, hosed down and left to itself for a few more decades.



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