Monday morning. Our lane is still blocked to traffic, with an open gully part way down the middle. There is still a row of big bluestones along the side of our house (and our weatherboards are still apparently undamaged). There are still several blokes in high-vis jackets at work. At least one of them has a mallet, bashing a stone into place as some other bloke might have done 130 years ago: the mallet and stone ring together like a small bell.
Like the pockets on my dress, however, the bluestones are not behaving, and the men have brought in the big guns. There’s a powerful circular saw at work, running intermittently. While it’s running, our upstairs room is uninhabitable, blasted with raw noise. We survived weeks of bricks being cut for the lovely curved walls of the new houses next door, and that wasn’t pleasant, a shrill, dentist’s drill sort of noise, but bluestone offers much more resistance. The machine roars. They’re just trimming the edges to fit.
It’s all very well for me to look at those men at work and imagine their competence and control, compared to my panicky response to a challenging bit of sewing. But they’re dealing with the same kind of thing. They took those bluestones out of their bed for the first time in a very long time, and the damn things just won’t go back into place.