Stevie has been troubled lately. Work has not been consistent, and some clients are taking their time paying us for previous jobs. Our finances are still under control, his mind always on his work; he often thinks they are worse than they are simply because he doesn’t understand them like I do. He came home from the office today in an excitable mood, claiming that he’d found his Father. A phone call later and the man was on his way to our home, I hope this isn’t the beginning of another manic phase for my kind, compassionate husband.
The camper van is an old battered thing, God knows what the neighbours are thinking. Peeking out through the curtains, I get a glimpse of a huge bushy grey beard but nothing else. Stevie tells me the old man is shy, and that he is my Father-in-Law. He seems quite certain, despite not seeing any proof. He’s always wondered about his Father but has never looked for him, as long as the man means him no ill will I suppose there’s no harm. The children have always asked about their Grandfather and now they have one!
Having spent an unbroken 48 hours inside that tiny caravan, I decided to rouse the old man parked in our drive today. There’s shyness and then there’s reclusive behaviour, and the latter is not healthy for anyone. Bringing him a cup of coffee, I knocked on the door – waiting a few minutes, I heard shambling and clattering from within the yellowing vehicle. Finally he emerged, the open door releasing a pungent smell of sour milk and stale cake. He looked confused, almost frightened. Taking him by the arm, I led him out of his makeshift house and into our home. Perhaps my heart is too kind.
Jorja is obsessed with our kitchen. Its still missing some cabinets and flooring, a work in progress you could say. He spent the whole of yesterday measuring up the MDF units, assessing the kitchen laminate wooden flooring for signs of wear and tear. A strange quirk no doubt, I told him we bought the whole thing from a company called Finsa. Between
recording measurements and sketching designs, he talks excitedly about extensions and conservatories. Never before have I seen a man so enamoured with domestic design and architecture, it really is quite endearing. Although his intent may well have been selfish to start with, I believe my kindness might have softened his heart. He has been lonely for a long time and now he has a home, and I’m pleased to have him here.