A year like no other…

It’s the end of another year. A year without any major building work.

My builder girl year has revolved around managing the many frustrations of being a small cog in the big property development world. Actually, not even a cog. More like the pin head screw that sits inside the cog given the amount of power I have in the decision making that happens around my projects.

But it has given me more time to spend with my family; to see more of my brother and sister, nieces and nephews and my mother. And for that I am grateful.

We lost our mother a month ago. She died. Suddenly. Without warning.

I know that if my projects had been running I would not have seen as much of her this year so I am grateful for the extra free time these delays allowed me.

Mum was a big believer in my ability to turn my hand to this property lark. Together, we managed the build of her basement granny flat in my Victorian house in Bristol back in 2000. I was still working full time so she did the day to day project management whilst I caught up on the development work at night. My lack of knowledge was frightening and was the cause of all sorts of weird dreams including one where my house slid down the road on a tidal wave of mud!

Mum pulled me together and was the reason the end result was a quality one bed granny flat which she enjoyed living in for 5 years.

She constantly told me not only that I “could do it” but I “should do it”. The conversion from the pub to a great family house is as much to do with her effort as it was me, Neil and Andy.

I started this blog because Mum asked me to. I wrote for her, not for me. I still have a couple of projects in the pipeline so I plan to continue as builder girl. But I don’t want to continue telling this story to strangers. I want to engage with my family and friends, with the people who know and care about me and if they want to follow my personal builder girl story I can tell them face to face, or by email or by letter or by telephone.

This isn’t a sad exit. I am not sad (about this anyway). Weirdly I started the draft of this final epistle some months ago. I simply don’t want to continue with it and rather leave it hanging in the ether, I thought I would send a final missive and then switch it off.

Thanks for your support. Writing this weekly blog when I was up to my armpits in concrete blocks and timber and living in Mr. Clooney was a bit of a mental lifesaver. But now I must move on to creating a better offline life with the people who matter to me.

Not hanging up the tools.

Just the pencil!