Bricklaying is a real skill! Over the weekend we have been rebuilding our fireplace and to actually get it flat and properly supportive it takes time and skill – I am just the mixer mind you it’s my partner Phil that has the hard job.

Talking of bricklaying, I read a great story in the paper about a thrifty pensioner who has dusted off her DIY manual and read up on the basics of brick laying to rebuild her garden wall which was kicked over by vandals. Eleanor Edmond, who is well into her eighties, refused to claim on her insurance for £500 repairs to the three-foot high wall.

brick layer 

Mrs Edmond, who has lived at her house on Hotham Road, Hutton Cranswick, for more than 50 years, said: “Vandals knocked it down and now a geriatric will build it up again.”

She said she did not want to pay the £50 excess charge or lose the no claims bonus on her house insurance to pay for professional builders to repair the damage so she has taken matters into her own hands.

She said: “I am quite pleased with what I have done so far and, although the wall will be up again, it won’t be as good as if a builder had done it.

What a woman – she has given me inspiration for our renovation project and I’m now truly motivated to get stuck in with bricklaying!