I apologise for blogstipation this week. I have been scrabbling around on the floor of a terraced house in the Highfields area of Sheffield, close to Sheffield United''s Bramall Lane football ground. Scrabbling on the floor and working a paint roller on the ceiling.
In addition, I have masked windows, unscrewed curtain poles. Wallpapered over an unsightly area under the window. Unscrewed shelving and later screwed it all back into position. Covered furniture with dust sheets, washed out brushes, visited B&Q three or four times, scoured drips away with white spirit, washed windows, checked for areas that needed retouching and worked on second and third coats before reassembling the room. Then finally, by 7pm on Friday, it was all done and I could walk away, pleased with our efforts.
The house is where our son, Ian, used to live. With our help, he bought it in 2007 and paid the mortgage month after month with the assistance of two friendly lodgers, He's been working with me on the front room re-decoration and it has been good to spend time with him this week - working together on a practical task. He is such a lovely young man, with a happy heart and an appetite for life but he has recently made a momentous decision. Like Dick Whittington, he's heading for London.
His girlfriend Ruby is already there having graduated from St Andrew's University earlier in the summer. She secured a media internship with a leading cosmetics company. Very quickly, Ian and Ruby managed to find a little flat near Shepherd's Bush Green and now he's going down to The Smoke to join her. He has no job to go to but I am confident that he will quickly find something - gain a foothold in that awesome antheap - probably in men's fashion.
Sometimes in life, you have to be ready to follow your heart - declining the safe and sensible path. Shirley and I are right behind him and we will do what we can to help him and Ruby to establish themselves in the Olympic City. On Sunday, I shall be driving a hire van down to the metropolis with the few worldly possessions they need to begin their London life. Perhaps we will stop at a motorway services so that I can take a leak and perhaps write another poem...