Skip to content

Like an episode of Butterflies

Does anyone else remember the Carla Lane sitcom, Butterflies, starring Wendy Craig and a very young Nicholas Lyndhurst? It must have been on around 1980 +/- a few years. There was one set-piece in it which always made me laugh. It was a four-car family (father, mother, both teenage sons each had a car – pretty unusual I guess in 1980). Whenever someone wanted to go out, they always seemed to want to use the car closest to the house, so everyone else had to reverse their car off the drive in a complex dance to release the target vehicle.

Well, that’s what it’s been like here for the last three weeks. There is just about enough space on my drive for my car, two builders vans, a portaloo, a trailer and several tons of building materials. But not in such a way that we can each independently get off the drive. And because I’m working part-time, I generally leave for work after the builders have arrived, and often get home again while they are still here. Furthermore, unlike in Butterflies, I’m on a busy A-road, not a quiet suburban street, so I absolutely refuse to reverse out onto the main road.

So there has needed to be some major choreography thought out to enable us to all get on and off the drive safely.  I get very grumpy if I get home from work and find that they haven’t moved their vans from “first positon” (in front of the garage) to “second position” (one of them reversed around the corner of the garage) so that I can get off the road safely and pull up in front of the garage into “third position”. Then, when they’ve all left, I have to move the car into “fourth position”, where I’m around the corner of the carage, parked hard up against the portaloo. When it works, it’s fine. But a delivery of several tons of gravel, as happened this afternoon, means that “fourth position” is blocked so it’s going to be a struggle getting us all on and off the drive tomorrow.

Oh well, only a few more days to put up with it, then they should be finished!