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August 11, 2001: Mud pies

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I have sunburns on the back of my knees! My arms are a little toasted, but the worst of it is on the back of my legs. Makes sitting on things rather interesting - I end up perching on the very edge of the chair and hunching forward (posture, schmosture!), and occasionally muttering 'ow!' under my breath.

I managed to do this because the front of me was facing towards the bricks and therefore safe from the sun's dastardly rays....and it probably didn't hurt that the front of me was also getting a fairly liberal coating of brick mortar too (which, I'm sure, has an SPF of at least 35). See, a few weeks ago while at church, Richard and I were accosted by a Clipboard-Carrying Woman and before we knew it we had volunteered to come help lay bricks for the front of the church, where the bulk of the restoration is taking place these days. The church in question has been undergoing restoration for at least several years now (it's a Genuine Antique Building!), with most of the work being done by volunteers. They've done an amazing job of it so far (although the cyclone fencing and construction debris where the front entrance used to be was not exactly reassuring when we first showed Richard's parents were the wedding would be held), and now they are left with the roof, and the bricks.

I don't think I'll be rushing off to become a brick-laying apprentice any time soon, but it wasn't all that bad. It's sort of the grown-up version of making mud pies, really. You slap a little mud down, you squish it with a cool triangle shaped trowel, and then you smash a brick in the middle of it and whack it repeatedly with a rubber mallet until it's in just the right place (determined by judicial application of a large and mortar-speckled balance), and then you grab some more mud and you squash it down in between the bricks with your fingers (they had little tools for this but using fingers is soooo much more fun!) and occasionally you brush the hair out of your eyes (and the mortar into your hair) and then you do it all again. And then some more. And then you go grab more bricks and you keep doing it until they run out of mortar and golly gee shucks you have to stop for the day.

So because of all the playing in mud and slapping bricks around, I'm pretty worn out. Well, it doesn't help that neither of us got much sleep because we were up really late last night (before having to get up really early this morning - wince). I'm not sure what Richard was up to (although he was mumbling things about ftp and servers and things) but I was happily redesigning my home page, and even though I turned off my computer at slightly after midnight (honest, I really did, and actually did get into bed and everything), I couldn't stand it so I got back out of bed and spent another hour or two finishing it up.

Before I went to bed the first time I was mumbling about making the final changes and Richard grinned at me and told me he'd see me in a few minutes. I thought he meant he was coming to bed too. When I shuffled back into the computer room a few minutes later to turn the computer back on and keep working, he grinned at me again, having had no intention of coming to bed anytime soon - probably because he was working on some sort of network thingmajig.

Ah, computer nerds in love.

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