Saturday, 12 May 2012

Better off than most.

   I love house building programs. You know the ones. Where a couple buy a derelict electricity sub station half way up a Welsh mountain and plan to turn it into the latest "des res" with a kitchen bigger than the deli department at Waitrose and a flat screen TV that would put your local Odeon to shame.
  So I tuned into the second series of "The Restoration Man" to watch a mid thirties couple, restore an old windmill. In fact the "windmill" was really only a tall tube of bricks. The top had been blow of in a storm way back in 19 0 something and it had just become an old ruin. Their plan was to build a new house and link it to the restored windmill with a glass corridor. Right at the outset we knew Nikki Fagg had had and beaten cancer and was the driving force behind the project. So on a wet and muddy day (why is it always a wet and muddy day) the project starts and as always the budget comes under the spotlight. Will it be enough, will the bank keep the funding going and save the project from disaster.
   Well that's the usual route but this time things are different. Standing outside the frame of the new house Pete Fagg tells George (The Restoration Man) that Nikki is again unwell. The cancer has returned and she has a year to live. They both stand there in tears and I'm on the sofa blubbering too. For the next 45 minutes everybody is working like crazy to get the sails back on the windmill before it's too late. They managed it and they finished part of the house too before the cancer ended Nikki's life. George goes back to the house when it's finished and is shown around by Pete. It's absolutely stunning and as Pete and George go around the house and windmill you can't help but realize that there's something, someone, missing from what should be a wonderful time in someones life.
   Television comes in for some rightful condemnation at times, for the tripe it turns out. Occasionally it comes up with something that makes you realize how lucky you really are compared to others and what can be achieved when you set your mind to it, even when your up against such terrible odds

In memory of Nikki Fagg (1979-2011)        

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