Date:Friday July 13 2007
As some of you know, I have a little semi detached house in North Wales with a small garden in which there are a few trees and plenty of wild grass. My wife likes the idea of attracting wild life, butterflies
and birds especially and has over the years we've lived here, some 12 now, changed things here and there to suit.
Me I've had the onerous task of rebuilding it every12 months, to keep up with changing times, and demands on the house. When we moved from our 4 bedroomed cottage up the hill our family consisted of Sue, me and our 4 kids with our little wonder 3 months away from delivery, and my wife's mom newly moved from Birmingham.
It took the builders from March until August to make the house habitable, the top story, was still partly smoke damaged from an internal fire 4 years previously.
Now nearly 12 years later with just my wife, myself and my youngest here permanently I'm a quarter of the way through rebuilding and redecorating each room on each level and have started, until the weather interrupted to refurbish exterior parts in need.
Its a mammoth task, and a costly one, and one that's highly disruptive, with scaffolding interrupting our parking arrangements, rooms cluttered with the contents of other rooms in the middle of change, we've had weeks with 1 toilet, and 1 shower its been hard. You plan, you organise and I'm good at that as is my wife, but still it can go wrong, the weather is so bad every time they start work it stops them, the guys rebuilding the living room fireplace are both down with the new virus and so on, its a battle, but with compromise, with patience it will all get done, not in the original time frame, or as originally planned, you just have to change to suit.
Martin O'Neill is in a similar position as I write. He's rebuilding Aston Villa. He's got more help than me, he's got more money than me but his job is just as big, ok its bigger. But in its own way just as complicated and I'd suggest he's under far, far more pressure to get results. He's removed the rubbish, cut out the weak, maybe too quickly and now he's looking to buy the materials to fit the plan to enable the dream to come true.
Like me he's finding it hard, even though in theory he doesn't have my cost restraints, and I'm sure he's hit problems, its not going to plan even allowing for his past record of leaving transfers until late. All
around him the support work goes on, with improvements at every corner, his partners are doing their part well enough but there are huge delays, essential personnel change their mind, need more money, have better options and so on.
Luckily for me, time is on my side, I've planned around visits from kids, from friends and from business colleagues, they can accept the chaos, the parking restrictions, but O'Neill has different pressures, he has much less leeway, far more demands. For him having removed the weakness' within the structure he's only just started replacing, it will be weeks yet before its imbedded and working as well as required.
The other parts needed for the basic structure are still missing, the house will soon start to wobble and crumble unless they are not only bought in but fixed, fully prepared, and decorated ready to go. Even then when its done it will take time to see if the original plan was all that was expected,but it has to be done first.
For me my structure is done its just decoration and finishing, time consuming as it is. O'Neill on the other hand has a long way to go just to get the structure sound, and his time restraints mean he doesn't have much longer left, could he be considering compromises, we initially didn't but we don't have his money, but I have a feeling to meet his deadline he will have to, we had to eventually.
Trouble is in the long run, as I found when I made such compromises before, in time they come back to cost you more to put right.
I wonder if in time he will too?
Date:Friday July 13 2007
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