OPINION: At last! I can now hang my own pants on the washing line again – RICK JACKSON

The past seven weeks have been rather interesting in the Jackson household as we’ve moved in with the father-in-law while we have an extension built.

RELIEF: No longer will Rick have to watch while his father-in-law pegs out his pants...
RELIEF: No longer will Rick have to watch while his father-in-law pegs out his pants...

This has been three years of planning, saving and hoping we’d picked the right builders as we make the second biggest investment in our lives after buying the house in the first place.

I feel it’s important to be clear and concise from the word go when organising such a grand rebuilding of your house, so I let my wife do it!

To be honest, it was her dream but now it’s a reality.

From architect’s drawings, planning consent to appointing builders, it’s been a team effort, but the finer details are down to her.

What was interesting was the difference between all the builders we spoke to.

Some made it sound like what we wanted wasn’t possible. Maybe they didn’t need the work?

We’ve not had the greatest experience with builders, so we needed to make sure we got it right and one builder shone thorough. It’s so important to find one with a can-do attitude, but with the budget well in mind.

Sarah would have all these wonderful ideas, but it does take a certain amount of realism, as she pointed out to me when I asked for a built-in bean-to-cup coffee machine!

I was so impressed with our builders. The speed with which they worked, the tidiness and attitude filled us with confidence.

Seven weeks later, they have finished and we are delighted with the results and the quality of their work. The amount of steelwork they’ve put up, I’m surprised the house isn’t magnetic.

So now we have to say goodbye to the father-in-law. Goodbye to his endless YouTube car videos, debates about Brexit, private conversations with our dog and his strange obsession with having everything in straight lines.

Thanks to Shaun and the team at Hind 2000, our house is now 25 per cent bigger and I can escape the embarrassment of watching said father-in-law hanging my pants out on the line a lot sooner!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

I thought the days of leering, ogling builders were over…

I thought the ogling builder was a thing of the past until two gentleman who started work on the path up to the radio station appeared this week.

My studio window looks out on to the path and by 8am they are busy beavering away repairing old paving slabs.

That doesn’t stop them watching every pretty girl who walks past on the way to their offices. They don’t even try to disguise their admiration either, leaning against their spades gazing at them as the women go about their business.

Being in a soundproof studio I cannot confirm if there are wolf whistles or not, but what I did find amusing was the ladies who were most put out weren’t the ones being ogled.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Arnie ahead of Brunel? You’re on the wrong track completely

A tough question, but I was surprised to see Isambard Kingdom Brunel came only eighth in a list of Portsmouth’s greatest residents in a News poll.

For me, it’s a close call between him and winner Charles Dickens. Yes, Dickens is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, but surely the man who helped shape the way we live and move around today, giving us giant steam ships, railways and bridges is of equal importance?

I bet the Clifton Suspension Bridge is rocking wildly at Brunel coming behind Arnold Schwarzenegger. Surely the most important people are those who make the greatest impact on our lives? Where in Portsmouth is Arnold Schwarzenegger Street?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​