Now is the time for painting; balancing precariously on stepladders as the slow, sucking pull of a roller on plaster transforms tired walls; and the scent of fresh paint belies the lack of proper cleaning as we wait for services to be restored.
In the dark depths of the burnt out garage below our feet, wires bereft of power have been stripped from charred walls; tangling like cold spaghetti abandoned on the driveway. A car, hardly recognisable as the BMW it once was, has been dragged from the pit; leaving a trail of oil, ash and burnt rubber in its wake, before being unceremoniously lifted on the back of a lorry and hauled away to the scrap heap.
Ceiling boards, melted piping and all manner of now unrecognisable objects have been added to the overflowing skip.
Slowly but surely the clean up has begun....