I was going to title this one “After this I am instituting a policy of shooting on sight, definitely site” but then I thought that it might be the sort of online posting that results in government agencies taking an unhelpful level of interest in my activities.
The process of renovation that began last July with needing to repair our roof, then morphed into replacing the roof (as discussed previously), and then expanded in a manner Violet Beauregarde would be familiar with to include other things that make perfect sense in context, but inevitably will turn out to be not exactly as straightforward as we’d hoped … have turned out to be less straightforward than we’d hoped. So instead of this afternoon bidding farewell to tradesmen and settling back to enjoy my warm, dry, beautiful house in peace and tranquility, I’m nodding like a wobble-headed dog and smiling (or at least baring my teeth and winching the corners of my lips upwards, which will have to do) and trying to channel happy thoughts as the tradesmen tell me what days next week … and the week after … and please god no other weeks although at this point I cannot rule anything in or out (other than maintaining my sanity, which is very much in the “out” category) … they will be returning in order to finish the work that still needs to be done.
The garden is trashed. My side gate (not a euphemism) has been thoroughly buggered (a euphemism) by being repeatedly forced open against the hinges (back to not a euphemism). I’m covered in paint. And undercoat. And primer. And bits of tape. And am typing this on a computer that has been only partly unearthered from a pile of boxes and dustsheets. Last night we slept in a room with one window partially installed and the other completely cut out of its framing and held in place by a combination of hope, bloody-mindedness and (possibly) masking tape. I have had teams of strange men walking around in every room of the house. For weeks. Every room. All of them. Sometimes simultaneously. Trying to change in and out of painting clothes without adding my own sort of flashing to a situation where flashing is already a contentious point (it was delivered two weeks and three inches of rain after it was meant to be) means trying to locate everyone, and then finding the hallway or corner of a room furthest away from them before they move around, ideally also away from a window (did I mention scaffolding?) (shitloads of scaffolding?!) (which they took five revisits to fix up after the initial “install”, and still didn’t get right?!!) and some very quick up-down movements which usually result in things being inside out. Oh, and I have a hole ripped in the arse of my painting trousers, so I also have to remember not to bend down if anyone might be passing.
I’m sure there’s poetry to be had from all this one day, but at the moment I would just to be able to walk into the bathroom and not immediately be greeted by the sight of the toilet with the seat thrown open. (Seriously guys, it’s simple – gates and toilets. Leave both of them the way you found them.)