Monday 25 January 2010

Paint and Dust

It's the start of week three of our house refurbishment and we're still mostly calm and collected. And talking to each other. (Weekends away in London help).

All the work we'd put in organising our nightly exile to the sauna cottage has paid off. We're surprisingly well settled there living out of a combination of cardboard bankers boxes, temporary clothes rails and drawers (thank goodness for Lakeland, the oh so boring but useful home wares store). My shoe boxes get in the way and are constantly being sworn at by Husband, but I've explained the situation to them and my footwear friends are cool about his hostility.

What I can't get over is the amount of time it takes to shop for and choose paints, carpets, beds, radiators, basins, loos, shower valves, door knobs, electric sockets, light fittings or tiles. As usual, we're on a tight budget, so everything has to be top notch quality at the lowest possible price. This takes time and an awful lot of discussion between Husband and myself. Strangely, I always seem to choose the most expensive item in the shops. (Obviously this character flaw doesn't merely apply to shoes then). Husband is annoyingly practical about it all. And at the same time incredibly uncaring about colour hues.

Another thing that strikes me is all the dust. Where does it all come from? Even with the various plastic sheets covering doorways and furniture in the rest of the house, I know we'll be cleaning the whole place for weeks just to get back to some kind of normality. Watching the mess mount up, I want to tell the men in overalls to clean up after themselves, but since they seem incapable to return even empty tea and coffee cups back to the kitchen, I know it's too much to ask for a daily sweep-up. And I'm not that much of a cleanliness freak to do it myself. Plus they are getting on with the work very quickly, so I don't want to disrupt their flow and instead just skim my eyes over the detritus upstairs and focus on a finished wall or shiny new woodwork.

But all this extra time I'm spending on the project is eating into my writing. It takes away brain capacity I'd normally use for this blog. I console myself with the thought of how wonderful it will be to have a newly decorated house, an additional bedroom and bathroom. Even if we'll be leaving it for somebody else to enjoy.

For those of you who like to dip into this blog to read my 'How I came to be in England'-tale, or one of these random thoughts on my life, all I can do is ask for your patience. The man who paints today confirmed that he wants to be finished in three weeks' time.

Three weeks and we might be back living in some kind of near normality! Quick check of the diary shows that'd also be in time for Daughter's homecoming. I can't quite believe it, and know I shouldn't put my faith into a specific date. Still, my heart flipped on hearing the news, and I uttered a silent prayer. For a lapsed Lutheran that says a lot.


Wildernesschic said...

Helena you have my sympathy.. When we moved here I spent a year under dust and lime plaster. Whilst we re wired plumbed and re furbished the whole house, one evening so tired and without electricity we even slept under the dust sheets!! My only advice is to shut your eyes to the dust and mess, I gave up cleaning each day (only cleaned the important places) I would buy some cheap throw away mugs as the will end up broken and when its all done, get some industrial cleaners in it will break the back of it. All worth it in the end, and yes all the choosing takes ages and I think one of the hardest bits as it has to be right !
Love Ruth x

Francesca said...

Lakeland. Boring? No, no, no.

Francesca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
North West London Girl said...

Helena, ignore the dust,there is no point in clearing up as it will just pop up again the following day, so allow the layers to pile up. I love the choosing of colours, tiles, hinges, radiator covers and am sure I always spend far too much time on this, but it will be well worth it, when the builders have gone taking their mess with them and you can rejoice in the new space of your home. Only 3 weeks to go xx

Metropolitan Mum said...

How exciting! I remember being pretty annoyed (to say the least) at the end of our renovation project, but only two years gone by and I'd do it again.
Courage, three weeks will fly by!

TheOnlineStylist said...

Urgh the dust. We only had the kitchen and then the bathroom redone before we got married but the dust gets everywhere! Still, in three weeks time (fingers crossed!) it'll all be worth it. And I forgive you for lack of writing as it's giving me a chance to catch up! x