Friday, 13 October 2017
“I’m going to pace myself” I said. I need to make life easier, I thought. Less work, less stress, more time for the family.
Six months later and here I am, living in a renovation project, surrounded by builders on my day off, watching them re-plaster almost every wall on the ground floor level of the house, responding to the calls of “Mummy” from upstairs with repeated promises of “I’ll be there in two minutes sweetie” whilst trying to order wall brackets before the store sale ends. When I do put down the phone, it immediately rings with a query from the office.
Where did that plan go wrong? In April, Hubby and I decided we needed more living space for a home office. This would make life easier for me in the future when I feel run down; and enable me to carry on working without missing treatments. Also, sometimes it’s easier to concentrate on the four binders of evidence I’m reading when I’m in my own home (on a comfortable sofa, whilst wearing my slippers) rather than in a busy environment (whilst wearing heels).
Hubby’s job requires him to work from home too, so we started the house search together and fell in love with an old Edwardian house. The perfect size to enjoy family life and to have a separate work space. Kirstie and Phil (presenters on a really good home search programme on UK TV) would have called it a “hidden gem”. I now know that phrase actually means something that is rare, hard to find and a load of grief to make into something beautiful. During the first viewing, the house was perfect; the sun was streaming though the huge windows and illuminating the period rooms with high ceilings. During the second viewing, we saw the cracks in the walls, the toilet that didn’t work and the damp; and then, the surveyor found the rest.
We still bought it. We loved it. There’s nothing that we can’t plan for, right? Hard work now will pay off for the rest of our lives, right?
Sometimes my thoughts take over. In my head there is nothing that I can’t do (apart from flying and travelling by Tube, which I still do waver about). I know I have CF; I’m generally coughing as I’m thinking but I just don’t factor it in. I will do it anyway, so there! Usually friends and family give me a reality check (usually Little Sis). This time the family loved the house too, so off I went on a journey in my head.
I can order period relevant antiques from eBay to fill the space, right? If they need stripping down and waxing, I can do that. If they need painting I can do that too (I can sort the actual collection of the antiques at a later date right? Erm… Hubby? … Dad?)
I can tile the bathrooms myself; I’ll learn how to during the weekends and then start the work when I know I can do it. It can be a hobby. We can just get the walls re-plastered and painted until then. It will be fun and rewarding to see the house change because of us.
As I type this, (in my bedroom because the downstairs is currently unusable), I need to pause to bang my head against my bedroom wall. There is no doubt that I will learn how to tile the bloody bathrooms and I will do it (even if it is just the downstairs toilet) but I do now get how ridiculously annoying I must be.
The move took forever. We sold our house in two weeks and then I hopped up and down impatiently for the whole of the summer whilst the other parties in the chain danced around the conveyancing process. The move date was postponed three times, which means that we have now lived out of boxes in varying degrees for approximately 6 weeks. We have the important things to hand; meds, food, phones, chargers, make up, Jo Malone home fragrance.
Sunday, 15 October 2017
The building works are moving faster than the house move did. We are nearly at a point where we can pause.
The bargain Edwardian, marble topped wash unit stands proudly in our bathroom and the waxed and polished antique mirrors are propped against boxes covered in plastic, ready for the new walls.
A combination of antibiotics, steroids and buckets of hot tea with honey mean that this morning I have been able to enjoy my Sunday morning in bed, actually lying down with minimal coughing. Things were getting a little ropy chest-wise for a while, but I won’t dwell on that. I have even managed to finish typing this. H is snuggled up beside me, watching me type.
Hubby has just handed me a bacon sandwich.
The plasterers are back tomorrow morning and I get to go to work for some peace and quiet. I might take my slippers to work and hide them under my desk. Now there’s an idea.