Saturday, 9 February 2008

Washday blues...

Progress report: the house still looks like hell. Quelle surprise. I had an odd experience the other day though - as I was wheeling the buggy over the perilous boards that currently form our front path one of our neighbours called out 'How's it going?'. I started on my usual rant about it being two months overdue and the blardy stonework for the front windows STILL not arriving and the wretched sliding folding doors presumably still growing in a Norwegian pine forest, when she said ' You must be thrilled - it's looking fantastic!'. I was gobsmacked - it so does not look fantastic. But I am going to try the glass half full rather than half empty approach from now on...!


Having said that I had a rant at the builders yesterday morning. I was getting the kids ready for school, which means that once dressed they must not touch the floor as it's knee deep in dust. Bit of a shame that their favourite game seems to be rolling from one end of the room to the other. Went to the brand new wall hung loo and the bloody thing is still broken - just flushes continuously, despite having been 'fixed' three times. Why can't I just have a loo that works like normal people! Anyway I cut my finger trying to stop the flushing,with my two year old screaming for me outside the door the whole time, then stomped downstairs to shout at the two builders unfortunate enough to have arrived early. Bet they were scared..not!

Anyway, it's Saturday morning, the kids are out with their dad and I'm at home supposedly sorting out some of the mess. The trouble is

*the builders are in almost every room fitting flooring, skirting and architraving and/or painting so I can't get anywhere
*everything I sort out for the charity shop is covered in plaster dust so I can't seem them taking it. ( Prize for most useless article goes to a 20 year old pie maker my mother in law donated when she moved.)
*none of the rooms are finished so I can't even have one 'normal' room to put everything in to stay clean
*I'd rather be at the computer drinking black coffee ( we've run out of milk and I can't be bothered to go out and get any!)

Honestly - what would you do faced with a builders' sack full of odd shoes, sun parasols and children's tennis rackets? Almost makes me want to take up smoking for a diversion. Plus I had four drinks at the fundraising disco at the kids' school last night, which for me is a massive binge drink these days. So have hangover to boot.

Speaking of drink, I spent a hilarious hour at the launderette the other night. I decided I couldn't bear it any longer and took a huge load of washing and a book. Beats bedtime with a very screamy and reluctant two year old any day. As I haven't been to a launderette since I was a student I had forgotten that they are not terribly peaceful places and are quite often full of drunk people keeping warm. Or at least the one at the end of my road is. Apparently my husband is very lucky to have such a beautiful lady washing his smalls - I must tell him! Oh and the lights in this particular launderette are timed to go out automatically at 7.45, even if the owner is staying open till 8. Ever tried folding your washing in the dark? I don't recommend it! I have just ordered a shiny new washer and dryer but I might go back again just for the entertainment value!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have my sympathy. We, too, have renovated 4 houses (the last two with a child sharing the 'joys') and this time we decided: No. A few weeks of not finding a suitable property in our preferred location and we settled on another 'project'!
We moved in Dec'06, engaged the architect in Jan'07 and prepared to engage the builders by May'07 so that we'd be able to decorate in time for Xmas'07.
Needless to say, work started a little later than scheduled ... the last week of August, in fact, and with every week the existing living space got smaller and dustier.
We are at the lowest point, right now, reduced to living and sleeping in a single room; the bedroom windows have been refitted but not yet weatherproofed around the edges.
The plumber is working simultaneously on both the gutted family bathroom and our new en-suite plus a couple of other jobs for other clients (we have a loo in the en-suite but no sink and no heating in most rooms); luckily, my mum lives nearby so hygiene isn't a problem!
The floor of the extension is being screeded as I write and when it can be walked on (2 or 3 days time) the remaining kitchen units will, in turn, be thrown in the skip (we're on our 13th skip so far).
We currently have to use the outside tap for fresh water as the mains and sink were on the wall that was demolished for the extension.
we didn't expect it to take six months but we reckon there's still another couple of months to go and we've already spent more on the house than we could recover if we had to sell in the near future.
It's so depressing at the moment that we have to keep reminding ourselves of the good bits just to stay sane; these include: we have good builders and they are doing a good (if not speedy) job; we will have lots more space when the project is finished; we shall, hopefully, have no more work to do - ever - well, at least for 5 years; not only is the quality of the workmanship good but we're delighted with the power-shower which has just gone in over the bath in the en-suite, and we're pleased with the tilt-n-turn windows and the folding-sliding doors that are on the extension and will lead to an enclosed patio, hopefully by summertime. We chose aluminium windows and doors because we had wooden ones in our previous house and the constant maintenance put us off; we ordered the doors and windows from sunseeker doors as they were not far from us (they manufacture in Luton, Beds, off the M1) and because they could install within three weeks (most other companies were quoting between 6 & 12 weeks at the time), we're also pleased with the integral blinds which tilt, rise & fall by detachable magnetic pulleys.
We also bought large polished porcelain tiles from B&Q for a third of their usual price so we hope they'll look good when in the kitchen - and the kitchen was ordered LAST MAY from Wickes who have been trying to deliver ever since!

I could go on but won't ... I've started my own blog so I'll save it all for that. Very best of luck with your project!

Georgie said...

Oh dear - that sounds v familiar - you poor thing! Hang on in there - it will be worth it in the end. So we keep telling ourselves anyway. What makes me laugh is that we put ourselves through all this cramped living in horrible cold and dusty conditions precisely because we care about our home environment and good design! I will be thinking of you - I'd love to read your blog too if you post the link. Best of luck with it all!

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I'm 39 and married with two children aged seven and four. I'm fatally attracted to house renovation projects, and this is our third in the last seven years, my personal fifth since I bought my first flat in 1996. I think we might have bitten off more than we can chew with the Worst House.

Fame at last!

Fame at last!