|Ah, the good old days of living in a building site.|
In many ways, it’s really easy living in a building site. I’m only just realising this now, as we near the end of our renovation. (At least, we’re nearly finished on the inside of the house. The exterior is a hot frigging mess and don’t even get me started on the garden.)
Now we have to get used to being house-proud again.
One time, before we had a proper kitchen, we were cooking a giant batch of onion soup on the gas camping stove. Our then cat Moona (a.k.a. Mymoona, Moon Cat, Moo Moo) managed to knock the entire pan – it was a BIG pan – over. There was onion soup all over the floor and sprayed up one wall. We were livid for all of five seconds, before we realised that a) we hadn’t yet plastered the walls and b) the floor was just bare concrete so it didn’t much matter. (We were livid again when we remembered that was our dinner she was walking through. We may not have had much, but we still liked a good feed.)
Then there was the time we were demolishing a wall downstairs. Rob was wielding the sledgehammer, wearing his safety flip flops, and we were having a great time - until a stray brick went flying through one of the windows. Oh well, we breezed, we need new windows anyway, let’s just cover it in plastic and have a beer!
How many times have the cats come in covered in mud and rain? (And, on two memorable occasions, actual pig shit.) No bother, it’s not like we have a proper floor to dirty or a sofa to jump on. You run around getting the concrete dirty, see if I care. (We did draw the line at pig shit though - someone got a proper bucket-bath on those occasions.)
Now though, now we have plastered, whitewashed walls and real floors we have to be so damn careful. Now we have a sofa and cushions and rugs and things that can get so dirty. How am I supposed to cope with (gulp) wear-and-tear on what we've only just finished? In a lot of ways it was easier when it was a building site. I think it was good for me to let go of my uptightness for a while. It’s creeping back now: all menacing, like a fog in a James Herbert novel. Oh yeah, you know shit is about to get depraved.
Also, speaking of menacing, a large family of mice have moved in upstairs. The house stood empty for years before we moved in – were there any rodents living in it? No. Then, for two years we lived in a shit tip with holes everywhere and soup sprayed up the walls. Did any mice move in then? No. No they did not. Now we’re all airtight and everything the buggers have moved in en masse. And just as it was starting to feel like a normal house...