Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Life of the mind?

I’m discovering a truth perhaps long known to others: that it is very difficult to have a life of the mind when one is physically exhausted. I have not been doing the bulk of the work but what I have done has left me aching and unable to think clearly at the end of the day. In contrast, while I am working I have ideas swirling around my head of things to write, thoughts of my characters, plans for the future…It is just getting them down on paper when I stop. Did you know that one’s forearms and wrists can ache too much to type? Yes, I admit to a certain “weenyness.”

We are trying to do as much of the prep work as we can in order to save money for finishing off the house. The council papers came through with a comprehensive list of requirements for certification of completion, and more importantly, a strict deadline of six months including sanding back and painting the exterior of the house. With the council holding this and our bond over our heads, we certainly are in modern terms “incentivised.” Of course, there is the gap between what we can do and what is out of our hands – my current task is to sort out the builder as we need someone on the job as soon as the house is delivered. The removal company brings the house, restumps it, insulates and re-roofs and does some minor repairs, then we are on our own.

My partner has taken five days off work and we are working like mad to get everything ready. One thing we’ve completed is shifting the greywater tank. This involved digging a large hole (thanks for the help Danté), digging out the tank, moving it and replumbing. We’ve had the electricians here to turn off power to the laundry and demolition thereof is next on the agenda. Then we have to empty and move a 3000 gallon water tank and remove about 4 square metres of concrete slab.

Even the children have been on the job, backfilling the plumbing trenches behind us and cheerfully stomping down the dirt. Geeks that we are, we had a discussion of stratification and its relevance to which colour dirt goes in the holes in which order. I’m sure that the house removers and builder will not be this careful although one of my children will probably tell them that they should be.

On the positive side, this is great exercise and has turned into a real family activity (although the demolition site is strictly off limits to the children). On the negative side, I’m getting little writing done. But there is a season for everything…And this blog has generated some interesting correspondence that I hope to be able to tell you about soon.

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