My January so far.
Chunk of first two weeks, Mr Blithe away, chaos at home. Calm restored with arrival of Oma to organise, feed and soothe (and that’s only me). She also played endless games of Lego with Blithe Boy, read to the children and administered the kind of stern talking-tos that grandmothers can get away with while mothers are shrugged off. The day after she arrived we made 24 jars of jam from the cases of fruit she brought. Having orchardist connections can be very handy.
Mr Blithe returned safely in spite of travelling part of the time of US Airways (yes the airline that landed a plane in the Hudson). We spent the next week and a bit frantically working on the house. Result: house completed, he and I exhausted. Final “reinspection,” as the council likes to call it, scheduled for tomorrow first thing in the morning. I still have a set of windows to paint but we also need to re-jig them a bit so we’re sticking with just undercoating them for the moment. After all, we wouldn’t want to get bored in the coming weeks.
This week I have entirely cleared out two bedrooms. Imagine, if you can, the detritus of the bedroom of three messy children of a messy mother and a bedroom where everything has been “temporarily” stored for the last six years. Last night at 10 o’clock we finally got to the point of ripping up the old carpet. Horrible brown and yellow carpet gave way to…old lino! We had no idea that there was linoleum under there and it wasn’t exactly what we wanted at that time of night. By one in the morning, lino (and in one case, two layers of lino – a brown daisy pattern and a colourful starburst design) gave way to pristine, bare hoop pine floors. It is amazing the condition of these floors protected under their layers of lino and carpet. We think the hallway carpet has been there for at least thirty years judging by the wear and the old-fashioned lino underneath (splodgy large polka dots with heavy paper underlay).
Today, the new carpet is being laid. Then we will have the grand family reallocation of rooms provided the inspection goes satisfactorily.
And then perhaps, I can finally turn my mind to writing again, although I do have a work deadline or two to meet. Work so far hasn’t stopped me writing, but work + school holidays + house renovations have been remarkably successful. The kids are eagerly awaiting going back to school next week and hopefully the house can slide down my scale of priorities very soon. Here’s to a more (or is that less?) interesting rest of the year.