11 February 2012

Builders in the house

It's been five long weeks, rather than the estimated two - and the builder(s) are still here. The amount of their tools in my studio has diminished a bit, though not enough to allow easy access to the sewing machine. I've been sitting by the window and writing, mostly. The end may be in sight - only a few bits to add to the bathroom. When they leave we'll paint the hall, getting rid of "magnolia" - so last century! - put up a backlog of pictures, and then, hopefully, have a nice calm time and even do some serious work in the studio.

Although Ryczard and his occasional co-workers have been pleasant and (radio apart) unobtrusive - and do a good clean up at the end of every day - we'll be so glad when he/they leave. You lose "the home as haven" while work is going on, and when the schedule gets drawn out, home becomes less and less your own home. You also lose your sense of being a free agent - yesterday my planned exhibition-plus-lunch escape became a matter of "what else can I possibly do, that will keep me away from home till the builders quit for the day". Wandering in and out of shops simply wasn't satisfying, nor was browsing in bookstores, but I just couldn't face being home till all the mess was cleared up for the day.

And the dust, the dust ... everywhere. When the builders do finally leave, dusting everything off, especially in the overcrowded studio, will involve reassessing whether the item stays or goes. So many decisions! There's a growing sense, probably erroneous, that the longer they stick around, the more difficult the process will be.

The scary bit, though, is the recognition that I'm using "the builders" as an excuse - for all sorts of things: laziness, short temper, lack of effort, an inclination to spend too long socialising, retreating into spending/wasting time on the computer...hmm, probably the very things I do anyway...  It's a short step to blaming the builders for not being able to sleep well, eating and drinking too much, developing a can't-be-bothered attitude... Once they go, of course, we'll have to find a different excuse for any of these sloppy behaviours.

With any luck the renovation will finish next week, the tools will go - and it'll be back to taking responsibility for our own actions.

And speaking of dust, here's an apposite quote from Picasso:  "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." 

1 comment:

sandra wyman said...

You have my sympathies - eight years ago my house had major renovations done and the builders were in for three months - I felt as if I was the intruder and the concrete mixer in the kitchen began to feel like a permanent fixture.

Hopefully it will be worth it.

And treat yourself to all the excuses you want!