Twenty-Four Seven

Also known as Weeks Seven and Eight of Renovations Round Three.

Or, how to survive living in a fishbowl.

For the last two weeks we have had no privacy. Builder by day Monday to Friday. Plasterer all day Saturday. Painter after work at night and all day Saturday.

Only Sunday is a day of rest. That is, apart from the fumes and mess we are left to deal with once the tradespeople have departed.

It feels as if we are always being assessed. I feel self-conscious about things like dying flowers in the bathrooms and clothes hanging in front of the fire and dishes left in the sink. Which is ridiculous when you consider the mess they have made of my house.

I seriously cannot believe I am managing to not only survive but to also stay sane in the chaos that is our humble abode at the moment. Always insistent in a bad way that the house be always ready to receive guests, it seems unfathomable that I am able to ignore my front veranda and the mess in my front entrance.

The only explanation - well two really - is that, one, I can at least cheerily tell everyone "We're renovating" and by that one statement lay the blame squarely on someone else (even if I have neglected to clean the toilet or dust the TV that week), and, two, I am living in hope that one day VERY SOON our new windows will go in and then I will start to feel that maybe, just maybe, it is all worth it.

I know that there are stages in every renovation journey where it seems as if there has been no progress. I have felt like this for the majority of the last eight weeks. Only now am I beginning to feel that perhaps it may end one day and that this period will be but a dim memory.

However, DH has also decided that we will commit to renovating our other living room and two hallways before deciding whether we then do the two remaining bedrooms or not. While, on one hand, I'm happy about this, on the other hand, it makes me want to wring my hands and tear my hair out. As some insensitive people have been reminding others on Facebook, there are only twelve weeks to Christmas and, given the rate at which our renovations are being completed, I am afraid that we'll still be in a terrible mess when it arrives. (Plus with linen cupboards having to be totally rebuilt opposite our two bathrooms I'm already experiencing anxiety about how one actually gets to the bathroom and then "goes" when there are tradespeople right outside the door!)

But even before then I have another dilemma: how on earth am I to host a birthday celebration, complete with providing accommodation and hospitality, when my house still looks like this:

All I can hope for is fine weather ... and no more fumes.