Friday, 6 April 2007

Sleepless in Sidmouth

I should have blogged a bit longer last night. I went to bed at Cinderella hour and was still awake at 1 a.m., my mind teeming - putting the world to rights. I was tempted to start another blog post. What I was puzzling over is how truthful to be. When starting out I found it intimidating. The thought that all my friends and neighbours in this parish would read it and be judgemental. Then when Marion told me how her mind is going round in circles with worry and stress. I suggested she start to blog. When she said "what's that?" and everyone else in the group was none the wiser I realised that there isn't likely to be anyone I know locally reading my postings. Any readers in East Devon who happen across this site are likely to be quite a few years younger and most of my friends are 10 years older than I.

Now Martin and Marion moved into their home just over 18 months ago. In that time they have built a loft conversion and re-arranged all their living space downstairs. New kitchen and bathrooms. Nothing is as it was this time last year. It has been very traumatic for them. They lived on site as the builders worked around them. The builders only left a few short weeks ago. I reckon Marion is suffering from PBSS [Post Builders Stress Syndrome].

I also had this disease. I had PBSS after we did a DIY extension to make a kitchen diner. It was competed in October 1979 after a 6 month project. My man did most things including drilling through the huge cable that supplied the electric cooker with its juice. I've never heard a bang like it since. I just counted my blessings.. I thought "lucky I wasn't widowed". As it was I just said "Now look what you've done - that'll take another week before you've finished it." It took several weekends and a few Bank holidays to complete the project. The mess muck muddle and confusion were unbelievable. Never again. So our next move was to a new build. Beautiful. The best years of our life. We didn't have to lift a finger for 10 years. Not indoors. Outdoors though it took us 3 years to get the garden going and a few more before it was well established. That was plenty enough hard work. You know what builders are like for burying half bricks, concrete blocks and other bits of rubble. Once the ground was cleared we had the pleasure of stocking with plants. Lovely till my back finally protested. Never been the same again. Probably because we had to garden on the side of a steep Gloucestershire hill. If one leg wasn't shorter than the other it meant your back had to bend to accommodate. That was the initial cause of my scoliosis.

Then we moved to Devon to a 1970's house that needed updating throughout. Initially we planned to do it all while my man worked for the spondulicks to pay for the renovations. So we have spent several years with builders in every 18 months or so doing a room here and a room there. Never given us chance to really settle in and get used to calling it home. I'm just recovering from my last nasty bout of PBSS and wondering whether I really do need to get that old 1960's granite fireplace out of here or whether I can live with it a bit longer. I'm not sure I know which is the lesser of the two evils: the fireplace or having the builders back.

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