Wednesday, March 03, 2004

There’s always something happening 

Did I mention that we are moving soon? Not only that, but we are building a house. Not us, obviously - we're paying someone to do it for us. That's a South African trait, by the way. A South African will say to you "I built a pool", which to me conjures images of sweaty days spent with a shovel at the bottom of a large hole in the ground. To an Englishman, the same activity comes out as "I had a pool built". It is as if the South African would like you to believe that he created this thing from nothing with his own hands, whilst the Englishman would want you to know that he would never sully himself with such menial labour. He has a man to do it for him.

So we have a builder. Mike. Very nice guy, if a bit casual, and so far we have not fallen out with him. That is probably because his slack at the moment is most visible in a very un-builderly attitude towards his bills, and not in a laidback approach to, say, the structural strength of walls. It is said that building a house is one of the more stressful activities to which you can voluntarily subject yourself. The worst in stress terms is probably a wedding, in as much as that is voluntary. At the moment, and as far as I can foresee this won’t change for the next eight weeks or so, the process of building seems to consume all of our time, energy, and money.

It would probably be fun, in as much as someone with a Y chromosome can find these things fun, to redo a room in the house. Choose a new bathtub, say. Maybe one of those bubbly ones. To choose the stuff for an entire house is to subject a master of indecision such as myself to a peculiar form of torture. "What colour should the outside be?" "What colour should the bathroom be? The bedroom? The kitchen?" Shit, I don't know - they all look the same. I like what you like. How about that off-white colour? Fluffy peaches, rancid butter, singed silk, or whatever it's called. Then the fittings. Taps, basins, oven, curtains, help! I need to access my inner poof or something. (Note for South Africans & Yanks: poof = moffie = fag. Don't know which of those is PC. Sorry.)

This leads me to contemplate Things I Will Miss About the Old House:
1. the view of the sunset
2. the big pool
3. the neighbours (except the German guy who wanders his garden in droopy Y-fronts)

Things I won't miss:
1. the fragile tiles we put in, which are now peeling. Yes, peeling.
2. rattling doors, and the nightly ritual of wedging socks in the worst ones.
3. crap layout, and our bedroom being a thoroughfare.
4. the stupid dogs that live next door and howl when their owners get home.
5. the floods under the doors when it rains and the wind blows in the wrong direction.
6. the light on the gate that I didn't install properly, so it only comes on in the daylight. Oops.

Hmmm, looks like moving might not be so bad. Apart from the packing. And unpacking. Whee hee.

Listening to: The Who, Live at Leeds.

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