When author Rosie Goodwin moved into her ramshackle old house she was full of enthusiasm about the restoration work that lay ahead of her. But almost three years later and a loft conversion underway, she wonders whether there is such a thing as too much home improvement?
Well, what a summer it was for me! It seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. Me and the hubby moved to a lovely old house almost three years ago now and slowly worked through it restoring it to how we felt it should be. At last it was finished. Great, I thought, but hubby had other ideas.
Since moving in I have used the smallest bedroom as my office but then he, who must always have a project on the go, decided that our huge attic space was just going to waste.
‘Let’s do a conversion,’ he said.
Somewhat reluctantly I agreed. After all the work couldn’t affect the rest of the house I reasoned – it’s right up there in the Gods out of the way.
Wrong! Dust sheets appeared covering the carpets from the front door to the landing and before I knew it the place was swarming with builder’s, electricians and plumbers to name but a few.
It was impossible to work with the sound of banging and drilling echoing through the place but I bravely battled on, writing in the evening to meet my deadlines when everyone had finally gone.
The dust started then – clouds of it that settled on the furniture as fast as I could dust it off...Somewhere along the way I began to wish that we had never started it.
While all this was going on we also continued to care for our grandchildren three days a week while their mum was at work as well as look after our foster placement.
The dust started then – clouds of it that settled on the furniture as fast as I could dust it off. Completely frustrated by then I escaped into the garden whenever I could, thankful of the decent weather. The house had gone to pot but I had the tidiest garden in the village for a while!
Somewhere along the way I began to wish that we had never started it. There was a gaping hole in the landing ceiling and I couldn’t even get up there to see how it was coming along unless I risked life and limb clambering up a ladder, and I’ve never been very brave when it came to heights. But then, at last, a spiral staircase was installed and finally I could get up there and study my new domain. Suddenly it all felt like it would perhaps be worth all the upheaval after all. And so, finally, it was done and now I am sitting in my smart new office writing this.
That’s it, I thought smugly. There’s nothing left to do now. We have done so much work on this house that surely he’ll be happy with it now?
But no, this morning at breakfast I caught him looking around the kitchen thoughtfully and my stomach sank. I know that look!
‘How would you like the kitchen extended?” he suggested.
I have to admit that my answer contained some rather naughty words! And so for now at least I hope he’ll be content to just sit back. Meantime, I am busily working on my next novel and trying not to fret about what idea he, who must be busy, might come up with next!
At least you can now retreat to your attic eyrie while he is knocking the kitchen about. We have spent most of the last 30 years off and on doing things to this house. I have washed up in a raincoat and lain in the bath looking at the stars when there was no roof on part on the house. It does make one appreciate home comforts. At the moment DH is obsessed very busy directing the village panto, perhaps you could get your husband involved in something like that. But only do it if you are sure you really don't want the kitchen extended.
hi jane, I was just thinking how I needed a husband with such powers;
then on reading yours, about a husband for rent, I NEED JUST THAT, after 58 yrs of marriage its still the same, every excuse under the sun, but nothing really done, many re-accruing jobs due to badly done, by him or friend of friend; do you still have that cut out on your fridge ? I would need to rent him, as hubby here would not be bothered by embarrassment !
my big mistake (after marriage) was to believe he would love helping and soon be capable to do most necessary jobs in home ! no he didn't, I often did them, where I could, rather than wait forever !
the stupid thing is --his father told me before we married he was LAZY, but at that time I believed ...much later in our marriage I did some ancestry tracing, only to find his paternal grandfather was also LAZY, then again in his mothers family her father was known as lazy too !
advice to those who intend to get married--check out on past parents/grand parents!!!