Building a Story House

My blog has taken a bit of a back seat recently (you may have noticed) because of two things. One, I’m trying to get ‘A Different Kind Of Heaven’ finished. I’ve already passed a couple of self imposed deadlines like they were standing still. And the second reason, the main reason, really, is the fact that I’ve been doing a bit of renovating.

Some of you may know that I actually live in a shed (and probably will for the rest of my life the way it’s going) but at the moment we are adding on a couple of rooms. (Well one room divided into two, really, so excuse me if I change between calling it two rooms and one room at some time in the near future.) One will be the main bedroom (which is currently in a corner with some wardrobes for walls) and the other will be a room for the new baby (#3– that’s another trilogy completed), which is technically due in month. But because of some complications, the little tyke could arrive any minute now.

The outside was done (with some input from me, but mainly by my father) but I’ve been busy working on the inside (with help from my father) and I’ve noticed some similarities with my writing. (No, my father has never helped with my writing.)

Firstly, there wasn’t a whole heap of planning involved. I knew the general shape, obviously. I knew there was going to be a wall. I knew there was going to be a bit of a storage area. I knew there was going to be some insulation. But that was about it.

I didn’t know where the wall was going exactly. I didn’t know how I was going to hold the insulation up while I worked on the ceiling. I just made it up as I went along.

I worked fairly methodically. I lined the walls. Then I put up the dividing wall. Then I lined the ceiling. Then I lined the dividing wall. But before I started each process I didn’t give it a lot of thought. I must admit that this led to some problems. It led to some back tracking. It led to the storage area being slightly smaller than was ideal. And there was a big bloody mess. Stuff everywhere, so for a long time I couldn’t get to certain parts of the room without a major removal operation. Or I was stepping over stuff to get to other stuff.

The doing of each individual job made a mess, but it also contributed to the whole. And after each step in the process, a but more of the floor was clear. A bit more of the crap was out of the way.

Then today, everything was done. Once the building products were used in the building– plaster board, timber, insulation, screws– there wasn’t a lot of mess left. The action of building had cleaned up most of the mess that the same action had created. There wasn’t a lot of wastage– so obviously I did some planning, but it wasn’t in the details. Just one full sheet of plaster and four full pieces of timber remain, along with some off cuts and scraps.

Tomorrow the rooms will be painted. And after that I might go around and put in a couple of screws and tidy up a few loose ends.

So, for a while, the job was messy and confusing. Someone who walked in off the street might have had trouble working out what was going on. (Some times I had trouble working out what was going on.) But that’s okay, because it wasn’t their renovation. It was mine, and I knew where I was heading, generally.

And you know what? It worked. There are all the things that a room needs. There are all the things that we needed (within reason– we could do with some plumbing, but that’s another story, one that involves swearing).

I will admit that it’s a self published room– there are a few rough edges and gaps that might not be found in a professional room. But there are also interesting bits that wouldn’t have made it past the gate keepers. And sometimes, that’s a good thing.

(I would like to thank my father for his contribution to the building of this story)

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