Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sans rose-coloured glasses

While I enjoy keeping a record of our house renovations, I think it would be remiss of me to edit the process, and break it down into cheerful chapters, like the musical interlude in an American rom-com.
Can't you see it? Perhaps Lady Gaga's Edge of Glory booming, with images of me painting the fence in my denim overalls (complete with heart shaped applique), my husband comes over and dabs me on the nose with white paint, I throw my head back and laugh, cut to me and my husband smiling and nodding over some paint swatches, finishing with us falling into bed at the end of the day, exhausted but satisfied with our work.
The reality is more likely us arguing in a tile shop before making the silent trip home empty handed, or becoming unhinged at seeing jobs that need doing everywhere we look, or spending a sleepless night wondering how the hell we're going to pay for all the work.
If you are currently shopping the market, or just about to embark on your own renovation for the first time, I feel it my duty to give you some insight into the rather less glamorous flipside of renovating. It is an exhausting, messy, costly and consuming process.
It can't be disputed that Motherwell is a beautiful house, but let me tell you, she is also an old bitch.

She steals from us, she does, whatever she can get her hands on;  holidays away, beautiful handbags, birthday parties, new shoes, dinners in fancy restaurants, and worst of all a splurge at the Easton Pearson sale.
She's like that Billy Joel song. 
And she'll promise you more
Than the Garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you're bleedin'
But she'll bring out the best
And the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she's always a woman to me

And when she's not thieving our money, she's taking all our time instead. Then there is the constant mess and dust, and nothing is quite right, at least not yet. It's like living in an unfinished puzzle. Everything seems temporary and all our hopes are pinned to something in the distant future, a time when all the work will be done and final. I worry that the house is too taxing on us and too distracting, and will it all be worth it in the end? Wouldn't it be easier to live in something smaller, newer, more manageable? I look at those brand new apartments that are always being advertised and imagine the customised shoe racks displaying all the new shoes I would buy. I eyeball sweet little cottages I see for sale that seem just the right size for the four of us. They seem to be a lot less responsibility. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. At the moment I'm just feeling overwhelmed. Of course, I know me, I know the process. This is a lull, and now I've got it out of my system, I'm sure I'll wake up tomorrow all refreshed and ready to workshop bathroom cabinets again. I'll put a bit of Gaga on to get me going.


  1. Gaga is one of very favourite people MR - and I empathise. Some days are just like that. Mine was much the same! Keep going, it is better than any alternative! x HH

  2. I'm enjoying the image in my mind of your overall-clad self, paint dabbed, giggling. Much like me in the kitchen with gingham edged, floral frilled apron, rolling pin in hand, smear of flour along one cheek bone.
    I look forward to visiting you in your beautiful home one day, I'm sure the trials and tribulations will make you appreciate Motherwell all the more as years pass.

  3. Hehehe...laughing very hard!
    I'm just visualising all of this,sounds like a Cherry Ripe TVC...then,CUT....reality!
    Sometimes when your amongst the chaos it's hard to see the big picture.Go back and look at the pics when you first moved in,what you've achieved is amazing!
    You & Mr Restora are very talented & inspire us amateurs!It will all be worth it!
    As I watch the boats bobbing in the glistening bay,breezes caressing my hair,bikini clad and sun kissed...I hear "Mum,where's all my things???"
    I don't know,we are in an old Queenslander with inadequate storage & forever looks like a mess!
    The big picture seems a long way away!
    It's all fun&games,not everyone is cut out for it,you have to have the passion to survive the ride!
    I will be at the gates of Motherwell tomorrow night with Passionfruit Butter Cake!
    Best you be out of your overalls!
    X A

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  5. I was only speaking of this phenomenon to some friends last weekend, work all week to pay for the privilege to work on the house all weekend. Guess that's the downside of being house proud!!
    Good luck getting over the lull!