My skin is starting to get accustomed to the feel of paint flecks. My hands are acclimatising to the strains and stresses of filling, scraping, scrubbing, rolling. My nails are cracked and I haven’t been able to get the dirt out from underneath them for days.

The holiday that was meant to be a chance to catch up on lost sleep and relax has turned into a maelstrom of activity. The Boyfriend and I completed our house sale on the 21st of December. Being in the fortunate position of not having to leave our flat immediately, we have been working hard to get the place into shape.

It’s not that the house is run down and unliveable, but it’s not how we want it, and there are a number of small jobs that need doing that are easier to manage without furniture in the place. While the Boyfriend and the Step-dad have been busy fixing gutters and render, my mother and I have been busy bees cleaning skirting boards and painting.

I am a very bad painter, and not a particularly skilled ‘DIYer’ but under the careful tutelage of Mum I have been learning a lot of tips and tricks, and I’m starting to feel brave enough to take on the next room myself.

Of course, with being back at work this week, I’ve got less time than I had before. I’m having to work hard to get everything I need to do for work done during the week so I can have the weekends free. It’s equally frustrating as it is beneficial to be still living in the flat, as I feel any time spent maintaining the flat is time wasted, time I could have spent scrubbing the oven clean in the new place, or some other job that will need doing before I can start to feel it’s our house, not somewhere we’re housesitting for someone else.

It’s an exciting project for the new year, and I’m hoping that by the week in February that the Boyfriend and I booked off ages ago, intending to visit some people I think, that we will have got most of the things we wanted to do done, ready for one last push during that week to get the last bits and bobs finished. I’m not anticipating that the place will be perfect by then, naturally – it’s going to take years before it’s exactly how we want it, and more money than we have to our names at the moment – but I hope that it will at least be starting to resemble home.


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