Building the new life part four – lockdown

Work on Caisteal Ialtag na Gaileach ground to a bit of a halt for the rest of February, what with suddenly realising that my finances needed a bit of a do over. Also realising that, despite finally owning a drill bad ass enough to drill into concrete properly, and drilling very much deep enough into said concrete to easily take a rawlplug, thank you, the goddamn rawlplugs just refused to go into the concrete quite deep enough to put up some cheap blinds without the damn things being wobbly and falling down.

This was a bit vexing, because the nights were still dark very early, I had taken down all the horrible Venetian blinds (on the assumption that I was gonna whack some new blinds right back up in their place) and given the way the house is set, you could now see right into all the rooms from as far away as the very end of the road. God, I was jealous of people who only had the neighbours across the street staring into their personal business. On the plus side, I did get really good at scuttling about below the level of the windows whenever I wanted to get dressed or undressed* but you don’t want to creep around your own pad like Gollum indefinitely, besides it plays merry hell on muscle groups I didn’t even know existed.


Anyway, by early March I had come down with all the symptoms that meant I couldn’t go into the office for a week (or the shop). Which was a bit bad, since my food delivery system, seeing as I have no cooker or anything, is a Just In Time series of pot noodles and pre-prepared salads and so on, and goddamn, it was getting a bit worrying by the time I was allowed to leave the house. Just to rub salt in the wound, there is a shop, which sells food, that I can see from my windows.

I spent a couple of days occasionally looking out of said windows at it and giggling, in way you do when it’s not actually particularly funny and you’re really feeling a bit a) scared (“Idiot with actual cash on hand starves within sight of food!”) and b) well, like an idiot.

The windows at least had blinds in by then. I even had a bed, now! And a wardrobe! And at least some of my possessions were now in the wardrobe, instead of in a box in a pile of boxes that were no longer in any sort of order whatsoever! And a new boiler, and also a brand new cupboard for storage, since I had indeed had the strange system with the steampunk pipes and the ballcock ripped out. No shelves, yet, but, you know. Potential! That was what I bought this place for! (And, it being the only place I could, you know, afford).

We had also ripped out most of the kitchen, and the sink was now held up with a trestle and a rock, looking like one of the last places I’d ever want to try and get something clean enough to eat off, but that was okay because the new sink (if not the pipes etc) was already here, and it was only for a week.

Then lockdown happened.

So for the last two months, the downstairs of this place has been stuck looking like an episode of Hoarders. Everything that was about to be constructed in the kitchen is living in the lounge, everything that will one day live in the kitchen cupboards, once they’re built, is living in a pile in the office, and there’s not a lot I can do about it by myself so I’ve mainly been working on the back garden instead and getting to know the folks living round about.

Here we see the decking, which turned out to be sound enough to make into something else, but the infrastructure was so rotten my boot went straight through it.
Here we see what used to be the kitchen. There is still sod all room in there, I have no idea why. Also, I tidied this pile three times, trying to make it look less like a pile of rubbish (this does not work) before I bit the bullet and hired a skip.
And here we see there was paving below the decking, woo! And a bed for blueberries I made out of the decking. Also, the garishness of this furniture is merely the start. Poor neighbours, out the back, they have been nothing but good to me too.

Building that wee wooden fence with my neighbour, even while staying six feet apart, was, no lie, about the most fun I’ve had in two months.

I’m sure everyone knows the rest of this story, and to be fair, it’s not like I’ve a) been badly hit or b) had any plans to have any fun anyway, till, ooh, 2021? Which is apparently when we might be allowed to do that again, coincidentally. Being allegedly essential workers, we never did get furloughed, but we’re taking turns working from home, my routine and schedule are shot, and I was honestly surprised to find out it was Thursday yesterday, you know, despite knowing damn fine it was Wednesday the night before when I went to bed. So everything’s a bit odd, and will probably stay that way, but I cannot complain.

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