My three week break brought to an end, S, O, the many frames and I clattered our way back to London accompanied, multiple times over, by a nursery rhyme CD. The advantage of having the CD is of course that O is entertained. The disadvantage is that you find yourself singing along. For days.
We arrived home hoarse, stiff and tired but O’s overdue bedtime was delayed a fraction longer for the grand reveal of our new kitchen… and it looked wonderful. The wood floor, bifold doors, stone patio and open space all look just as I’ve been dreaming they would. The Worlds Smallest WC looks ..well….small but useable and the newly plastered walls throughout look crisp, clean and new. More delightful than all of the above, however, was O’s reaction to the space. His little legs having dangled from his carseat for over five hours, sought out exercise and he headed steadfastly in the direction of the extension with one goal only….to run. In circles. Like a mad thing. This is what we’d both been dreaming of. . .
The excitement felt at seeing our dreams come to life was at risk of being fast eroded however as we slip back into the battle of maintaining family life in a house which appears not to condone such activity. As we moved upstairs to start the bedtime ritual O was once again shut into the temporary kitchen and told repeatedly not to go into the deforming cupboards (hinges hanging loose and drawers catching) which now house kitchen equipment covered in a thick layer of dust. I gave up on the oven/ring thingy as I wanted O to have tonight’s tea tonight and not tomorrow. S, meanwhile, gave O’s room a thorough clean as I cleaned our son of the fish pie adorning his face and neck in a bathroom reeking of builders wee. This morning, venturing down to the new kitchen area where the fridge still resides, O discovered a tantalising mound of sawdust in the corner of the room and immersed himself within it in the time it took me to open, reach in then close the fridge door. Later, whilst I navigated the curtain/taped plastic ensemble which cocoons our shower to prepare its temperature, O found a razor blade on the floor, turned the washing machine on without a load (little bit more training to do there….) and played with the dirty mop bucket. Set against the emotional backdrop of this being the week in which we should have been welcoming our new baby to the world, I felt serenity start to ebb away and anxiety seep into its place.
I staved it away by trying to do something positive about our situation. The first was to decide steadfastly that this week I would prioritise cleaning and tidying the areas we live in to make them as calm as they can possibly be.
The second was to take advantage of O’s interest in a few of his newly acquainted toys to paint up some of the claypaint samples received from Earthborn. I was encouraged by the thickness of the paint and the depth of colour and can confirm no earth was found (must have been a dodgy batch J) so spent the day musing on them. There are three potential options for the kitchen extension, all varying shades of white, a couple of dark greens for the lounge though I’m veering away from that idea now and towards a soft grey instead…having been inspired by a yellowy green (the colour of the curtains we have been given by my mother in law) and grey palette on the front cover of this months Elle Decoration. There was an intriguing beigey colour (Eiderdown) which may end up adorning the walls of the guest bedroom and an apple green I am considering for the playroom/snug. Thats very much in question at the moment though as I can confirm the snug is as we feared… very very dark. I’ve been oscillating between embracing the dark and going bold and cosy with a strong (though bright) colour or wimping out with white to try to make it look brighter. The dilemma continues….
The third resolution was to escape north again though not quite as far as last time. Our destination of choice was Stratford’s Westfield offering shelter from the snow blizzard, refuge from the sander as C resumed his work on the floor, inspiration in the form of John Lewis’s home department where I continued contemplating colour palettes inspired by their displays, activity for O in the form of Playworld and sustenance in the form of hot chocolate and conversation shared with my cousin Z. I also found myself contemplating the lighting…..each shop being lit by artificial light but looking enticing. Feeling more confident about the task of making our snug dramatic as opposed to dingy I headed home brimming with ideas.
On our return to the house I felt resolutely that the battle to finish this house must rage on…only we must be the instigators and not the victims of it. S and I discussed the colours for the kitchen and have almost decided …and by the weekend we hope to have it painted. Colours for the lounge and snug can continue to be pondered. Floors have received ther first coat of hardwax oil and my spring clean will begin tomorrow. Accompanied not by warming yellow sunshine but the whistling wind of the March blizzard.