Your life made perfect different
You’ve scrolled and scrolled and found a place that fires your imagination. One you think you could live in – live with. You try to forget but wake seeing it. It lodges itself in your brain. You’ve known for ages you need to move and now you sense this adventure, this leap in the dark: this magical door to a bright new world. This new relationship, this new family member. This stressful life experience blah your single biggest financial commitment blah, this headache, this heartache. This cost. Yes. You want it.
You will not believe you can endure such chaos for so long. Months of red tape will stretch to years. Every turn will be thwarted by a sack of rubble, a box of clothes, a crate of tools, a chest of books, a redundant gadget, a legless bed, a tangle of wires, a mountain for charity. Boxes will be hauled to and fro till they fall apart in your hand. You can’t put anything on the floor because sweeping makes no inroads on the dust which constantly comes up through the boards mixed with fresh clouds produced by the sander as you blast surface after surface, re-coating everything. You will struggle too breathe through generations of makeshift PPE – old tights, shower hats, sun goggles, bin liners. The garments you sweat in week after week won’t be washed, even when the washing machine is connected – just worn until they’re stiff with Nitromors and gunk, then binned. Every which way there will be rolled carpets to step over or shift, the backing disintegrating and adding to the dust. How you will long for just one of these to be spread out, somewhere.
When you actually move in there will still be rubble, dust and debris everywhere, painting and decorating still a pipe dream. There will still be pipes – whole interchanges of them winking at you from exposed floors; wires will poke from niches like raw nerves between a museum of wallpaper shreds, old plaster, new plaster and layers of paint. Skirting will be filler and filth-encrusted and you will realise that every surface, whether wood, plaster, cast iron or stone, has been varnished in black treacle. What wallpaper clings you will tackle with a hired steam stripper but ceilings and beams will be pitted and pocked with flaky distemper, which you will find there is no easy way to remove. Every bit you will have to attack and gouge out by hand. As for paint itself, when you at last turn to the acres of woodwork, you’ll find it so heavily cracked, chipped and scored that this too will have to be stripped with chemicals and hot air guns. Still having got this far you’ll have little choice but to grit your teeth. No tradesperson would do this for love or money, even if you paid them in love and had the cash for the 1001 nights it will take.
You are lucky. People are leaving their countries at gunpoint, trapped in hospitals, falling from boats, while you have this exhilarating, exasperating new love in your life. Its soul and yours are about to entwine.
Friends, in their habitable gaffs, will say you’ve lost the plot. You have not. This is the plot.