Saturday, 27 September 2008

A week in the life

The house is progressing nicely. All the blockwork is finished and the window cills are in place. We have thick concrete cills and mullions which make the house look really substantial and as though it has been there a while. Inside, the ames taper has finished and we have begun painting. If we had built the house before having kids we could have had it painted by now. I love the little darlings but I can't get doing anything with them around. 

Last weekend my husband was home for the first time in yonks so I had a night out with the girls. We decided to venture beyond our village so I volunteered to drive as I wanted to be fresh for painting the next morning. Also, I was tired and developing a painful sty in my eye. We drove on windy roads for about 40 minutes until we reached the disco. We arrived at the wee stone cottage recently built for traditional ceilidhs but tonight loud music belted out from it and disco lights flashed through the windows. It was the five of us and 20 unfriendly Austrian men. We waded through them (they did not clear a path) to get to the wee bar. C wanted a gin and slim. "We don't do slimline." M wanted a vodka, lime and lemonade. "We don't have lime." G wanted a long vodka. "Stick to two ingredients we told her. I had a diet coke and I felt much too sober to be there. Then we all waded back through the Austrians and sat in a row. The place is so small and narrow that there is not enough space for seats to face each other. The disco lights blinded us shining straight in out eyes and then the smoke machine came on. D nearly had an asthma attack. We opened the door. Someone shut it and more smoke came out the smoke machine. C refused to go to the bar again in case she got pregnant. We drank our drinks slowly and left. We looked out the car windows to see the wee stone building with smoke streaming out the crack round the door. It looked like it was on fire.

On Sunday my husband had a fun day with the kids while I painted and painted and painted our new house. It was wonderful to spend time in it and to be on my own for a few hours. As the roller moved paint up and down the bare walls and the rain streamed through the gutters (they are working, phew!) my mind slowly emptied of the noise and clutter and the endless to do list. It was just me on my own with no questions to answer, no phone to answer, no knocks at the door. I went home feeling happy and relaxed and ate a meal not prepared by me. 

Then Monday morning arrived and with it aching muscles from the painting. I went in to work feeling fairly relaxed as last week had gone well and I was well prepared and the day went well. It is demanding teaching non-stop except for a few short breaks. I wished I had an office job so I might make a coffee, check my email and chat to a colleague. And I realised that is the worst part of this job. I have no real colleagues. The other tutor on the course works different days and I spend the day with students. I have no-one to socialise with at work. I rushed home to prepare dinner.

We still weren't dressed at 10am on Tuesday.  We were having a lovely relaxing morning singing and dancing in our pyjamas when I got a phone call from MFI saying they were outside my house with my kitchen. The kitchen was supposed to be arriving next month and was supposed to be delivered to the new house. "Just give me a few moments to get the kids ready", I said. We rushed out with hair like scarecrows and in ill-matching tracksuits. The delivery van followed me to the new house and we waited a while until the walls of the house being built next to us were moved out of the way by the crane. So now I have half my kitchen in boxes. 

The electrician was there so we went through the list of items I needed to order for his next visit. Things like sockets and lights and all the necessary little things in a house. I went home and ordered the goods immediately then parcelled my girl off to nursery.

That night I had a community council meeting in the local hotel. Afterwards, I went to the bar with my friend and then more friends joined us and we sat sipping wine and chatting by the fire until 2am. The matter-of-fact, no subject taboo, German told us all about his night in a hotel with some girl. He told us he had shaved all over. He always tells me that. It was as if I was there with them such was the detail. A Scots man and an Irish man joined us who have lived in America for over 20 years and were taking Americans on a cultural tour. Some Americans briefly joined us and an old friend joined us. It was very nice but far too late.

On Wednesday all the finishings arrived - doors, skirtings etc. We need to stain them and my brother is starting work fitting them on Monday.

On Thursday I missed a very important meeting to campaign for a Gaelic school. No babysitter available. My husband arrived at it an hour late when it was all over. His shinty commitment was obviously more important than our children's education.

On Friday my husband  managed to do a little bit more painting and remove and clean the scaffolding and that is it. With his work and our kids there has been no time. He is away again this weekend. We could have painted! 

It rained all day today so we played inside and went to the Farm Shop to buy a chicken but came home with so much more. I am sitting in alone again. The kids are sleeping, husband is away and you know what? I quite enjoy my own company. Reading, writing and watching films with a wee glass of wine. 

My wee girl is at last starting to look forward to the new house. Probably because she has got it into her head it will be like a farm.

My girl said, "Guess what we are going to have in the new house?"
"I'll give you a clue. It barks, it eats dog biscuits and it has a lead."

"And guess what else we'll have?"
"I don't know"
"It neighs, it eats grass and it lives on grass."
"A cow"
"Yes we'll have a cow but it's not that."

She wants a farm. I just want to be in my new house.


KatduGers said...

I am so jealous!! I grew up in SW Scotland and would give anything to move back to Scotland - anywhere, as long as it was in the countryside!

Am enjoying your blog and looking forward to keeping up with it.

tartetartan said...

Bloody hell...a kitchen from MFI that arrives a month early. You are truly blessed! Nice to catch up with what you have up to. Will you be in your house for Christmas?

Housewifeinthehighlands said...

Hi TT, We were aiming for Christmas but I don't think we will manage in time. Will probably get in in January sometime. My kitchen will be in though so we might go there for Christmas dinner!