When the family up the road had their house improved, we visited to assess the possibilities.  They told us that they lived there for most of the build except for the last couple of weeks when they decamped to a nearby hotel.  I thought then that was a little strange, surely if they had survived the bit where the walls were knocked down, the bit where the plaster goes on would be subsidiary, misery wise to the initial stages?

How educational is life!  Walk a mile in my one slipper, one fashion boot (because pairs are under a tarpaulin, somewhere) and find out.

The OH is on the happy pills, I am permanently cold and cannot eat without coughing because my digestive system only works within a certain tolerance.  If I were a seal hunting under what is left of the pack ice, I’d be stuffed.  I’d be stuffed even in a vest and scarf.  I’d be stuffed in a vest and scarf sending out for pizza, I so would.

The plasterer needs to come in both front doors and walk up the stairs with multi-gallon buckets of water, so he cannot possibly be blamed for leaving the door open.  While they were on their break I popped  up to use my own bathroom but the plasterer was in it, plastering. On the way out I would have turned the lights out had the switch not been just a mass of wires sticking out of the wall.

The side door, which is now back on again, has a large gap between the floor where the wall used to end and the new wall, which has footings but not much else.  However today egress from the building is assisted by the sun room door which is wide open as the fitters fit the plaster board for the plasterer, obtaining access through the dining room which has no ceiling but everything which used to be my doll business piled upon it.  The door between the dining room and the outside is permanently open, so ideal in November when you live in what used to be an open plan house but is now an open plan building site.  To think I complained two weeks ago when I stepped out of the shower on to rubble.  Wimp that I am.

The head that I sculpted is in the wall, when I get a minute I will take a photo over the skip and let you see, though it is currently draped with a drape to protect it from fall out from the roof until the last course of bricks goes on and the scaffold comes down, though I think it will have to go back up again to remove the chimney which I have determined cannot stay if a lift is going into the chimney at ground level through two floors.  The lift will happen if there is enough money at the end.  Financially this is future planning.  If our collective knees go or any other bodily part, being able to go upstairs in a lift might avoid having to sell up and move to a care home.  I remember my mother stopping halfway up the stairs, looking like a person climbing Mount Everest last thing at night and how happy she was to see the lift in the care home was right opposite the door of her flat.  I also recall the carers who looked after her at home costing £13,000 a month.  Installing a home lift will cost £25,000 ish. This sounds a lot until you work out that’s only two months care bill and suddenly it sounds like a bargain.

I could have continued as we were, investing the money to pay towards help, though at current rates of investment the same amount as all the building, invested would yield £250 a month.  This is such a drop in the ocean of care costs that it makes sense to invest the money in the house instead, not only adapting it to our changing needs as we age but also making it more saleable for the S&H when we pop our clogs.  I will always be grateful that my parent’s house was posh and quality and therefore easily saleable.  That meant it was easy to mortgage to get the money to help her when she needed it.

A quick look at politicians in general and a quick drop in the grocery basket of the boy begging outside of the local food shop makes you realise more than ever that the best person to help you is yourself. Throughout my mother’s dementia I was the cavalry through forward planning.  I am now putting all those skills I acquired to my own use.

There will be extra rooms for carers if I go nuts.  There will be a lift to go up and down in if my legs fail.  There will be an extra bathroom if my guts turn out rubbish.

There is a ton of insulation, there is a big south-facing window.

I hope for a publisher.

And then, in the future, for many years I will be able to sit in a warm room and write, unlike the wind tunnel in which I am trying to type this, but I can put up with awful a bit longer because the forecast is sunny.


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