Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Holy renovation, Batman

This time not ours (well, sort of ours), but our neighbor's.

We live in what's called a "terraced house"-- U.S. translation=townhouse. Meaning, houses that are all connected. Since we're in a mid-terrace, that means neighbors on either side. These houses are over 200 years old, so they're not particularly well-insulated. Meaning we can often times hear into the next house if there's a lot of people over or music is particularly loud (which thankfully due to very quiet neighbors, is very rarely the case). We've been lucky because in the four years I've lived here, one of the properties neighboring ours has actually been empty. As I was moving in, Betty was moving into a retirement home. Betty had moved into the house when she was first married to her husband at the ripe old age of 18-- 70+ years ago. She had raised her family in this home, and her kids, even though mum had moved out, were reluctant to sell.

Well, sell they (finally) have, and considering the place hadn't been touched in over 80 years (there's still an outdoor toilet-- don't worry; Betty did have indoor plumbing as well; the outdoor toilet is just a bonus), it needs a lot of work. Work that started yesterday. They're literally GUTTING the place. Walls are coming down-- and rather loudly. It's making my kitchen cabinets (and subsequently all the dishes) shake. When I opened the medicine cabinet last night, a ton of things flew out (including my electric toothbrush which is now cracked).

Oh-- and did I mention I work at home?

I'm finding it hard to concentrate with the constant pounding (are they taking a sledgehammer to the walls or something??). It sounds (and feels) like they're going to come through our wall... Ughhhh. What I can't figure out is how freaking long can it take to knock down walls? These houses are SMALL. Plus, we have new neighbors on the other side of us, so there's lots of drilling and hammering coming from that direction too. On the bright side (as MRN pointed out), work on this street means more occupants and hopefully rising house prices. Between Betty's house and our corner property (as well as a few others on the street), things might be looking up for good old Grange Street. I doubt it, but one can hope.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Still a wannabe

Clearly a wannabe BLOGGER considering the two month lag in posting. Yikes! Wish I could feign grand adventures but alas, it's just life getting in the way as usual. Between house renovation (the other one, not ours... we've finally thrown in the towel and hired professionals to finish it. And somehow one week in we're already £3K-- nearly $5K over budget), work and gorgeous weather (ummm-- it might  have been our summer), there just doesn't seem to have been any time.

(It's SNOWING in Scotland... and due to come south in the next few days. This after 80 degree weather last week. WTF.)

All things aside, wannabe still refers to my wanting-to-be a wayfarer. It seems that life is also thwarting THOSE plans. I was due to go to China at the end of the month for work-- CHINA! Beijing and Shanghai, to be exact. I was so excited-- I've never been to Asia, and have always wanted to go; and to be able to go on the company dollar and get my bearings on a work trip was all the better. Alas, it was not meant to be. Timing due to some follow-up treatment from my January surgery is happening this month and it can't be postponed. Which means I miss my chance to go to China. Argggh. But did you know you can fly to China from London for less mooh-lah than it costs to fly to NYC? And there's a direct flight to Beijing. Who knew? Of course, I'd be going on my own because MRN has absolutely no desire to go. Any takers? Come on-- I know you want to come with me to China!

:( Maybe next time.