A Make-over Mess

Living in our house right now is like living in a renovator’s delight.

One simple makeover/reno job has upturned, upset and upended every single room in the house. (Much like a manuscript makeover does a story.)

We started with a major expense project – new carpet – but not an overwhelmingly physical operation, one would assume. Then again we all know what happens when one assumes.

Long had Mr B complained about the unevenness of our floors and berated their long gone out-of-business builder, who built a lovely home, but took a few shortcuts and not just with the floor. (A bit like a writer thinking no one will notice that bit, being too busy taking in all the fabulous metaphors and striking similes.)

So we couldn’t do the simple take up and dump the carpet – or preferably pay someone else to break their backs doing it – and get our new carpet laid immediately. We needed to investigate the problem/s lurking beneath the underlay.

Do, do, do, do. Do, do, do, do! (Cue ominous Jaws theme here!)

Yes, Mr B was right. (He has to be occasionally.) Those flooring sheets had peaked – pushed together unevenly, or swollen, as I’m told flooring is apt to do – ALL OVER THE HOUSE. Creating hills and valleys and now, some twelve-years post being laid, unsightly lines in the carpet. Not to mention the room where the builder’s flooring didn’t quite meet the walls, leaving gaps for dust and dirt to vent and over the years discolour the carpet along some edges.

White carpet I might add. Not my choice, but it was here when we bought the house. So Mr B has had a big job planing off every join and now we are back on the level – bar the last two rooms to be done  – albeit in a hell of a mess.

It seriously reminds me of trying to do a manuscript makeover and the more you do, the more problems you find or work needing to be done. And before you know it the manuscript that, before you fiddled, looked not far off ready, begins to look an insurmountable mess. Bits that need rewriting, moving, fixing and uneven bits found everywhere.

But then you approach it systematically, move some things, discard others, refresh a few gappy sections, and you begin to see what it could be. Still it’s damn daunting when everything’s pulled apart and you discover a few other tweaks timely. For example, a good time to paint a couple of walls too. Might as well while the landscape is clear and changes sparking fresh ideas.

It’s that creativity and new ideas that keep me inspired. I know it’s going to be great when it’s done.

One added bonus/pest of our carpet makeover is that all my books had to exit the bookcase/s to take up the carpet. (Explaining why my office is one of those last two rooms due to the effort of packing and sorting “too” many books.) I know this looking at the fourteen packing boxes I’ve filled. And that doesn’t count the six full shopping bags I took to the op-shop.

With a blog post in mind, I wrote down some of the titles of books I’ve sorted “to read” and the “keepers”, but like everything else in my office, I think those pages went into a box.

I feel a little guilty to be heading off to Tassie next week for research and leaving Mr B to finish on his own. But I’ll come back to oversee the new carpet being laid and begin the task of putting my house back in order.

I know I’m going to come back really inspired to get stuck into writing this new project, and that will prove a great impetus to get my house in order faster.

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I love how your house reflects your writing process… I suspect my 93 year old house reflects my writing too because I’ve just sanded and vanished the sloping uneven damaged floors, so everyone can enjoy the nail holes and knots and the dysfunction in all its glory.

October 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm
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    Hi Bren,
    Yes, our makeover reminded me very much of the more you do to a mss makeover, the messier it seems to get.
    And I suspect your floor’s idiosyncrasies and individuality reflect the unique and original aspects you always bring to your writing.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:32 am

Ann Dawson

Hope your research in Tassie goes well. Leaving Mr B to it sounds like a good idea to me.

October 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm
    christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


    Thanks, Ann, I’m looking forward to the Tassie trip on lots of levels. And Mr B will get a lot more done without Mrs B buzzing in his ear.

    PS: I’m still planning that quick research trip to Canberra, but it will be next year now.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:35 am

Corinne King

Hi Chris, I’ve tried to make comments on both your blog posts but system won’t let me. I’m not sure whether the fault is at my end or yours. Both great reading. C.x

‘Hey Baby!’ A love letter to baby – out in November. Weekly Wednesday Blog Post http://corinnefenton.com/blog Website: http://www.corinnefenton.com http://www.scbwiaustralia.org http://www.walkerbooks.com.au/Black-Dog-Books

October 31, 2012 at 10:11 am

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