It's been one hell of a creaking, wooden and condemned roller-coaster ride (hello Mad Mouse) health-wise for me this past week.
- Three dinky-di South Aussie carpenters - Kym, Paul and Brendan being forced to 'find something else to do on the other side of the house' whilst I completely assaulted their aural, visual and olfactory senses while using the only toilet in the house
- Poor Kym was trying to replace our old toilet door with our new one that ironically was designed to more fully fit the top of the frame and bottom of the floor and thus give the 'user' more privacy - in the aural, visual and olfactory senses -and had to repeatedly step outside to let me desecrate the area.
- Anthony the floating floor guy inadvertently roused me from a loo visit and was trying to show me his briefcase full of sample woods and to initiate a discussion on the pros and cons of each one whilst I was bent double, waving him away with, "Yeah yeah, pale beech whatnot wood-chop sounds OK, it's an executive decision. Just measure up as you need to and I'll-----------Bwarrrrfph ugh ugh bwarrrrffph!" I was the easiest sale and he did the quickest measuring up in South Aussie history.
- Murray the builder/project manager turned up three times during the day. Normally he's used to my general state of writer-at-home dagginess: grey marle trakkie daks, crocs, sloppy t-shirt and polar fleece, but it was clear from the ill-disguised revulsion on his face that my appearance had slipped even further. Sticky hair, a white bathrobe rapidly browning due to the endless travels along the dust and wood shaving-strewn floor between my bed and our one only doorless (at that stage) toilet and a face like a busted sandshoe.
It was only 11am but it was time to call Love Chunks and beg him to come home from work. He did, unhesitatingly, and spent his time oscillating between emptying my sick bucket, chatting to the various tradies on site and working on his laptop between the whines of the buzz saw and the whines of his wife.
Saturday saw me walking and wincing like an over-worked cowboy and grasping anything within reach to keep my balance steady. My stomach felt like a hung jury: everything I tried to eat was very ferociously debated, discussed and argued over. Should they fling it back up where it came from, or let it go through and cannon-ball it out in an even more dramatic exit at the other end? Whatever their decision, it seemed to take them hours, with my belly developing a queasy, uneasy heartbeat of its own.
By that night, I was feeling a tad better. Food (salty potato chips) had stayed down and Sunday dawned as the only day without various carpenters, tilers, renderers, plasterers, sparkies and plumbers dusting up the place. However on Sunday, I awoke to a migraine.
*Sigh*. Mr Migraine is an evil, destructively satanic little sadist who visits me far too regularly. Kind of like a Foxtel door-to-door salesman but with a lot more pain and harder to get rid of. Again, the blue bucket was out in full force and through the hazy distance of head pounding agony I could hear the birdlike voice of Sapphire and the low hum of Love Chunks getting on with life, enjoying themselves, being active. Lucky buggers.
No matter, Mr Migraine's visits tend to range from 8 to 12 hours and by evening I felt weak but triumphant. He'd vacated my head and gone in search of another poor sucker's. And then - atchoo! Atchoo! ATCHOO!! - what the------?? It felt as though every single particle of cement, wood, plaster and ceiling dust had invaded my - admittedly very laccommodating - nostrils. That evening I had to prop my noggin up on four pillows to try and breathe a little quieter than a bogged rhinoceros.
A sleepless night was spent trying to honk into tissues without disturbing Love Chunks who, I feared, would be fed up to the back teeth with hearing me moan about ailment number three in as many days. At least the bucket was back under the laundry trough where it belonged.Monday did eventually dawn however, and Love Chunks reminded me that today was officially the first day of our family holiday. The skin around my nose may have been rougher than a laundry lady's knuckles and eating a bowl of muesli with a permanently open mouth wasn't an option if I wished to enjoy the company of my family but the news cheered me up a lot. Sapphire had the day off from school, Love Chunks didn't have to walk to the Nerd Centre in Kent Town.
We welcomed Reno and Tony the plasterers into our bathroom, greeted Murray who had arrived with the tapware and left details for Peter the glass door guy and then got the hell out of there. Browsing in Freedom and IKEA on a Monday is remarkably enjoyable - no weekend worker crowds trying to elbow each other out of the way for a Bjornfartsen recliner or Notsencracker coffee table. I become a human percussionist by honking into a tissue every couple of minutes or so, punctuated by a couple of juicy sneezes and a long, drawn out sigh of self pity.
When we returned in the afternoon, the bathroom was looking much more like a room instead of an archaelogical dig; the French doors had glass in them and a skylight was on its way. Packing my bags was not a drag but a pleasant respite between the sneezes.
It's hard to believe but tomorrow we three will be flying on the big silver bird to Hamilton Island. Warmth. No dust; No builders a foot away from my puking and pooing; No outdoor shower; and some accommodation where a dining, bathroom and living room will be available. Yee hah!