“So what do you think?” I asked, gazing at the lounge walls in our empty new villa. The smell of fresh paint tickled my nostrils as I waited for DH’s response.
I’d gone for three different colours (green, charcoal and beige; it’s a large room!) – a sort of tricolour effect, and he was either going to love it or hate it.
“Very nice.” DH’s eyes flickered from wall to wall. “Three colours … I see.”
So I gave him the spiel I always give him in these situations, which I’d learnt from my mother-in-law: “If you have a creative wife, you just have to say THANK GOD and let her get on with it!” I smiled and hustled him upstairs to see his office, where we’d settled on just two ‘manly’ colours.
I walked back into the spacious living room with its views of the park area outside, and felt far more positive about moving than I did when we got the eviction email four months ago. Something about the blank canvas around me made me feel calmer and more in control of my life than I’d felt in weeks. Left alone in our quiet, cloud-like space, I soaked up the peacefulness.
We moved in over the next two hot and sweaty days. Once all the bulky items had bumped their way into position, a procession of smaller boxes marched in, until finally the packers left and we closed the door. As the last truck rolled away, I stood in the living room and surveyed the now cluttered space. I’d started feeling a little deflated. The dusty scent of cardboard had replaced the smell of fresh paint. There were piles of boxes stacked against the walls, and instead of straight, linear lines and open space, there was mess and bubble wrap strewn around (the boys wanted to keep it to pop).
The day was fading to dusk and I flicked the light switches by the door. So many light switches. It would take days to learn what they all did. I padded around – my flip-flops slapping against the floor – and did some more unpacking, sorting, moving things around, trying to bring some order to the chaos.
The next day I loved the house again, then the day after I fell out with it again. A strange smell was emanating from the bathrooms, and aware of stories from fellow residents about pipes not being connected, things falling off walls, water leaks and even electrical fires, I made our first call (of many) to maintenance.
Let’s just say I’ve got to know maintenance pretty well since then. Fair’s fair, they’re fixing things fast, although the blank stare you get when you’re trying to make yourself understood – followed by the nod which confirms you’re talking at cross purposes – just kills me!
Once our taps, which are currently like mini dancing Dubai fountains with varying water pressures, surges and stoppages, are fixed, I think we’re nearly there …
My verdict: I love the house!
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