Monday, August 25, 2008

The Fun and the Fury

Emily's new room is progressing very well. We've cleared two thirds of the room and Gramps has built the partition wall in absolutely record speed, despite today being his 75th birthday :-)) In chronological order: The first part of the frame going up:
Frame in place, boards leaning against it:
Same view from inside the room formerly known as the Dolls House Room:
The master at work:
The railings are now down, leaving a sheer drop from the framework down the stairs:

Starting to put in the main panels of the partition:Emily inspecting the handiwork so far:
The Master and The Apprentice square up :-))
Taking shape from inside the room:
What a thing to be doing on your 75th birthday: Gramps in a precarious position, with Nana acting as ladder support!

And taking a bow - the partition structure is done, now it just needs decorating on both sides, and the door fitting, when it arrives :-))
Clearing out the room has prompted mixed emotions. It's very hard work, for a start, and whilst it's in progress, of course, we get to live in total chaos with boxes stacked everywhere. However, it's been satisfying. If a little fraught. Tempers have run high at various points, admittedly. Looking at old photographs and school reports we found has been a deeply philosophical journey for me. I look at photographs of me aged around 12 and I don't even recognise that person. I long to know what I was thinking when a photo was taken, and who I was. What was worrying me? What was I looking forward to? What was going through my head seconds before someone pointed a camera? And the photos we take of Emily now.....she too is no doubt destined to ask the same questions of those photos in twenty or thirty year's time. This life passes so quickly. More and more, I'm starting to realise that the only sensible option is to grab the moment and live for the now.

Sunday was an "interesting" day. First thing in the morning, Jon, Emily and I went out and bought the paint for her room, stencils, new carpet, lamps, cushions and other bits and pieces. From home, we ordered her sofa bed and curtains. Whilst inwardly crossing our fingers that the BBC will actually pay on time this month, on which all of the above expense hinges. That bit was the fun. Then came the fury. At about half past two, our main PC descended into a spiral of despair that was only to end at about half past two in the morning this morning when it finally died and refused to be sparked back into life.

I'll spare you the gory details - basically, the damn thing's buggered, and that's that. The hard drive is completely gone and apparently our only option would be to reformat it, losing everything in any case. So it's gone. And with it, years' worth of important business files and all of our existing email account. There was screaming and there was sobbing and there was cold, hard hair-pulling fury. It was not a good afternoon, evening or night. Fortunately, we still have Emily's PC, that I'm using now. We also now have new email addresses, but I've had to re-write several large pieces of work that were due in today from scratch and the stress is only just beginning to die down.

Today is my Dad's 75th birthday. We had a lovely little sit down and cake with him while we gave him his presents; meanwhile he and my Mum gave us a very large present indeed, by offering to buy us a brand new PC to replace the heap of junk that even now sits, smouldering and glaring at me, in the corner. The day after tomorrow is my birthday - we're taking Emily out for a shopping spree in a bookshop to celebrate, lol, and coming back for a joint birthday meal for me and my Dad. Then it's wallpaper stripping and room decorating with a vengeance. So much for the nice bits. The sofa bed that I ordered for Emily yesterday was supposed to take 14 days to arrive. They rang up this morning, in the middle of our PC induced fury. It's coming on Thursday. We have *nowhere* ready to physically put it. American Express broke their record with no less than 58 phone calls to our answering machine yesterday. There is no sign as yet of the BBC payment despite repeated assurances from their end that payment would be released early this month. Life continues to conspire to induce maximum inconvenience and stress. And we continue to try to smile through it - mostly. What else can you do?

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