The real reality of home improvement…

We are about to see the end of another series of The Block. The renovation show that is more about getting tradies to do the work while you go and spend ridiculous money on fluffy stuff and then complain cause you’ve run out of money and can’t pay your trades. It’s all a fantasy and I love a good bit of escapism on my telly so I like to watch it and yell at it. I also love to renovate. We bought this house and it was filthy and in fairly average condition so it’s been painted – mostly – flooring ripped up and new flooring laid, new window coverings, security doors, garage door, ceiling fans, light fittings blah blah you get my drift. We have a tight budget and some of our ‘nice to haves’ have been put into the ‘you’ve got to be joking, how much?’ file. We would love to do so much but one of us works for money and one of us works for love – and the only time love pays the bills is in dodgy 70’s porn films. Anyhoo this weeks project is to finish what we started last week and that is to re-roof our pergola and paint the patio floor. We took the roof sheets off last week and removed 28 cup hooks from the timbers – must have been the hanging gardens of Babylon at one stage – sanded, washed and repainted the timbers ready for new roof sheets. We worked together and we didn’t end up having an argument, which is pretty amazing really. Our budget for this job is $1000. Yep that’s right, only three zeros. Will it be the super awesome outdoor area we would love? Probably not. But it will be a shelter from the weather so we can cook and eat outside while MrRooben chases his ball and Barry Big Hole practices riding her bike. We don’t have a budget for pillows and cushions and throws for our bed…we have four pillows and a doona cover my mum picked up in the recent closure of a House store – thanks mum! To be honest even if I did have spare money pillows and cushions would be last on my list. I would rather buy a coffee table or side table so I can put my drink down without MrRooben whipping it onto the floor with his broom like tail. We currently use the two small chairs that form part of an Ikea chair and table set that Barry Big Hole has in her play room – they do the trick but to be honest it would feel more of a grown up space with a coffee table. We’ll see how we go in the budget. Our guests might have to continue to play dodge the dog tail with their coffee or wine so we can plant out our neighbours instead. Turns out that at $27 our kids Ikea setting was a sound investment with multiple functions….it just won’t be appearing in Vogue Living anytime soon.

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things that go honk in the night…

in my youth I watched far too many films from the horror and thriller genres and it seems the memories of these are coming back to haunt me. a few weeks ago we put little boss into her own room….yes, I know, it only took us the duration of the pregnancy and nine months of her life to paint four walls and move some furniture around, anyhoo now that she is in her room which is at the opposite end of the house to ours I sleep with the baby monitor on my bedside table. not sure how long this will continue as the monitor lights up our bedroom like Blackpool Illuminations and I can’t see the point of feeding her organic food only to have her sleeping under the toxic gaze of an infrared camera all night….seems to be taking me longer than normal to get to the point here. so not last night but the night before, as we all slept soundly the forces of battery operated play equipment worked against us. at approximately 1am I was woken from my much longed for slumber by the “honk honk” of the horn on little boss’ walker…I lay in bed for a few minutes thinking I was having a weird dream about her toys when “honk honk” rang through the house again, this time waking little boss. now the logical part of my brain said it’s just a toy that is controlled by batteries and operates via a couple of micro switches – one of which is obviously faulty…so I wandered down to little boss’ room to pat her back to sleep and as I returned to our room, passing the walker, I felt a sudden chill in the air and that’s when the memories came flooding back. clowns coming to life and scary looking dollies, psycho, the postman always rings twice, freddy kruger, texas chainsaw massacre – the original one, the shining, christine, carrie, cujo…seriously anything stephen king is involved in they are all still hanging out in my grey matter just waiting to freak me out when something goes honk in the night. that was basically the end of my sleep for that night. little boss woke every half hour and by 2.45am I had done enough passes of the offending walker so got her out of bed to sit with me on our $60 couch in the hope that we could both doze off…one of us did. I sat on the couch listening to what can only be described as a small creature trying to wriggle through an even smaller space. once the wriggling stopped I had the pleasure of watching our very own, ikea supplied, stuart little do a lap of the games room and disappear from view. this new addition to our home is one of the few items purchased from ikea that does not require assembly, unlike the rest of the contents of the box it came in.  oh the excitement of the night…

so last night the honking started before we had even attempted to put little boss to bed so Mr B Badger.com dismantled it and removed the batteries…I let him know that if it went off during the night that I would be on him like white on rice – he laughed that “you’re losing your marbles” laugh but he is too young to remember little carol-ann’s voice coming through the tv static…