The title really says it all. Fraser is still enjoying his “long precontemplative stage”.
Meanwhile, I am trying to clear barriers, so that we will be ready to go when he emerges. Three big steps forward this week.
I went up to our local council on Friday, having paid $65 for them to retrieve a copy of the plans of our house. “Oh, congratulations!” said the guy at the building counter. “It’s exactly 15 years since these plans were approved!”
I frowned. Thought. Counted on my fingers, to be sure.
We bought the house on 13 June 1996. Renovated.
We had visited the house several times, over several weeks.
It was renovated then, too.
And the plaster panels in the walls were dated March 1996.
I decided it was best not to think about it any more.
Then I had a long chat to the building counter guy, which was mostly about him trying to say things without saying them. Which I am not very good at understanding. Essentially, we have to have a car space at the back of the house, even if we don’t use it. Which is bad news. The good news is that putting a big double gate on the back fence would count as off-street parking even if the only parking was on the back lawn. But that’s not really the greatest idea ever.
His other advice was to get EVERYTHING specified, even before we talk to builders. Which makes our probable upcoming meeting with an architect a good starting point. It also means that I can really work on the “fun” stuff during Winter – choosing tiles, floors, paint colours, sinks, etc – really working up that spec. I explained to Fraser that I am happy to do it, but that after I do that work it would be VERY bad not to go ahead with it. I tried to be stern.
As for timing, we have 19 months. Building Counter Guy says that’s do-able. Much more do-able than the many people who turn up when they find out that (a) they are pregnant and (b) they have nowhere for the baby to go. In his words: “In a race between a baby and a house, the baby always wins.” It is, however, not entirely generous.
Meanwhile, I’ve seen our accountant to get my tax on the way to done. A little homework and by the time you are reading this he will be working his magic. As a Self-Employed Person, I need lots of tax returns to show that I am Responsible and Income-Earning when we go to the bank to ask them for a (really very modest) sum of money to pay for these renovations. I slightly suspect that my LATE tax returns only demonstrate 50% of these properties. But I brought my accounts up to date and in the process (I have already admitted this to Fraser and he was justifiably scathing) discovered a bank account that I’d squirrelled some money away into and then forgotten about. Mortifying. But also, fabulous. I can deal with that.
On Sunday, I decluttered the Cupboard Under The Sink and discovered scary amounts of duplicates and of things I don’t want and a Lifetime Supply of Oven Cleaner. More than that, really, because there were 4 cans of the stuff and when we renovate we will get a pyrolitic oven that doesn’t need it. If anyone in the local area needs a can of rather old oven cleaner, please let me know. You even have a choice of brands! And then I cleaned out the plasticware cupboard and sorted all the lunch containers so Fraser can’t complain that we have no lids.
And I enrolled Otto at the IKEA childcare place. Because I foresee quite a few visits there in the next few months. And she loves going there to play.
- Meet with architect for preliminary designs (we have an agreed trigger point for this).
- Work up specs (Isn’t that what Pinterest is for?).
- Pay taxes (ugh).
- Swedish meatballs.