I've spent the last few days not writing. That's not entirely by choice, more by circumstances. Clearly, being able to post this, I still have access to the laptop, and the Internet has not fallen down in my absence.
So, what does a writer do when not actually writing? In my case, it's yearn to be back writing, if this week has been anything to go by.
I took a week off work with the noble intention of doing some house decorating, in an attempt to tidy things up for Christmas. It didn't start well.
On Saturday, the wallpaper steamer went missing, making the prospect of removing the paper from the girls' bedroom a little daunting. Calls to errant brother-in-law, usual culprit of such borrow-and-not-return shenanigans, were unanswered. He was finally tracked down on Sunday, and the much-travelled steamer miraculously reappeared.
Walls duly stripped, the task of painting the walls began. During the lead-up to the redecorating, the girls were allowed (foolishly) to scribble on their soon-to-be-removed wallpaper. Except, on one wall, the paper was already stripped which meant the wall was bare. Basecoat applied and various luminous blue and pink scribbles were peeking from beneath the paint.
Two coats later, and the drawings were still visible.
In the meanwhile, the bathroom was attacked. Ceiling paint quite literally fell from one side of the bathroom and resolutely refused to come down from the other side.
In a moment of madness, following a casually made "Ooh, that's a nice colour for a feature wall, don't you think?" comment, I decided to paint one wall of the living room - and move everything around in the process. I'm still not over the horrors I found hidden in the process. The arrival of the TV engineer during the move-around was expected, but surprisingly inconvenient, especially as the new equipment doesn't seem to working quite as well as expected.
Another coat of paint in the bedroom still hasn't covered the drawings.
The bathroom was de-moulded. The sticky valve in the kitchen tap replaced (and don't get me started on how difficult it was to find a replacement valve that fitted, and then suitable replacement tap handles. You know those companies with "plumb" in their name? You'd think they'd stock such basics as tap valves and handles, wouldn't you? Yes, me too.)
The bathroom ceiling was repainted - badly - and floor tiles removed. Another coat of paint in the bedroom. Drawings resolutely refuse to disappear.
The TV still isn't working properly. The living room is a disaster area, except for a small corner of sanity which only serves to remind me what the house should look like. The girls' bedroom is still unfinished, as the pictures haven't completely faded yet; as a result they are sleeping in our room while we sleep on the sofas downstairs. The bathroom needs at least another coat of the hideously difficult to apply ceiling paint and new flooring of some sort. Our bedroom, long bereft of wallpaper, waits patiently for attention. The hall and landing need a fresh coat of paint.
I think I might have taken on too much this week.
And Mrs MB comes home and says "You haven't done much, have you?"
I'd rather be writing.