It seems that every day, I smell fresh paint.
I went to site this morning, wondering what new delights would await me. After all, I was very good yesterday - I did nothing, didn't go to site to check up on the guys, but just waited. I thought they'd be doing something. But what they've done is repainted the white bits. They're now white.
In some ways this is a good thing - after all, we want the white bits to be a pure, brilliant white and they do certainly seem to be pure and brilliant now. On the other hand, so are some bits of the skirting board, and the floor. So there's going to be some more painting. Fortunately, the guys doing the work for us are painters, so painting is what they do.
On the downside, this means that the changes that are being made are small and un-noticeable. The white gets a little more pure, a little more brilliant. A single power socket, discovered abandoned behind a radiator is exposed, and covered over. Some plaster dust settles. There is more cleaning to be done.
By the end of the week, I'm told, all this will be over. I can get my deliveries on Thursday, I can probably walk in some of the rooms without my boots on by Saturday. I'm spending the weekend cleaning. Maybe, by Monday, it will be fit for a queen to see.
I live a double life at the moment.
By day, I am mild-mannered spreadsheet guru, working my way through tables and formats and formulae, working out thousands of meaningless numbers that I can then spew into a pretty graph.
By night, I am spending almost every waking minute answering security questions, in a desparate effort to prove that I am really who I say I am, and that these towels I am buying are for drying myself with and not for concealing weapons of massive distraction.
As a result, I finally have some tips for people who are considering moving house and therefore spending a chunk of money.
That last one's crucial. The banks would love to be easier to deal with, really they would. They've got better things to do than check up when you were last on the electoral roll, or get you to try to remember who supplies your electricity. The reason that they have to do this sort of check is a consequence of some criminals, a few stupid people, and massive pressure from consumer bodies. Think of that, the next time you are trying to get your bank charges waived.
I remember when blogs were young.
Back when I started, back in the dim, dim depths of time when I had a really good template that was, obviously, ripped off from another site, the point of this blog was so that my Mum could keep up to date with my news while I went off travelling from one place to another in my role as international gallivanter and Excel troubleshooter. I would sit in an air conditioned office, sipping dodgy instant coffee in Ho Chi Minh City, and I'd compose witty two line entries about the goings-on in the offices beyond my door. That way, she knew I was alive, and all was good.
These days, I live with her, so she knows that I am alive. However, this means that I have abandoned my evil sidekick cat Mr Twinky, and he now only knows I am alive because he reads this site and I occasionally send him lewd text messages.
I know these facts because they cropped up over dinner the other night. Mr Twinky is here to get me sorted out, out of my parents home and in to a Love Shack. By the end of the week, this will be painted, and within eight weeks, it will be suitable for living in. I plan to move in this weekend.
To make this transition easier, I am now waking up at 6 in the morning. This will come in particularly useful when I am living without curtains. We're saving up for those.
After the rush of excitement at the beginning of the week, the pace of change in the building site has slowed. The carpets came up and the false dado came down, and well, they can only do that once, can't they?
I've been round every day. Yesterday, I arrived at lunch time - and I almost bumped in to someone leaving. The flat door was wide open, and there was only one person inside. He was sitting on the floor in his shorts, legs spread wide, painting the door frame. I said hello, but he just smiled at me.
I could have been anyone, I thought as I rummaged through the mail. I could have walked in off the street and decided to have a look in to this chrysaline flat. But, I thought, that would probably make me a bit mad.
I don't understand television any more.
I used to understand television, and this is how it worked. All three channels were beamed out of transmitters, in to space where they got caught in aerials. The signals then ran down the wire into the box, which got warmed up and then little pixies ran along 625 lines turning off and on the red, green and blue dots that you could see if you scrunched yourself up to the screen really really close.
Then they introduced new stuff like satellites and cables, so you didn't need to get television through your aerial as you could get it out of the ground, or out of space. That was fine too. You paid for television from the ground or space and you got to watch The Simpsons and endless US imports. I could get to grips with that.
And guess what, you could still connect up your old gremlin-run television to the aerial, and you could still get all three channels, and that was all good.
Then they got even more digital, sending more television programmes out through aerials, but these were squeezed up really really tightly, rolled up in a ball and kind of stuck together. You needed a special decoder to take these squeezed up programmes and translate them into real moving and talking pictures. That was okay, though. Generally, it worked pretty well, except when the signal is bad, when the picture jumps rather than getting snowy, and the sound crackles in a "hello I'm going to break your speakers" kind of way.
However, as I come close to buying a television which I will be watching through a wire connected to an aerial pulling programmes from a transmitter that's probably up a hill somewhere, I realise I have no idea what I am doing.
The television will have a digital tuner - which I can understand. It'll automatically unroll squeezed up programmes. Hurrah! That means I don't need an unsightly box (insert "unsightly box" gag here later). However, which unsightly box is it replacing? Freeview? Freesat? Top up TV?
And critically, do I really care as long as Mr Twinky can watch Saturday Kittens?
Three days ago, I got the keys to New Flat. Two days ago I gave them to a virtual stranger. Today I went back to New Flat for the first time.
When I left it, it was relatively tidy. When I got back, it was a building site. Carpets up, fake cornices removed, light fittings removed, wall sockets moved, a good chunk of painting done, fake dado removed and much, much more.
This bomb site work is, it must be said, good. It makes me more confident that we're doing the right thing in doing all this work on New Flat, and also that the team we're using are up to the task. There's always a degree of nervousness about letting someone in to do some work like this, and even more so when Mr Twinky can't be on site to supervise.
I think he'll be pleased.
I get the keys tomorrow - four sets.
The last ten weeks have been somewhat chaotic, really. Any attempts to impose order on the many, many lists of things to do have been somewhat futile - I've missed things left, right and centre and in many ways it is a miracle that it's all ended up going so relatively smoothly.
The next couple of weeks will be the real test - redecoration, buying and building furniture, accepting delivery of a huge number of boxes and generally moving in. There will be some days where military precision is needed, and on most days a good stiff drink both for myself and for Mr Twinky (without whom none of this would be possible, despite the fact that he is, of course, a cat). Hopefully there will be no more surprises, though.
The latest curve ball arrived today. Apparently a search against my name has come up with some issues. I don't know what sort of search, precisely, but it threw up problems; something to do with owning a pub in East Kilbride and owing money to the child support agency. As a result, at some point I have to prove that this isn't really me, and I obviously don't have any bits of paper to prove that it's not me.
I do, however, have a huge amount of paper. I don't think I've ever generated quite so much paper in such a short period of time. I will be sellotaping it all together on Saturday to make temporary curtains.