Monday, 28 February 2011

Latest Project:

My latest project - moving the last two bookshelves into the hallway ... which naturally involves putting all the books in a great big pile on the floor first, then dragging the two bookshelves across the apartment and then trying to sort through the great book pile and put all the books in order ... I am almost finished now!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Renovation Part III: Pictures

I will finish the Renovation-entries by sharing some pictures, the varying state of my apartment during the past two weeks or so ...
On purpose I will not include any pictures from the bathroom, as I really do want to make a proper Before-and-After post on that later on, when everything is REALLY finished. Naturally I'll include photos from the other rooms as well when they are all done too, but here's a taste of what it's been like.

When I moved back home, this kitchen awaited me (not exactly thrilled about that, but I guess I should have cleared away more stuff than I did before I moved out):

Varying stages of my hallway:

And the living room:

Bedroom - this is how it looked when I got home, and found out I had to clear it all away (one more time!!) for the electrician:

And here I have cleared away the bookshelves (again!) - meaning all the stuff ended up in my bed:

And now it's all back together AGAIN ...

Finishing off - though I said I wasn't going to - with a picture from my bathroom.
The latest drama was this Wednesday, I think! A carpenter came in to fix a few things they had noticed weren't working perfectly. He asked me if I had noticed something, and I mentioned the ventilation in the bathroom which had been making quite a lot of noise. He told me he'd take a look at it, and I let him get on with it. After a while I heard a lot of noises and he swore and rushed out to get a few other carpenters! It turned out he was going to take down the ventilation box which is over the bathroom cupboard - and ended up cracking one of the ceramic tiles, just where the water pipes were going! Not good!
It took them almost two days to fix it - but now it's fixed and no noise, yay! - and here's what my bathroom wall looked like then:

Renovation Part II: Emotional

Due to quite an intense week, unfortunately the blog hasn't been updated. Hopefully I can take some time this weekend to catch up with it!

This entry will try to focus on the emotional part of this whole renovation mess I've been living in for the past 5-6 weeks - naturally it won't be very detailed as emotions are, at least to me, something very private. But I will try to write something.

I think what has become most evident for me is how much I actually value my home! When I was on sick-leave, my home became my refuge, it was the only place in the world where I could totally relax and where I was completely at ease - at any other place there was at least some kind of anxiety involved, although of course the gravity of it varied.
But since I have been feeling better, I can be relaxed at other places as well. Anxiety has not that big part in my life any more (although some of it has come back lately - but that's another story) and I don't have to be on my toes and feeling anxious as soon as I leave my home.
But still, home apparently means a great deal to me - which became very clear when I was more or less thrown out of my home.

I spent three weeks not living at home, and that was really hard on me. Part of the time, I could borrow Christian's apartment - where I was on my own and could go about my business in the way I wanted - and the rest of the time was mostly spent with my Dad and his family, and I'm used to being there as well ... but it was still hard on me not being around my home, my stuff! (This is not to say I'm not grateful both to Christian and to my Dad for making these arrangements possible, because it made things work out well on a practical level!)
Since this was a reaction I had not anticipated, I also was not at all prepared for it, and probably didn't handle it in a great way ...

Things have been feeling a lot better since I was able to come home - but there is an element of anxiety still, as there has been complications and I've basically had people walk in and out any time between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to try to fix this and that ... And that makes it hard to relax even when I am at home ... this has made me truly appreciate weekends though! :)

Having to go through this renovation mess has also made it impossible for me to try to really deal with my feelings and emotions. I feel like I have been forced to push things aside and telling myself I'll have to deal with them when things calm down a bit - and that is something that I don't feel good about. Pushing things aside make them pile up inside me and eventually I feel like I'm going to break, both physically and emotionally, because there is so much inside me that I can't let out.
This weekend I think is the first time since Christmas, where I can really sit down and work things through (I write - a lot!), not worrying about anything, just trying to focus on what has been going on and how I'm feeling about everything, and why, and where all my emotions come from, and how I'm going to deal with them.
I still have stuff I need to do, but I truly feel I have to prioritize my writing now, if I'm going to be able to feel better!

I have several other blog entries in mind before I feel I'm back-on-track with the blog, so hopefully I can get my act together and publish them during the weekend.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Renovation Part I: Practical

I thought I'd start off by giving you an insight into the practical aspects of this whole renovation mess ... to give a background on what has been going on and maybe that will be at least part of an explanation to why I haven't been feeling very well lately.

Basically it was a bathroom renovation, so they were going to tear down the whole bathroom including the walls and floors. You could make a choice to also have your entire kitchen renovated as well, as they were changing all the water pipes at the same time - this would, however, be too expensive for my taste. They did recommend that we'd do the hallway as well, as in all likelihood there would be damage made to the hallway in the renovation process - also they were going to widen the bathroom door, which meant tearing down part of the concrete hallway wall.

It was also decided that since this whole mess was going to go on, they would also change all the electrical stuff in every apartment ... the fuse box as well as all the wall and roof electrical outlets - this was going to be done the week before the renovation project started, and this was scheduled to take three weeks.

Before the renovation itself begun, they changed all the locks ... I'm sure they had some secure way of doing this, even though I never understood the finer details, but basically they removed our door locks and replaced them with temporary "construction locks", allowing all the construction workers to pretty much come and go as they liked.
After that it was time for the electrical work. Which included moving A LOT of furniture!! As I mentioned here before, I managed to miss one outlet, but cleared away a couple of bookshelves and was told they would fix it during the bathroom renovations (there are at least two, maybe more, companies involved - the electricians and the carpenters, and I assume there are plumbers as well, though I don't think I've come across any of them).

On Friday 21st (January), the covered the hallway floor, and on Monday 24th, I moved out.
Luckily I had a friend in Lund, Christian, who was willing to give up his apartment for me, and temporarily move in with his girlfriend Maria - who I had as a mentor when I was taking Greek! :) I very much appreciate that, as I basically had nowhere to go! We were allowed to live at home, as we were supposed to have electricity most of the time - but with no running water, a toilet in the basement, and shower in barrack in the yard, I really did NOT want to live here.

I stayed in Christians apartment Monday through Saturday morning that week - and I did discover during that time how much I really like my Home! Christians apartment was really nice, and it was a lot closer to Uni than mine *lol*, but I still felt a bit homesick!
Saturday morning, I went up north to visit my families, and I stayed for about 10 days. There were a lot of reasons why I didn't feel great, but I'll see if I can tell you something about that in another entry.
Anyway, I stayed with my Dad and his family between Jan. 28 and Feb. 7, and I also visited my Mum. It was nice seeing them again, but it felt strange to be there for such a long time during mid-semester.
On Feb. 7 I went back south, again to Christian's apartment - where I stayed until Friday. It was said I could move back home on Friday and I spent quite some time that week to make sure that was okay.

I went home on three occasions that week, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning, and tried to find people to talk to - but I kept getting quite vague answers, to be honest.
I was quite nervous when I went home "for good" on Friday afternoon, but when I got here I quickly realized that I did have electricity and I did have running water, which at the time was good enough for me.
That weekend flew by, I was completely exhausted and basically didn't do much of anything.
Unfortunately I had discovered there were A LOT of things left to do, and maybe the most annoying one: the electrical outlet in the living room. As I had decided to rearrange the furniture while I still had to move them things were an extreme mess!!

I spent a lot of time during the beginning of the week trying to find people and get things done, but it took until Wednesday before the electrician showed up. Only to tell me that since the outlet went straight through one of my inner walls, I had to clear the outlet that was on the other side of the wall as well (in the bedroom).
I basically had a complete melt down, as I had already cleared away at least two bookshelves there before, they had changed the outlet and I had moved everything back again (along with all the stuff from the bathroom and some other things!)...

So I moved it all over again, but then it seemed impossible to find the electricians anywhere. I had a carpenter in on Friday morning to do some stuff, and by then I was really upset, there were a lot of things that I had to have electricians to fix (for instance, they removed my internet/telephone outlet when they wallpapered the hallway, which was done at the beginning of the week, and hadn't put it back!) ....
The electricians were nowhere to be found, and I really wanted to take a trip to Lund that afternoon - so I left here at noon and put a huge note on my door with biiiig red letters, stated I needed help from the electricians!

Around 5.15 p.m. when I was at Uni, the Head of the entire renovation project called me!! He is Danish and for the life of me, I cannot understand that language ... so I hardly understood what he said! Very embarrassing! I figured out that either they had fixed most of the stuff and were going to do a check on it on Monday (as in, today), or they were going to fix it ... on Monday.

I kind of dreaded going home, but when I got here I at least had telephone/internet and the outlet in the living room was fixed! Yay!
I spent the weekend trying to get everything back together - and this morning the carpenters came and did a few minor things- but there are still stuff left ...
The "bosses" came around 11 a.m. today to do a survey of the work being done, I had hoped everything would be done but naturally there were a number of things they are going to get adjust during this week.

But at least I can get my place back together now, I still don't want to put furniture in the hallway, as they are not quite done there yet, but I have gotten most of the stuff back where it's supposed to be, so I'm hoping to be able to have this apartment in tip-top shape come this weekend!

This has been quite a difficult time for me, for a number of reasons - I am truly glad that almost everything is finished, but I'm quite down and I think it will take a while for me to make a come-back from this.
I hope to make another entry fairly soon on how I've been feeling (even though I won't go into that much detail!) this past month ....

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Home Sweet Home!

That sentiment has never ever before felt so true!

I realized just now that it has been exactly four weeks to the day since my last entry. I know I wrote then that I would try to keep updating the blog even though I wouldn't stay home, but the fact that I have been taking a blog break has actually been deliberate.
I have not been doing well the last four weeks, for numerous reasons, and there have been times when I have wondered if I really had it in me to pull through...

The practical aspects of my life, at least some of them, seem to be falling into place now, for which I am most grateful! However, I have been forced to repress and push aside all the mental and emotional aspects of my life for quite a long time, and that is not something that suits me well. The repression approach - "if I close my eyes maybe it'll go away!?" - has never worked for me, I really need to take the opposite approach to the difficulties that arise ... and now I haven't been given that opportunity.

I think I will be able to start dealing with a lot of things during next week, so hopefully I will start feeling better and better.
As a lot of things has happened these past four weeks, I will try to make separate entries, so as not to bore you to death with one single entry that keeps going forever.
Please note that I am now in the process of restoring almost my entire apartment, which takes up most of my time, and I am also completely exhausted, so I might not make a new entry every two hours or so - but I hope I can catch up with the blog over the next few days at least.

You will probably get a few photos of various stages of renovation along the way, although the "AFTER" pictures aren't available yet, as not everything is ready yet.