Monday, July 1, 2019

home(t)raveling 2.0: week 105 = 2 years!


Well, it's a bit awkward to say but we've been caught in such a wonderful and overwhelming whirlpool of love, exhaustion, work, amazement, things-to-do, hurry, hugs and stress (but the good one, you know!), that we hardly acknowledged the "official" day - the actual, accurate date, aka "the anniversary". Not that we haven't been super incredibly happy and grateful to complete this beautiful and crazy two-year ride, since this Thursday, June 29th 2017 when we traded a big bunch of papers with our signatures on them for a big bunch of rusty keys to a rusty ruin.

the kitchen: 2 years ago (before) ; 18 months ago (work in progress) ; and now-ish but not finished yet (after).
We have been, indeed, super incredibly happy and grateful ever since. Even though welcoming and living with a baby in such a big and chaotic renovation project is challenging and takes a toll on your mental availability. Everything but the absolute priorities becomes irrelevant. Everything pretty much becomes just another line on a seemingly endless to-do list. And each to-do list becomes little more than another page among pages on the to-do-lists' scrapbook.

the living-room: 2 years ago (before) ; 18 months ago (work in progress) ; and now-ish but not finished yet (after).
Alright, let's cup the crap and get specific: over the past 2 years, we eventually managed to:
 - survive and maintain a decent degree of mental health (some would argue on this - they may, we won't),
 - define a first phase of work, aka Phase I, aimed at setting up a 90 square-meters apartment we call "the house",
 - destroy, empty and clean most of the spaces out of and around the house (we call them "the ruin"),
 - renovate/build the house to the point it is liveable and comfy (kitchen, living-room, 2 bedrooms, bathroom, toilet),

the staircase pantry: 2 years ago (before) and now-ish (after) ; same with the call-it-the-lobby, 2 years ago and now-ish (after).

 - "almost" (aaah, the joy of never-ending finishings) complete Phase I, which also included waterproofing and insulating the roof and changing some windows, as well as setting up a storage and laundry room and taking care of the staircase (deep cleaned ; walls and ceilings painted ; still requiring wood sanding and oiling, but we'll do!),
 - take care of the garden, cutting, pruning, cleaning, removing tons of accumulated dirt, garbage and junk,
 - create some nice open, outdoor space under the hangar: to chill, play and live as much as the weather allows,
 - have a baby! (we weren't so sure we'd be able to, back then: exhausted, skinnier than ever and 6kg less each...)

on the first floor: 2 years ago (before) and now-ish (after) ; looking to the bathroom*, same pattern.
Well, of course we also worked part-time to make all this possible. And tried and kept some social life, hung out with friends, shared a coffee or beer regularly. Climbed twice and finished a book once a year. And that's pretty much it. Talking about friends, all this was only possible with their invaluable help and support: for hard work and strong arms, for fine tools and skilled hands, for good advice and great ideas, for food and drinks, for company, gumption, love and laughter. So, well, thanks to y'all so much, again and again and again. Some special and warm thanks to the few professionals who helped us, too: Mr. K and Mr. T (!!) the hempcrete cookers, Mr. S the hunter-gatherer electrician, Mr. X the stunt plumber, the 3 crazy plasterboard jointers, the minions under the roof, the mighty eco-stove team: the sorceress and the wizard. And last but not least, the C. brothers for some expert, colourful and loving brushstrokes.

2 rows: upper = then, lower = now. the closet in the first bedroom (W&F's) ; the first bedroom (W&F's) ; the second bedroom (the family's).

We're so thankful that they all did what they did and did it so well!
And we're so proud that we did everything else with our own four hands:
learning, enjoying every moment and living with the mistakes!
Now, let's face it: we're on for another 2 years, insh Allah. And another 2 years after that.
And another 2 years after that, and so on.
For now, we'll inaugurate home(t)raveling 3.0 asap to keep updating these columns at the same, steady pace
(translation: "doing what we possibly can with the blog, posting randomly with an unpredictable schedule").
If you want to follow the next steps, stay tuned here or come say hello in the Ariège!

That's all folks!
We'll take a short nap
and get back to work, for
"This Sagrada familia of ours
is not going to build itself,
is it?"

of course, with the bigger picture, some stuff that still needs to be done
starts to become visible... season 3 is on its way!


* about the bathroom(s): we built a new one next to the bedrooms on the first floor. This old one on the ground floor is still practically in its original state (once you pass the cool reclaimed and recycled sliding door). We want to refresh it someday and it's officially a part of Phase I but, you know, it CAN wait...

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