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A Week of Ups and Downs

Well, this has certainly been a week of up's and down's. Claire has taken the kids to stay with her Mum and Dad for a few days and I am feeling very lonely.

For the first day or two it was brilliant. I stocked up on beers and junk food (yes, I know about the whole losing weight thing!) and played on the X-Box all night. It really released some of the tension which this current job has been storing up. I was able to work until silly o'clock at night without fear of getting the silent treatment and I didn't have to worry about being stinky and covered in dust when I finally got home.

But one of the things about having a wife and kids is that they are the real motivation for working hard. Within two days of her leaving I was finding it hard to see the reason for going home, yet I wasn't enjoying being at work either. I am obviously designed to be part of a marriage. Not something you admit to the blokes down at the pub, I have to say.

It was different when I stayed with my brother because I wasn't coming home to an empty house every night. It is kind of depressing actually.

On the flip side, it has been a pretty successful week on the job front. The builders are putting the finishing touches to their work and I can see that we have maybe a month to go to get the rest complete. The electrics and plumbing are all at second fix stage and we are able to start moving in the kitchens and bathrooms.

At the moment I am pretty much managing to stick to my budget. It has been really hard to work out exactly what we needed. While the builder came in at a set price, nothing else has been as simple as that. All the kitchens and bathrooms are different dimensions and so each one has needed different units. Also because the downstairs is slightly bigger and has a garden, it needs to be a higher specification to bring in a higher rent.

It certainly hasn't been a case of buying three lots of everything. The loft bedroom also needs to have built-in storage, as no wardrobe will fit into that space...

Add to all this the fact that I have been working around a very tight budget and have been sourcing cheaper materials than I would normally and the process has been a bit longer. Thank goodness I have so many contacts in the trade these days. They really come in handy!

The best thing at the moment is that if we can keep to the latest schedule I have completed then I can look forward to a whole week off. I will really need it and I think that Katy will need a bit of time to settle herself into her new term at college. So it would be perfect timing.

So all this is keeping me busy, all I really want is my wife and kids to come home. Despite the fact that the in-laws are not my favourite people, I bet the kids especially are having a fantastic time and getting spoiled rotten. The thing is that I could do with a spot of spoiling too!

G L Smith and Sons