The holidays began as they always do; with hope and plans and the giddiness of possibility. We made lists over breakfast of the places we'd visit, the fun times we'd have, the people we'd see, the work we'd do, the progress we'd make and the endless days of summer that we'd fill with laughter and laziness and home-building in perfectly equal measure.
But then with a week's work here, a week's visiting there and a week away in the sun still to come, the weeks disappeared into days and the days looked in danger of slipping through our fingers.
And so in the remaining spaces of the summer holidays and with a whole house full of jobs to do, we've been busy working.
We've taped and filled the cracks in the plasterboard, slathered our hands and faces and walls in sloppy coats of Easyfill, sanded it down until my lungs felt vacuum-bags and the face that I saw in the mirror looked eighty, painted a ceiling, painted walls, planed window boards, ordered doors and carpets and abandoned all else in the pursuit of progress.
For over a week life has been placed on hold whilst we pour our energies into the echoey spaces upstairs; the washing is backed up, the fridge is bare, the blog is neglected, the photos are few, the housework is abandoned and routine is all but forgotten.
And yet even though the chaos is mounting, and progress is painfully slow, I find that I can cope with the carnage, because for the first time in a long time we're working together to improve the state of our lives, and if vast quantities of dust are a prerequisite of progress, then that's a price that I'm willing to pay.