The latest instalment in a series in which I answer the ongoing question “How do you fit it all in?”, which people ask me when I tell them what I do.
I’m having to set alarms every day to wake up at the moment, which I don’t like doing. One of the things I generally like about working for myself is not having to get up at a specific time, so I normally sleep until I wake up naturally, but this week there are men in my house building things and sanding things and giving me quotes for things, so I’m getting up at 7am every day. This isn’t much earlier than when I’d wake up naturally most of the time, but there’s something about being jerked out of sleep by an alarm clock that immediately starts the day off in an annoying way.
I waited in all morning for a window reframer who never arrived. The masonry repair guy did arrive though, and he’s been working his magic on the bay window all week, which is now starting to look much better than it did before.
The afternoon was filled with client calls and business admin, like usual, and then I went to bed early to try to catch up on sleep some more.
The stove guy came out to give me a quote for a wood burner in the living room. This is the one I’m looking at:
It is going to look beautiful in my living room. Hopefully.
Meanwhile the walls-and-windows guy was dealing with his side of things. He left in the mid-afternoon and I carried on working for a bit, before taking myself on a walk along the river because why not go outside in the searing heat?
The builder’s back, and I’m up before 8am again. I’m not enjoying this morning thing, but I’ll admit it’s quite nice to be finished with most of work by mid-afternoon. Not nice enough to make me want to permanently change my schedule though.
In the afternoon I walked over to Chelsea to pick up some paint samples and get a quote for a radiator. I’d love one of those old cast iron ones, which I knew would be horrifically expensive but I wanted to know exactly how much. Now I know. I’m not sure if I want one enough to pay that much for it, so I may just end up painting my boring normal radiator to match the rest of the walls instead.
It was a pleasant enough walk through London though, if a bit hot. And it took me down the street I used to live on, which was fun.
I moved into that flat when I was seventeen years old. I’d never been to London before I went to find a flat there, with the exception of changing buses at Victoria coach station when we did the thirteen-hour coach journey from Glasgow to the south coast of England.
Armed with no knowledge about London, I did a little research and discovered two areas that sounded safe-ish: Kensington and Knightsbridge. I took myself and my predicted budget around all the estate agents in the area, who laughed at me. But eventually one of them found me a flat. A tiny, very broken flat, but I loved it because it was the first time I’d lived alone, and that was something I’d always wanted to do.
The builder arrived in the early-ish morning again and got started on the window. It’s now been stripped and sanded back, and it’s ready to be painted! Which means I need to get my act together and buy the paint.
I’ve picked up a sample from Farrow & Ball for the walls, and have ordered one from Abigail Ahern, who is queen of the look I’m going for:
In the afternoon I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages because she lives in the US now. Then I went to Penguin’s Secret YA Society party at a cocktail bar near Baker Street. I came home in between for a cold shower and considered not going back out again, but it was so hot in my flat that I thought it might be a good idea to go somewhere there’d be air conditioning.
Which there wasn’t, of course, because the UK is very unprepared for heatwaves. It was a nice event all the same, and good to hear from each of the four featured authors, and to pick up some free books. I walked home as the sun set and it was mercifully cooler than it had been on the way there.
The day was taken up with things that involved going outside and talking to people: driving lessons, demos of forensic software, client calls, etc. This never puts me in the best of moods, being very far up the end of the introversion scale, but I got through it all and then went to bed nice and early as a reward.