...in as much as I paid local workers and distant in-laws a presumably insulting daily wage to build a house my wife designed on her own, bought all the materials for and managed day-to-day, while I sat in my air-conditioned apartelle on the other side of town playing Diablo II, watching Doctor Who and occasionally typing things to earn construction funds.
No, I'm not proud of myself. But at least by not bothering to offer any creative or practical input whatsoever, I didn't compromise my wife's dream design (yeah?) And those workers have Sundays off to travel home and see their families, rather than sleeping on cardboard in the ramshackle shack outside and showering with a bucket like they do the rest of the week. Awful, isn't it? I didn't design the system, I'm just taking advantage of it.
Even in her frantic rush to bring the house up to minimum habitable standard before our February rent payment was due, my wife conceded to take photos through every stage of construction so we'd have them for posterity and, more importantly, for this blog. And we're not done yet - "minimum habitable standard" means it's still far from complete and still pretty spooky when stomping around with the lights off, even though the only potential spirits around here would belong to the trees we cruelly butchered to spoil more of this island's dwindling nature with concrete. As I said, not proud, but I'm not going to live on the highway.
This has strengthened my argument that travelling is cheaper than staying at home. This has all been pretty expensive. But if I will insist on using durable materials that won't collapse every time there's an earthquake or typhoon.
Minimum Habitable Standard
As long as there are no long-term consequences to breathing in all this concrete dust.
Where the magic will happen. If they ever get around to delivering the bloody bed (fourth rescheduled appointment currently overdue).
My second thought on seeing this view was, "that will make a pleasant backdrop when breakfasting on the terrace."
My first thought was, "brilliant, how often do I have to trim that bastard?"
Like I won't be passing that onto the wifey too.
I noticed the "spare" bedroom is the only room in the house to feature child-proof windows.
My wife told me not to read anything into that. We'll see.
Back garden where we'll grow things, considering local "convenience" stores prefer not to sell actual food.
That privy's for the workers. I'm not an animal. Just a monster.
This here land was too big for the two of us, so my wife's family is also migrating.
Their houses are pleasingly less complete, so I can enjoy watching them come along in person. And look forward to all the banging and drilling over the next few months.
I think this is their septic tank. There's no municipal sewer in the provinces, work it out.
Ours is already buried and waiting to receive its first contributions, but out of sight is not out of mind. I've finally become conscious of where my waste ends up, at least until we call out the pump truck after a few years and they take it away to help plants grow or something (definitely).
I'm not allowed to have cats because my next-door-niece is allergic, but there are happily some mongrels around who didn't get the memo. Now I just have to try very hard not to accidentally coax them in with tuna and start a collection.
There have been times over the last few months, such as when waiting patiently for several minutes while my minions took out a lightning spire, that I wondered if I couldn't be taking more of a hands-on role in this project. Well, I'm here now. No more excuses, or at least more creative ones.
Come back in a month or three for an update with boring pictures of a finished house.
Like anyone wants to see that.