83. Polystyrene walls

by | Dec 4, 2015 | House & renovations | 2 comments

The ‘before’ pic. You’ll have to wait for the big reveal…


We’ve got the builders in. That’s not a euphemism for getting my period or having vaginal reconstructive surgery. We’re finally having the house re-rendered. In Bulgaria this means having the house coated in huge polystyrene insulation slabs and then rendering on top of that.

I hate having builders around. The last lot of builders we had left a lovely old set of wooden chairs out in the rain for months (we were back in England at the time) and they got ruined. I would also come home to find random smelly food items, like half a raw onion, left out on my kitchen table despite there being a perfectly good bin two feet away. And one time they tried to get us to agree to work being done before they quoted for it, you know, just because it’s such a hassle coming out to quote and they didn’t want to bother if we couldn’t, like, guarantee they’d get the job. Hahahahahahaha, I laughed manically before ripping out handfuls of my own hair. Then we found new builders.

This lot seem jolly enough. But I still find the whole experience of having builders around to be grindingly awful. Couple this with my natural tendency to assume everything will be a complete fucking disaster and it’s really rather stressful.

‘Have you ever considered that it’ll look lovely when it’s done?’ said Rob.

‘Er, no.’

There’s the difference between him and me. That and Rob is already best mates with all the builders while I spend my days pretending they aren’t there.

Rob’s perspective: The builders turn up promptly at 8.30am every morning.

My perspective: They have yet to work past 2pm in the afternoon. And they were supposed to start six weeks ago.

Rob: The house will be warmer thanks to the insulation.

Me: The polystyrene is so ugly I can’t look at my own house without wanting to have a little cry.

Rob: They’re throwing lots of men at the job. Many hands make light work and all that.

Me: Every time I look up there is a different Bulgarian man at the window. I have become a freelancing nomad, carting my laptop to whichever room currently doesn’t have men at the window. Going to the loo has become a perilous game of hide and seek.

Rob: It’ll be nice to have smooth exterior walls, and for all four sides to match. (The front and one side of the house were flat-ish and pink but the back and other side were, for reasons unknown to us, done in dirty beige pebble dash.)

Me: It’s going to look like a prefabricated council house.

Updates and pictures of work in progress to follow soon. For now I’m off to cook lunch and pretend not to see the eight men at the kitchen windows.


  1. Боби Димитров

    I really, really enjoy your whining style! Every time I feel down for whatever reason, I come here and find relief by reading the (supposedly) sorry state of your lives and affairs around the house and the garden :D

    So thank you, for always cheering me up!

  2. Auntie Bulgaria

    Thanks Bobby, I think! I'd love to say I spent years perfecting a suitably whining style but the truth is it just comes naturally. :)


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