It’s not going brilliantly, if I’m honest. Our house is very close to being complete, but getting that last bit finished is ever more hassle, like some variant of Zeno’s Paradox where you can only ever do 80% of what’s left. And in the meantime, living in a building site is miserable.

This time, it’s tiles. I am so angry about tiles. I have thought about tiles much more than anyone should ever have to. I wake up in the night anxious about tiles. Several weeks ago, it was the bathroom tiles. We didn’t have enough, so I had to go to great effort to find extra tiles and check that the colour matched. But it turns out that I completely wasted my effort, because we had so many tiles left over even before I took back the unopened extra boxes.

Now it’s the kitchen. Could you measure and tell me how many tiles we need? I asked. About 2 m², was the reply. So I bought 2.2 m², allowing 10% for wastage. But no, it turns out that we need at least 2.3 m² even before wastage, so I had to tell them not to send the tiler round on Saturday, because I have to buy more tiles. This time, I’m definitely buying more than enough, because I can get a refund on unused complete boxes, and even though taking them back is a hasle, it’s less hassle than procuring them in the first place.

It might be a blessing in disguise, though, because I’m not happy with their solution for boxing in the pipework under the boiler, and if they’d gone ahead and tiled already my alternative solution wouldn’t be so easy to implement.

Upstairs is finished apart from some trim. The kitchen is done apart from the tiles, wiring in the hob, and setting up the boiling water device under the sink. The living room is still a store room for building equipment, and all the comforts of life are still in storage.

At least we have a bed now, as of Friday.

Okinawa Day went well. I was playing in an early set, so I was able to relax and enjoy the rest of the day. I had nothing to do with organising it this year, and I’ve spent so many weekends moving house from one temporary abode to another that I’ve not been to many practices, but the event seemed to run smoothly and the set I played in was fine.

A view from the side of nine or ten people playing sanshin on a stage

I’m the one in the hat, looking serious. Credit: Rina Yakena

I’m going to the Brighton Ruby Conference this coming Friday. I’d usually get a hotel for one night before and come straight back afterwards, but this time I’m staying on the Friday night as well so that I can enjoy an extra night of living in somewhere that isn’t a building site.

Say hello if you’re going, or want to get dinner.