Instead, I am doing things that I’ve meant to do but never got round to. I feel like a conscript ordered to clean bathroom floors with a toothbrush. When did I last clean the windows in the basement? Never in twenty-six years. The shelves in the wine cellar haven’t been as shiny since before the First World War, which is about when the house was built. You can even see what colour they are. Once I stored apples in the wine cellar; then we used to have out archive there, and imagine, we have even kept wine there!
In my old country, a plumber or electrician who wanted to advertise his work would say: “I will do this as if I were doing it for myself”. I am fixing the house as I if were doing it for myself.