Home Improvement Swedish Style
Today I have no water. Today is also the day I planned to clean in preparation for the electricians who are coming tomorrow to rewire and upgrade the electric in our apartment. It will take them two days. On those days, we will have no electricity.
An excellent opportunity for spring cleaning, I thought. The sun is out, so let the cleaning begin.
Today I have no water and I have no idea why. Construction, I assume. This was an unplanned surprise. It is also not the first time we’ve been without water. So the laundry I hoped to do can not be done. The walls and floors, I planned to clean will – if done at all – have to be done with a spray bottle and cloth. It ain’t happening.
We were told that prior to the electrical work being done, we had to prepare a meter of space around each and every single outlet and switch. In. The. Entire. Apartment.
This would include behind the refrigerator, the oven, and every overhead light. Because some of the wiring also runs behind our kitchen cabinets, we had to move all the food from those cabinets and … put them where? Certainly not on the counter as there are outlets there. Our solution – boxes.
Our huge vortex of a couch must be moved. Also, the bookshelves and our bed. Because the electrician is going to be in areas that haven’t been cleaned in probably over a year … I rather wanted to tidy things up a bit. You know … behind the stove, the frig, behind the entertainment center etc …
Today I have no water. The only thing I can do about that is shrug my shoulders and make a new a plan. So I will write instead. Perhaps take a walk later this afternoon. Of course, I can’t brush my teeth or wash my face, before going on the walk … because I have no water. I’ll just have to be … grimy. Kill me now.
In about two weeks the big work will begin at our place. Our bathroom, hallway, and the kitchen plumbing will all be demolished. This job, we are told, will take ten weeks. That leaves us without a toilet or shower until JULY! The construction company has kindly installed two trailers outside where we can shower and do our business. What happens if you have to pee in the middle of night? Eco-toilet – which I am told someone will come and empty every day! Hmmm …
I have been, and will continue to live, in a construction zone for the next several months. Living in an apartment means that the renovation team doesn’t just come to my house, do their job, and leave. It means that every apartment in this complex will be undergoing construction. So even though our apartment hasn’t yet commenced construction … I have been living with the sounds of generators, sledge hammers, drills on concrete walls, and the emptying of dumpsters for the last month.
The renovation will be beautiful when completed. New wallpaper for the hallway, new sinks, tiles, tubs, facets. Everything planned with the wonderful minimalistic clean lines of Scandinavian design.
But considering the work here doesn’t begin until about 8:30 or 9:00am … and then there is the morning fika (coffee break), lunch break, afternoon fika and the end of the workday is 4:00pm, I can’t help but wonder why this will all take two and a half months to remodel one little bathroom.
Well, at least I know my water will be turned back on by 4:00pm.
Writer/photographer Lisa Mikulski. Available for print or online publications and business in the Nordic region, Europe, and the US. Editorial, features, and creative.