Renovating a house in Italy has been far from simple. It’s been a year and a half already and we’re still a long way from the finish line. Essentially rebuilding a house from scratch is an obstacle course involving bends, turns, endless decision-making, many many compromises and a final sprint at the end… all with a thick covering of pervasive dust.

I had time to read the book “A Year In Provence” during the renovations and it confirmed what I suspected: Peter Mayle is a truly fantastic writer. He manages to make the tear-your-hair-out-frustration-of-builders-who-don’t-turn-up-when-they-said-they-would sound like something quite charming and not at all bothersome.

We ordered the wooden flooring late January. We were told there would be a three month lead time so we could “reasonably expect the flooring to be ready, urr, towards the end of May.”

(Yeah, I know that you know that Jan to May is actually four months. I did the maths on my fingers under the table as we were sitting there in the sales office but this is Italy, three… four… *shrug.*)

In the end, we picked up the floorboards on July 16th. It’s now July 30th and the floorboards are still sitting under the portico outside, waiting for the man to come and lay them. It’s been two weeks now that he says “I’ll come take a look tomorrow.”

This is relatively good.