People have shit taste.

Not just other people, but everybody. You, me, even the President. My theory? Everyone’s got a … unique set of preferences, and they’re all wrong. Hold up, I’m going somewhere with this.

You may have heard that I finished up work last Friday, and I wanted to take a week or two off before picking up the pen on Night’s End again. Unfortunately I have this thing where I can’t actually do nothing, which is probably going to cause all sorts of problems. But not today!

Enter: the outdoor room.

Hour Zero

This was a kind of semi-enclosed veranda the previous owners of our villa put in. Every side was enclosed in cheap panelling: the wood untreated, the fibralite of the cheaper variety so that it’s not, as you can attest, see-through. Because it was a shitty place to hang out unless you were a spider or a cockroach, we made it worse by turning it into a universal storage room.

Enough’s enough. Bad taste be gone. Let’s do some less-is-more with good ol’ fashioned minimalism. Time to let the air in.

Fibralite gone

We’re starting to feel the potential now. Mostly because you can see shit, the vampires won’t sneak up on you.

Panels gone

Ah. Now we’re talking. The temperature in here is now dropping, and thank God because it was pretty hot in there previously doing this. I mean, hey, I come from a life of sitting on my ass, doing desk work with computers. My delicate hands weren’t made for this, let alone the rest of me.

Framing gone

About now I’ve got about a hundred spiders and all manner of other life forms in my hair, and I’ve soaked through two shirts. TMI? Let’s continue.

Relocating storage

The dog, BTW, thought this was just radical. He can walk in, and out, and in, and out, and in again — and he did so, about 300 times — through where the wall used to be. The neighbourhood cats were … less impressed, as the dog now has killer site lines on them. He’s still not very stealthy, so I think they’re safe.

Almost done

Here I thought I was almost there. The dog too (or maybe he was being hopeful, because he wanted his walk and this shit was just getting in the way). Just a skerrick of clean-up to go, right?

Four hours later:


I’m pretty happy with the result. Still warm, lots of fresh air, the grape vine is now a feature vs. clutter, and there’s Wi-Fi. Time for a Hell Yeah. Or a beer. Definitely a beer. Removing some of the ancient framing was harder than expected, as it had been put in by a lost civilisation with their advanced technology. Observe the effect on my delicate physique, previously mentioned:


All done in time to host a wee soirée for Jane. And, in the future, to write.


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