Renovations, what a beautiful word!

Renovate. What a beautiful word. To make something new again. To give it back youth, beauty. Even if it wasn't beautiful to begin with. Restore. Give back life. Such a noble, optimistic concept. Refurbish isn't bad, either. But I like the Latin sound of re-novare better.

Shame reality is such a drag...  Not the fault of the word, of course. The pretty word creates lovely, hopeful expectations. And then you come up against reality: Noise: drilling, banging, hacking, sawing, tearing down. Dirt: debris, sand, stone, glass, rusty pipes, dust, dust, and more dust. 

In Hebrew, at least, the word doesn't sound so inviting, to my ear at least: le'shapetz -- to renovate; shiputzim -- renovations; shiputznik -- the handyman who does the actual work. 

One of these days I'll have a third blog up and running, dedicated to all sorts of stuff that goes through my head, and that has nothing to do with language (writing, translation, editing etc -- the original objects of this here blog) or with travel (the proclaimed object of
Nina Makes Tracks. That third blog will be called Nina Tracks Changes because, let's face it, everything else comes under the heading of "change". Life, the universe and everything comes under change. No change, ergo no life. But until then, I'm reduced to all manners of subterfuge to sneak unrelated topics into one of my two existing blogs.

Enough apologizing.

Where was I? Yes, renovations, noise, dust.

Four years ago we renovated our kitchen. I
documented key points in the process on Flickr. As renovations go, I am told that we had it easy: reliable contractor/shiputznik who had a plan and stuck to it. When the job was done and we said our goodbyes, we told him that we'd be needing his services again at some point to redo our bathroom. 
But we kept putting it off.
Now -- as the shiputznik drills in the adjacent wall behind me, the walls shudder and dust floats in the air, getting into my keyboard, my hair, my nostrils -- it is very obvious why. Who wants to go through that nightmare again???

But at some point, iron pipes installed over 35 years ago die a horrible death, door-frames exposed to the elements rot, pink bathroom tiles go out of fashion (if they ever were in fashion) and look ridiculous. Not to mention scrub-resistant mold spots. So one day I finally picked up the phone and called Micha, the shiputznik of yore. He was astounded that I'd kept his number.

Off with those pink tiles!

We are towards the end of Day 2, but it feels like it's been going on for much, much longer. 
Dirt, dust, mess, tools all over the place. Even my study, which I thought was safe from destruction if not from noise, has suffered the ignominy of ripped tiles, to reveal rotting pipes:

Not to mention that we rely on friends and neighbors for showering. (Let's ignore our toilet solutions.)

But look! The tiles have arrived! Surely that's a good sign?...

 With this happy thought to sustain me, I shall escape from my study while my eardrums are still relatively intact.