I knew that once #thefitout had begun my tiredness levels would ramp up. I am a realist, I am pragmatic, having a shop to fit out alongside all the other tasks needed to launch was going to be tiring.
BUT IN NO WAY COULD HAVE FORESEEN QUITE HOW TIRED I WOULD BE.
And I don’t mean tired in the can’t-keep-your-eyes open in the day kinda way. I mean that, get home, sit down, tidal wave of ‘oh wow I am blooming exhausted’ type of tired. A really satisfying kind of tired when you decide it is totally acceptable to climb into bed at 2030 on the pretence that ‘you’re going to read your book’ and don’t even turn a page.
The great thing is though, that with combined physical and mental tiredness there is less waking up at 0400 and worrying about the most ridiculous things that in the morning you deal with in a moment (which characterises the latter).
Weeks five and six were, for me, when this tiredness really kicked in. Long days of manual labour followed by evenings and early mornings of the other stuff you need to do to open a shop (staff issues, negotiating with suppliers, sourcing fixtures, etc. the list is endless).
To the passer-by the big change during weeks five and six was to our shop front, which now, all sanded and painted, looks super classy and unrecognisable from what it was like before (to the point that to begin with, Jess kept walking past the shop).
However, it wasn’t just to the outside that change was a foot. Inside, weeks five and six saw changes going off all over the place.
Matt, our now on-site urban artist, started work on the wall (after our call for a young artist to come and use the space).
The sparkies came in and the first fix was complete, a feat that made me so very happy, I mean we are still operating with just our builders supply but the possibility of electricity and lights throughout became one-step closer. Post-electrical first fix, my building crack team (my father, Michael, and sister’s partner, James) came in and finished the wall in the little corridor.
And Jess and I sanded the floor. A task that nearly caused our first argument.
Four hours in, two thirds through of the first coarse grain, I go to change the paper on the floor sander. Standard procedure having done it successfully before. But no no no, I pop the sander back on the floor and bang, coarse sandpaper explodes like glass all over the floor.
Not a problem, I must have put the sandpaper on incorrectly, it happens, simply affix a new sheet and we’ll be fine. Bang. It happens again.
It is 1200. Jess and I are hungry, dehydrated and sporting a dust tan. And hence, becoming irritable. Our capacity to deal with the sander not playing ball is limited. We try to affix a new sheet. It isn’t happening.
Rather than chuck our dust masks and goggles at one another we make the decision to go and get burgers, returning fed, positive and not about to kill one another. Of course, we can complete the job. I give HSS a call who advise using a finer grain of sandpaper (big Hi-5 to Chris and Ben there – super super helpful). This works perfectly and we kick-ass with the rest of the sanding, returning the sanders by the end of the day and feeling pretty euphoric about our work
Well until a very kind lady came by the next day and asked if we were planning to sand the floor.