The cloud of gloom has lifted a little bit. Dad's back at home and is a bit more himself, though still reasonably subdued. He was asking questions about our renovation on the phone, and while not proffering pearls of wisdom on the point as he would normally, the interest itself is incredibly satisfying to hear.
We're taking it as 'today is a good day, we'll see about tomorrow' every day at the moment, because inevitably the peaks and troughs will continue.
On Thursday I was on the point of abandoning everything again and jumping on a plane (the evident misery in Mum's voice and the pain Dad was in being too much to be so far away), but as things improved and my aunt confirmed she was going for a visit, I left it be. It was really nice to spend the entire weekend (aside from a grocery trip) in our house, snuggling the cats, baking, preparing meals for the kind volunteers helping with painting and digging kukuyu grass from the lawn (bizarre therapy, I know, but therapy nonetheless). P's been a saint. He gently suggested catching up with friends, but left it alone when I didn't display any enthusiasm. I sense he's chafing a bit from the confinement and the unrelenting renovation work but he's being so understanding and patient. I'm back with Mum and Dad Saturday morning at the latest.
Autumn set in yesterday, though we still managed to eat lunch outside. Grey cloud, a little later drizzle, rain overnight. Someone lit a fire nearby and the smoke smelled appropriate, even though it was all through my clean laundry fresh off the line. Our bedroom is very close to complete and will be lovely and warm once we move in following the wardrobe installation this Friday. We'll start the second bedroom immediately after, to prepare for the colder months to come.