Thursday, 28 May 2009

The mystery of what gets lost when you move house...

It is baffling how the oddest things go missing when you move. The biggest thing on my list is the boot cover for my car. It's one of those sliding cover things that hides all the junk I have left in the boot. I remember taking it out of my car in order to cram more stuff in there but now it has totally disappeared. It's some 3 1/2 foot long for goodness sake. It's not as if it could have slipped between two books or something.

Other things on the list? The dvd remote control. Now that is irritating. The mandolin from the kitchen (not the one that you strum when dressed in medieval clothes. I know where that one is!). My knife sharpener.

There are other things but I can't remember what they are. It seems that the god of moving extracts a price and it is an odd miscellany of household objects.

Everything is unpacked and put away though some of it now needs extracting and putting away in different places. I seem to spend my life drilling holes in the walls for pictures, curtain poles etc etc. Having said that it is all feeling more settled.

My birthday dinner went well last night and I collapsed into bed at quarter to two this morning. The kitchen was a horror this morning; covered in a mixture of leftovers and chocolate sauce from the profiteroles. It also smelt oddly of petrol because one of the guests was running out of fuel and so I gave him the 3 litres I had for the lawnmower. Unfortunately one of the other things that has gone missing is the funnel for the fuel can. This meant that at 6.00 o'clock this morning there was an episode of Blue Peter taking place in the kitchen as he made a funnel using a fruit juice carton, safety scissors and, I hope, a loo roll and some sticky backed plastic.

My mother would never get me sticky backed plastic when I was a child. This meant that Blue Peter was an open wound in my childhood. Never would I be able to make a miniature of Buckingham Palace out of loo rolls, egg cartons and fairy liquid bottles, all because I was only given copydex and not double sided tape or sticky backed plastic. This is a source of great disappointment to me and definitely thwarted my hopes to become a diorama maker when I grew up. Then again I did spend an awful lot of time painting the palms of my hand with copydex and then peeling it off when it had dried. Aaah, the fun we had. The highs of copydex sniffing. It all comes rushing back to me.

Actually, I wonder where my copydex has gone? Perhaps it is stuck to the boot cover?

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


So, I have finally found my camera, unpacked my charger and found the linking cable thing and here are some photos of the new hovel in all it's glory!

Here is the Sitting Room (one day it will be the kitchen), with it's monumentally scaled fireplace and light absorbing red carpet....

And here it is with my furniture in it...

This is a view of the lean to, homemade conservatory before I painted it...

Now, hang on a moment whilst I run outside and take a photo of the house itself, and of the conservatory repainted....

And here is the view from the house (with the Loyal Hound surveying his new domain)

And finally the house itself

I have more pictures of rooms with furniture in and stuff but those will have to wait as I have to go to Manchester for a meeting and don't have time to upload them.

This weekend has been transforming on the house front. I had a couple of friends to stay and we worked like dervishes each day, painting the conservatory and uncovering flower beds, mowing acres of lawn and moving curtains round. It looks as though I have lived here for a year, not three weeks. The house works brilliantly for filling with friends. This is a good thing as I have 8 for dinner tomorrow to celebrate my birthday, and more people staying this weekend, 12 for lunch on Saturday and TWENTY for lunch on Sunday. I suspected insanity in myself before but now I know it's true.

The structural engineer comes on Friday morning and that will be the critical meeting. If I can afford to take out the wall I want to take out then it will be all change on the house front in the next few months. Keep your fingers crossed it's good news.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

I'm Alive - Just!

I can't believe it has been nearly a month but I am finally back online and the relief of having internet connection is making me feel giddy with excitement! Now that I'm back though I scarecely know where to start. The last few weeks I have very much felt that I am single and scarcely surviving. It has been testing to put it mildly.

I have mixed feelings about the new house. I spent the first week in floods of panicked tears. The house felt spooky and the landscape is so totally different from the Hovel that I felt a million miles away from everything familiar. All I could think was that I had made a terrible, terrible mistake and that I had ruined my life. I feel slightly calmer now and though I don't love it yet, I have accepted that I live here which is a start.

I know this sounds mad. Why buy it if I didn't love it? The thing is that I have been looking for four years for a house. I have fallen madly for a couple but have missed them. This one had been on the market for ages and I never came to see it because a) it was out of my price range and b)I didn't want to live in the forest.

However they then dropped the price and I thought I would come and look at it. My first instinct was that it wasn't for me. It was too big and too much of a shrine to the seventies lack of architecture for me to wrap my head around. That night though I sat and drew a plan of how the house could be laid out, and I also wrote a pros and cons list. The plan on the back of a napkin solved all of the layout problems with the house and when I looked at the list I realised that this house had everything on my wish list. Four bedrooms (one more than I wanted actually), a big garden, a barn big enough to have an office and storage for junk that I can't be bothered to sort out, a field (which I have no use for but what the hell - perhaps I'll get some pigs!). In addition it has the potential to have a huge sitting room, a good kitchen, a utility room, downstairs loo, a front hall. Finally it is literally two minutes walk from a huge reservoir with miles of walks in all directions.

I let my head rule my heart and I made an offer and you know what happened next.

The difficulty that I hadn't forseen was that I don't love it. I have bought twice before and both times I fell in love with the property before I had even seen all of it. Neither of them had everthing that I wanted and yet I wanted them passionately anyway. This one had everything and I didn't want it but I bought it anyway.

Not having your heart involved is a strange way to go though. I have spent the last few weeks talking the house up to myself and persuading myself that once I have spent every last groat in my bank balance on ripping it apart I will then love it. Sometimes I truly believe that. Other times I don't.

It would definitely be easier if I weren't single. It is a house that needs two of you to drive each other on and to pick each other up when it all feels overwhelming. The Loyal Hound does his best but he gets bored talking about what colour to paint a room and has a nasty tendency to go to sleep on the pile of curtains that are heaped on the floor.

The plumbers are here today moving the bath from the downstairs to the upstairs. I am looking forward to being able to have a proper bath upstairs. I think it will make it feel more like home. In addition I have friends coming to stay this weekend and if the weather plays nice then perhaps we can see the house at it's best, and go for long walks, tackle the garden and sip pimms in the sunshine.

I have taken some photographs but have now misplaced the camera (the joys of an excessively large house!) but I will find it and show you what I have committed to and you can be the judge. Am I 'single and have lost the plot' or 'Single, surviving and possibly thriving?'

I missed you all.

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