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.


Mud in the City said...

It sounds wonderful - all that space! Living in London I have fantasies about somewhere large enough to swing a cat, never mind 4 Whole Bedrooms. Wow!

And as for Loyal Hound's nonchalance about decor and soft furnishings - sounds just like the normal reaction you'd get from a boyfriend if you ask me.

Good luck and here's hoping to see pics soon!

Home Office Mum said...

We missed you! Have been wondering how you're getting on. I get you on the whole loving the house thing. Our house is beautiful. Thatched cottage, amazing garden, swimming pool, completely refurbished (thanks to a flood and a generous insurance company) and yet still it doesn't feel like my home. I think quite possibly I'm just contrary and no home will suit unless of course it's on its own tropical island (but with quick and easy access to new york style facilities). Hope you start warming to it soon. It does sound fab.

Cathy said...

You just have to put your stamp on it little by little and make it your own. The bath seems a step in the right direction!
Missed you too!

Mr Farty said...

Welcome back! See what your friends have to say, then get them to help you redecorate.

Forest, eh? Me likey.

elizabethm said...

Ah I do so understand the loving thing. All I can say is that this house was a liking not loving at the start and is now I love it to bits. It just sort of slowly got under my skin and now I can't imagine living anywhere else.
I will email you. I would love to meet up. I know Wales is a big country but surely it must be possible.

elizabethm said...

Aargh, just been on your profile and found that I can't email. think you can email me if you would like to.

The Singlutionary said...

I am so so glad you are back! I missed you entirely! Anyways, I felt exactly the same way when I bought my house. I thought: "this would be so much easier if I weren't alone" and I though "I hope I can make this place mine". But settling into a place takes time especially if its a large one. And yours sounds terrific. Can I come and visit and help you paint? It really sounds like some fantasy of Wales to me . . . kinda like that one movie about unioninzing the mine or something like that . . .

Anonymous said...

So pleased that you are back, have been logging in daily. We were the same about our house. Having been looking for a smallholding type of property we ended up with a 4-bedroomed detached victorian house. It was so totally different to what we wanted but over the years it has become a wonderful home. I really enjoyed reading your ups and downs of emotions and can only agree with your other blog friends - you will soon put your stamp on it and feel at home. Am looking forward to seeing the photos. Have a lovely weekend with your friends.
Wendy (Wales)

Monika said...

I've been missing your posts!!
A house never feels like home at the start - you just have to fill it with lots of new memories and fun times. It will take time to get it to how you want it, but you will love it.

justme said...

You are back! Hooray! Don't worry about not loving the house yet. You don't need to love it as it is, just as it WILL be once you have changed it and made it yours. I toatally get that its hard when ypu are on your own not to get a bit despondent about big decisions. Good that you have friends coming for the weekend. Bet they will help you get it all in perspective!

The Singlutionary said...

PS: You've got an award on Singlutionary!

bevchen said...

Yippee! You're back. I've missed you.
Four whole bedrooms? I am jealous!
Hmm, I loved my flat from the minute I set eyes on it so can't really help you there. I'm sure the house will grow on you once you've made it truly yours though.

katyboo1 said...

Thank god you're alright. We missed you too. Sorry it's taken me so long to get round to catching up. It's been a bit hellish while you've been away (not your fault btw).

I was going to say, photos, and then we can help you learn to love it, or alternatively learn to rip it apart, remodel it and sell it for a vast profit to buy something else you love more.

Anonymous said...

hi, i've just found your blog through singlutionary, and was struck by your post.

one good thing about not loving your new house is that you won't have to make emotional decisions about it. if you want to change it, you won't worry about wrecking what you love about it - it's almost a blank canvas! and changing it is a great opportunity to really explore how you want to live.


Rob-bear said...

Glad you're back in touch with the world. I was worried that you had somehow been exiled to Siberia, or something even worse.

The house may not be exactly what you want, but the location sounds awesome!

The house like a new friend -- a case of building a relationship. But, in this case, you have the chance to change the whole thing. But take your time to get accustomed to the place. If your heart rules, your heart may well discover some wonderful, unexpected possibilities.

Welsh Girl said...

Mud - the space is fabulous most of the time, but sometimes there is almost too much. It takes some getting used to...
Home Office Mum - It is starting to feel like home now thank goodness. Somehow painting something and tackling the garden makes a big mental difference. Your thatched cottage sounds lovely - the next best thing to a tropical island. Possibly better as those have horrible spikers and things!
Cathy - you are so right and the difference it has made moving the botticelli bath upstairs is HUGE!
Mr Farty - you likey? There's plenty of it here - help yourself!
Elizabeth - I'll e mail you and we'll sort something out!
Singlutionary - careful what you offer... There is a LOT of painting to be done and I need all the help I can get. I may take you up on the offer. Now must dash off to pick up my award - how exciting.
Wendy - you should have bought this. Perfect smallholding stuff with a field and barns and everything!
Monika - you are so right. Having friends to stay last weekend has already started to give the house a new identity and memories which makes such a difference.
Justme - thanks and yes, it did. you are all so WISE!
Bevchen - I think this will one of those slow developing relationships, it's just hard waiting to see how it turns out.
Katyboo - Sorry that things have been horrible for you lately. Do you want to escape and come and stay here. Hundreds of books, no children and miles of walks? Tempted? Photos are now up and I will await your judgement.
Singular Writer - thanks for dropping by. It should be true that I worry less about knocking stuff about, but I worry MORE about spending money on it when I'm not sure how much I love it.
Rob-bear - it felt like Siberia to start with!

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