Soon we are moving house. In fact it is a matter of weeks away, barring legal or financial disasters.
It is something we have been meaning to do for a while but the right property never showed up. This is mostly my fault. In fact I vaguely remember agreeing to move house when the discussions for child number three got underway. I have to say I reneged on that deal rather shamelessly once she was a reality claiming that uprooting us whilst I was in nesting mode was not a great idea.
Since we had number three, and especially as the kids have got older, the impracticalities of our current house have not escaped me. I have not been blind to the bathroom queues, the insufficient ratio of toilets to clamouring bowels, the lack of spare room for visitors and my inability to escape from ancient episodes of Top Gear (currently numbering 23 on my TV’s hard drive).
But getting myself to an emotional point where I am ready to move out of this place has taken me a long time. I have had to play a lot of trundle bed Jenga before reaching the point where the impracticalities over rode sentiment.
And the simple reason is that I love this house. It surprised me to calculate that I have lived at my current address longer than anywhere else in my entire life (12 years). But length of occupation is only part of the story.
When hubby and I were looking to move here from West Yorkshire we endured a hideous few months of long distance house hunting, spending every precious weekend driving down and trying to view houses, most of which had gone before we arrived. In the days before Rightmove and in a seller’s market our task was made very difficult. We viewed this house almost by accident on our way home after another demoralising weekend of fruitless searching.
And I walked through the door and fell in love.
That love has only grown and matured over the years as this stack of bricks has witnessed pivotal moments in my life and that of our family’s. Two of my children were born within its walls, and all that history and laughter seem to reside in its actual bones.
We have slowly dragged it into the 21st century, lavished money and time on it. We got rid of the lime green wood chip which used to actually glow. We have made height measurements of the kids on our under stairs cupboard door. We respected its idiosynchronicities, fitted Billy, fed workmen tea and biscuits, encouraged bird life, felled conifers, won over neighbours and made it ours.
I have never walked through the front door in any situation and not felt relief, peace and harmony. It is at its best in sun when light streams through the enormous 1960s windows and cheers my soul. Since my kids arrived I have spent a lot of time in it and watched life pass my front window. Since they all left for school I enjoy the peace of it alone for many hours a day and it feels like my friend.
It is only a house. I am moving around the corner, and I mean literally the corner. I like the new house and it will no doubt serve us much, much better.
But I will miss this place. More than words can say.
I may be feeling a tad emotional today but that actually moved me to tears!
I have such fond memories of my childhood home and I have never found anywhere else that’s been able to cross over the house / home divide!
Your writing sums up perfectly how a home should be and has filled me with encouragement that I will find that again.
Good luck with the move, I am sure your next house will bring just as much happiness.
Oh thanks Sian. I am positive you too will find ‘the next’ house/ home. Sending hugs!
We only moved around the corner as well. It’s great. There are things I mess about other houses I have lived in/bought with my own money. But this is better. Chin up then and move forwards to rest of your lives.