For the last 6 months or so, our lives have been filled to the brim with all things “House Move”. Now we are finally tucked into our new pad, the stress and the seemingly never-ending list of paperwork to complete seems like a dim and distant memory. Thank goodness.
Writing about it whilst we were in the thick of it all felt like tempting fate, but it’s too late now! We’re in!
Everyone knows the old adage of moving house being up there with bereavement and divorce in terms of stress, but you don’t really remember, especially when the last time you did it was 16 years ago. And like childbirth, people generally do it more than once, so it can’t be THAT bad, can it?
Let me start by saying – we LOVE our new house. Everytime I walk through the door, I can’t quite believe it is actually ours. We own a 3 bed DETATCHED house with parking. Us. We drink own brand coke and cider – just to give you a level if you don’t know us personally.
We have 2, that’s 2 toilets. Amazing. Apart from the fact that I now have to clean 2 toilets and buy more loo roll (WHY? How are we using more loo roll, when there are exactly the same amount of bums in the house still?), it’s fantastic to be able to have a wee downstairs, but NOT to have to trip over a chair and stub your toe on the step up into the kitchen on the long, dark trek to the downstairs loo at 4am.
It’s also bloody marvellous to have a shower, walk out of the bathroom and straight into your bedroom, where your clothes are all stored in your lovely new wardrobes and drawers – just waiting for you to put them on. No more the walk of shame from the downstairs bathroom, covering your best bits with a towel, through the kitchen, through the dining room, up the stairs and into the bedroom, only to find you’d forgotten to pick up a bra from the airing cupboard just outside the bathroom. The most annoying thing was discovering 5 hours later, the wet towel you’d left on the bed...
We also now have a hall. I know it might sound daft to those of you who already have a hall to be pleased about such a simple thing, but it’s a very important simple thing. Previously, we had an awkward porch, filled with shoes and coats and bags, followed immediately by the lounge where you had to circumnavigate the finely honed selection of exactly the right sized furniture and cat hair tumbleweeds.
The hall is ace. The amount of doors leading off it to other rooms is a revelation. 4 if you count the downstairs loo. That’s 4 places I can be shut away from the children. Bliss. If you don't understand the need to be shut away from your children, then this blog is not for you...
The bedrooms are bigger, full of character and period features and MOST IMPORTANTLY, nobody has to walk through anybody else’s bedroom to get to their own. It’s the best thing ever.
Here’s the trade off.
It doesn’t smell like our house. There is still a definite whiff of dog in the air. He was a lovely, friendly dog, but a stinky doggy dog nevertheless. Also, it smells a bit damp occasionally, but she is a 120 year old lady so quite frankly, we can allow her a bit of leeway.
Add to that, the reluctant temporary return to the heady aroma of a cat litter tray in a bathroom with no outside windows and an electric vent fan that sounds like the unlikely offspring of a Boeing 747 and a mosquito. Not a great mix, nasally speaking.
The windows are gorgeous, original, magnificent wooden sashes. They are also completely knackered. The glass is cracked, the sills are rotten, they rattle when the cat sneezes and we have banned the children from touching their bedroom ones on pain (pane!) of death.
We want to give our beautiful stinky house what it deserves, which is the TLC and the period restoration of the features that I (ahem, we) fell in love with. But Sarah Beeny and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen we ain’t. Neither do we have their cash, boobs or sleeves. If I had my way, we would replace and maintain the wooden sashes, but only if the following criteria were met:
- We could afford it.
- We could afford to get a professional in to paint them every couple of years.
- We could afford to pay the heating bills of a detached house with no double glazing.
- We could afford it.
None of the above are relevant, so we are therefore doing the next best thing and getting double glazed uppy downy ones. (Technical FENSA approved term...) Hurrah for UPVC *sings Pulp’s Common People in head*
The house also needs a new lid. Terrifying and expensive, but true. A lovely man is coming to do it, but I am not sure either of us can properly relax until it is finished and the sharp sucking in of air over teeth is all over. It’s quite a fundamental thing, a roof. Apparently...
So that’s it. A month in. Still surrounded by boxes, bubble wrap and stuff that we don’t know what to do with or where to put. A lot of it I’m not even sure if we still want, it was just “our stuff” and we were bringing it with us.
The giant roll of barbed wire that was loaded onto the van on moving day had to be the highlight of “WTF!!!” for me. Until I was passed a box to go up into the loft, labelled “OLD BANK CRAP” that is.
Luckily, we’re getting a new roof, so no rain can leak in and ruin the very important contents of THAT box...