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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Welcome back!

In my adult life, since I left home, I have had 23 homes. From a humble room in a nurses home to a converted barn on an acre of land.
22 of those homes I made beautiful, even the devils house with fauna and flora growing out of the floors and walls and the black mist of misery that was seeping through the walls, I made each and every one ( though I say so myself) look and feel like somewhere people wanted to be. It was easy, I have always loved having homes that people walk into and gasp. Not because they are filled with expensive designer furniture or because everything matches, mainly because I have an eye for a bargain and somehow it falls together and works. I taught myself to sew and make things and I have always had such pride in where I live, it has always been my 'thing' my joy.
And then we moved here.
3 moves in 7 months pretty much wiped out every drop of house pride I may have had.
We moved here 14 months ago, the day after we moved in ( and I was so excited to be here) I stripped the olive green and mustard wallpaper off the walls in the tiny toilet room...and that has pretty much been the extent of my home making here.
Coincidentally, as I just typed that this is my 23rd home, I laughed as the house number is 23.
When I stripped the wallpaper off the toilet walls, I did paint the woodwork, the paint was cheap though and the deep and disturbing moss green paint that was there before showed through and my heart wasn't in it at all. I painted the top part of the walls a lovely deep beige colour and left the bottom half ready to repaper them, I bought some lovely paper and I put it in the workshop. It has been there ever since.
Until last night. At midnight, I suddenly wanted, more than anything to finish that room, so I did.
It took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to transform that little room. This evening I repainted the woodwork, bye bye green stripey cheap paint, hello beautiful clean white.
I can't tell you what a difference it has made to how I feel about this house. I can feel the old love for the walls I live within creeping back in.


Today, I drove to see my friend who is moving to Australia, she is such a home bird and like me she loves where she lives, she moved back to Devon 18 months ago and has been living in paradise, in a beautiful farmhouse, in the middle of nowhere, raising chickens, riding horses, basking in her dream life. I have never been to her home because it is quite a long way away and life gets in the way. I went today because I wanted to see her before she left, I knew how hard she was finding the whole idea of leaving to live so far away, her husband has already left and is in Australia, setting up a new home for them and soaking up the sunshine.
If there is one thing I know how to do, it is clean a house to leave it beautiful for the next people who live there.
This year I made the decision with H that I was going to build a store cupboard, not just a full pantry but a real store of everything we need. We are advised in the church to always have a good store, if possible a years supply of the things your family will need so that in times of turmoil, poverty of even disaster you can provide for your family.
Last year I felt strongly that we should have a store cupboard and I ignored my feelings and spent a lot of money on was great, I went to Boston twice and actually I think that doing that saved me, it saved me from sinking so far into a pit of no return. I remembered what fun was, I learned that I am not a hideous waste of life and I got me some of me back.
When I came home in December, unable to completely shake the feeling that I had put what I wanted before what I felt our family needed, I decided and I promised that this year I would stay home and do what my heart was telling me.
I am never surprised but always delighted by how, when I make a decision that is right for me or mine, everything falls into place. I'm not saying that the fairies drop it all in my lap but I am almost always able to do what I plan to do.
So, long winded but I get there eventually... when I heard that Alex was moving so far away, I emailed her and asked her if she has a store cupboard ( because she is very like me and I knew the chances would be pretty great) and if she would sell it to me.
She replied and said that she had a few sacks of rice ( which is what H lives on, you have no idea how much rice the man eats in a month, no potatoes, little bread, hardly any pasta but rice with everything) and also she said she might have a few packets of things. Hooray!
Then last week she emailed and said that she had wicker baskets, she loves them and she wasn't allowed to take them with her because of termites..did I want them?
I don't think a home can ever have too much wood, wicker or tupperware.
So, Sophie and I drove the 60 miles or so to Alex's house ( without getting lost I might add) and we left our house in the cold morning, icy wind shield but bright and cold morning, we drove 30 miles or so into thick snow, real wintry Christmas card weather, the snow had obviously been settled for a while and we really loved seeing the moors all covered in the hated white stuff.
We drove for 30 minutes or so through the snow and wondered if we were going to be in trouble right out in the wilds.....we drove around a few bends and suddenly there wasn't any snow, gone, all of it. It was quite extraordinary, beautiful bright, warm day.
Alex's house is the stuff of chocolate boxes and dreams.
Huge gardens, slate floors, old, battered wooden doors and window frames, tiny panes of glass, latched instead of door handles. Complete and utter heaven, if I had enough money I would live there in a heartbeat. The rent is only £300 a month more than this little terraced house with no garden and it is idyllic. It is not for us though not now anyway.
Sophie sat on one of the tree swings in the sun when we had finished cleaning and packing and she said she could feel herself breathing and feeling real happiness. Divine.
So, Alex was out when we got there but the doors were open so we let ourselves in and set to, cleaning and washing and walking through the house imagining it was ours.
When Alex came back she showed us around the grounds and in the garage and the sheds she pointed to piles of stuff and said " that's for you, you can take that, this is for you and look, the movers left all this stuff, if you see it, you can have it. I am flying tomorrow, none of this is coming, take what you want, I have to go and deal with a pile of stuff that still isn't done....and she left again to see if she could sell her car!"
I have no idea how we got all that stuff home! We didn't actually, another lady arrived and we helped her load beds and a TV, DVD player, wardrobes, shelving units, bedside tables and more into her car and outside while she waited for backup transport to take even more.
We piled sacks of rice, buckets of honey, tins and bottles, more wicker baskets than I ever dreamed I would own, a fabulous rug for the front room, electrical leads, more baskets, more food, bags of pasta, half a drug store, ornaments, beautiful wooden candle holders, more food, packets and jars, storage jars, shampoos, shower gel, soaps and well, our kitchen and front room were piled high and we have still a lot of work to do tomorrow to organise it all.
She wouldn't take any money for any of it and I don't feel we did nearly enough cleaning to make me feel as if we earned it. I am so glad Sophie came with me, she really worked hard and helped a huge amount, when we left the house was lovely and clean, smelled beautiful and I hope Alex was able to just shut the door and walk away as she sobbed at what she has left behind.
She is so scared of this huge step but I am so proud of her for taking it, for following her husband and letting him live his dream and I am pretty sure that when she gets there, when she feels the sun and walks along the beaches that are close to her new home, she will be happy. If she isn't, she can come home.
The best thing about the last two days has been the total change in how I feel.
I have hardly thought about eating, I have been eager to get out and do things.
Oh it feels so good to feel like me again. It has been a very long time since I felt anywhere close to this.
I think I will have to act quickly and get as much done in this house in case it leaves is great to feel a positive feeling for this house, I have always known it could be wonderful, I just haven't had even a spark of interest in doing it. A few wicker baskets and some organised shelves and suddenly the Martha Stewart in me is raring to go. Praise be.
My mum hasn't even been here since I showed her around 2 days before we moved in. Not many people have been here, we are usually such hospitable people H and I, we love to invite people to eat with us and share our home with people, not in this house though. How wonderful it would be to enjoy that again. Without it being hard work. It 's awful to think of doing something and then being overwhelmed with how bloody hard it all is, how weary it all makes me feel, oh it's all just to much. Ptttthhhhhhhhhhhh.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful, wonderful story,

10:50 am  

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