Where do I start?!
It’s been a really busy few months. Mostly hell but occasionally some nice busy in there too.
We’ve had a house move and Covid (twice!) to deal with, I’ve also had a ‘mystery’ medical issue and just couldn’t get an answer from anyone but thankfully I’ve now managed to get some answers, not all, but some! More on that in another post. Fingers crossed we are finally through most of it now.
Onwards and upwards so they say.
There have been many a day, over the past few weeks and months, where I’ve started a post and then discarded it. It just hasn’t felt right, hasn’t had the right vibe, wasn’t relevant and seemed inconsiderate given the news at that particular time. You name it I have probably felt it! I was planning on putting out an interview post with a stylist but it hasn’t happened due to schedules and everything else just getting in the way, I had lots of plans on content and themes throughout the past few months but I haven’t had a good ‘gut’ feeling about them and so simply haven’t posted.
It’s been quite a stressful few months anyone who has bought or sold a house will know just how stressful this can be, especially here in the UK. And, that’s exactly what we went and did (and only four and a half years after the last one too, what were we thinking!!!).
We had planned on staying at the old house for a long time, one of the reasons why we spent so much money on it getting it to the way we wanted it. But unfortunately tides turned and we started to face some personal issues where we were. Our son was being quietly bullied in the area, it comes to something when your child is playing outside and sees ‘so called friends’ coming out of their houses and feels the need to suddenly come inside ‘just because’. It was so painful to see it happening. Unfortunately the individual involved was very good at turning on the waterworks where needed when I mentioned it to parents and he tried turning the blame onto mine, and also given the fact that there were others involved too my kid didn’t stand a chance. Where the ‘leader’ goes they follow like sheep.
Yes, some might say he needs to man up and face his bullies. Fair enough but at his age he should still enjoy playing with his friends and not feel threatened. He’s still a child and should be allowed to be one for as long as possible. He still has plenty of time to grow and learn about managing bullies. Even if we had have stayed, he would have seen them at high school and it may very well have continued there. Yes, a pretty extreme reason to move but I would do pretty much anything to ensure my kids are safe and happy. I know this could happen anywhere and even moving may not completely solve the issue but hopefully he will be older and stronger and we will be able to face it and deal with it more effectively if it should ever happen again.
Another thing that began to annoy us was we had absolutely no privacy when we were in the house due to locals staring in to the front windows as they walked past the house. It’s the downside of living on an estate with open fronted gardens, and something which rarely used to happen until the last year or so of us being there, with new neighbours moving in. I didn’t see why I should have to put up blinds because of it either, why should I?! People shouldn’t be so rude and nosy. We often waved a people when they stared in but some people just didn’t get the message!
The issue of dog mess on the front lawn was also becoming a big issue, having to go out there daily picking others mess up is really unpleasant. People are so lazy, although nine times out of ten it’s because they are glued to their mobile phone and aren’t aware of it happening. I can remember mentioning it to one such teenage dog walker and he was oblivious to it, he didn’t have any poop bags so I gave him one of ours and he seemed a bit put out. I wonder why? I did say that if it happened again I’d collect it for them and deposit it on their frontage for them to clean up. There are some things that piss me off and not picking up after dogs have done their business is only one of them. I digress now but, we used to stay at what used to be a lovely B&B in Hampshire when we visited the family, but we avoid it like the plague now as there was always dog mess on their gravel drive. Inevitably it would be stepped in as someone would be getting out of the car. It’s unpleasant and unhealthy. Not a good selling point for a business.
So, back to the house – We were beginning to have an issue of getting blocked in due to the amount of cars in the area since newer neighbours moved in, never an easy one but only a year ago there wasn’t such an issue it wasn’t going to get any better given that teens get older and need cars/motorcycles to drive/ride to get to anywhere remotely civilised, which was something we hadn’t really given much thought to, the area consisted of mostly older people and stupidly we forgot older people often sell up and downsize! Living in a village is lovely, but it’s also problematic when there aren’t any real reliable bus services.
To some these may be petty, inconsequential, minor everyday issues and fair enough perhaps they are. These were issues that were chipping away at our enjoyment of being there. But, when you begin to fall out of ‘love’ with your home and start to view it as a house instead that’s when small issues become problems. We just happened to deal with it in our way.
So there you have it. The house sold in October after a change in agents (original ones were being completely useless) new agents sold within the first three viewings. We then had to find somewhere to live. So, house hunting we went, even considering a major move to the south of the country but it just wasn’t to be. By the time we had phoned up to arrange a viewing for the weekend, bearing in mind that there is at least a two hour journey, the houses were sold the same day as they went on the market! No chance. So we decided to look locally in the next two counties over. It would be lovely if people would get this though and just leave it there. Sometimes plans are made and they sometimes don’t happen, it’s not through anyone’s fault. It just isn’t to be.
Anyway, we finally thought we’d found a great house. Things were taking far too long to get going and inevitably we should have listened to our gut as the sellers pulled out at the last minute. We didn’t want to lose the sale of our house and were in a chain so we decided we’d break the chain and go into rented. What a faff. Luckily we didn’t need to as we found a house the next day and started the process all over again! And there we are. Moved in towards the end of April (2022) and are now just getting things sorted.
I can honestly say that after months of living out of boxes at the last house I’m fed up of tripping over boxes and not being able to find things at the new one, but I’m hoping it will feel more like a home than just a house soon. We’ve started the arduous task of painting, something which we didn’t necessarily need to do as the house has been painted the same pale grey throughout but it just feels cold and dull so we’ve started covering it up with a white paint and will play with colour later. Even though white is clinical it does brighten the house a lot and isn’t super cold feeling which really has made a difference. I may get around to documenting it all here maybe.
I’ll be visiting the paint department at the DIY store later this month for some inspiration on colours for the house. I think we’ll stick with subtle, calming colours but will also add in some other colour via accessories too. The white walls may stay in some rooms but we’ve been toying with the idea of a pale biscuit colour to go in our bedroom as I have used my lovely Orla Kiely Navy Whale curtains at the window or I might go back to tried and tested blush pink on the walls. I loved the navy and blush colour scheme so much in the kitchen of the old house that we are likely to use it in the new one. I continued this in the en-suite too as I had a matching made to measure blind as well, and the fabric has a nice creamy beige almost biscuit colour weaved in with the navy. I will be maybe looking at getting some new pale pink/blush coloured bed linen as navy and blush go well together. This was so I can add a little softness into the colour scheme. We have a very large blush fluffy rug in the room but it may end up going as it keeps scrunching up as the carpet pile lies in an odd direction. It happens in the kids rooms too, so I’ve got fed up of pulling them back into place and will be likely selling those too!
I started on the garden the other day. Hmmm, I’m sad it’s not my nice big garden I had before. I had to compromise sadly, seems I’ve had to do a lot of that recently too. Bigger house, smaller garden. And it’s on a slope. I can feel the dread now as I’m writing. It took forty five minutes to dig a small five foot by two foot patch the soil was so compacted. And, its thick and heavy Herefordshire clay soil too. It will be a learning experience to see what will survive and what wont. I think plenty of organic matter dug in and mulched may hopefully make it better. But I do know the roses love it and I love roses so I may be onto a winner. I have a hydrangea that might be ok in it and I have a few peonies I’m hoping will survive too. It’s just going to be trial and error really until we know what will grow and what won’t. Despite the feeling of dread I’m also looking forward to the challenge (a little), although I’m not wearing a jumpsuit and jumping from helicopters ‘a la Challenge Anneka’ enthusiastic!
I am happy that my new pond will be arriving in June and I can finally get my fish back home from my parents’ house. They have been kindly looking after them for us. The kids will be happy to get ‘Big Bad Barry’ and friends back. I miss the sound of water in the garden and daft as it sounds sitting by the pond feeding the fish. I find it relaxing, and a space where I can try to forget about the world on a tough day. I guess those five minutes I get is my ‘me’ time and I appreciate it. I need that space and time at the moment. It’s all stressful, we know moving house is up there with divorce and death and it has been a headache from day one.
It has been nonstop for us with all the decorating and DIY getting the old house ready for sale, then maintaining the show home look, which is particularly hard for me and the kids, not hubby though. He’d live in a house with basic furniture and a microwave if he had the chance. He doesn’t like ‘stuff’, you know the nice things that make a house warm and cosy. The throws and cushions on the sofa, the pictures on the wall and the books on the shelf. Mr Minimalist should be his last name! I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t in terms of unpacking at the moment, I can’t win. I get moaned at for the ‘stuff’ in boxes, when I do unpack it and put it in the cabinets or cupboards I get moaned at then too.
If hubby had his way all of my ‘stuff’ would go to the tip, along with my old furniture and we’d be living with the bare bones of possessions. For some that’s great, for me it’s my idea of hell. I like things to be organised, I like things to have their place and as long as everyone puts things back then it works but unfortunately few do that in our house leading to me being generally irritated at having to constantly clear up after people. But yes, I like to have nice cosy things around me. Especially old things that have a story to tell. So I guess it’s a battle I’m going to have to continue to fight.
It’s time for another sort out of the kids’ things. I’ve been rummaging through all my bits and bobs and clothes and shoes, and have sorted through a lot. The charity shop has been given the best part of two car loads of donations. I keep tripping over toys and clothes in the kids rooms so it’s time to tidy and go. Not a task I enjoy, but it needs to be done especially as it was my daughters birthday a couple of days after we moved and it’s my boys birthday in a couple of weeks so out with the old and in with the new. That said he’s not into toys as much as he was. He seems to be on gadgets more these days, although he still likes his lego. I guess it’s a sign of the times. I’ve still got to find room for a rather large Barbie doll house in my daughters room, although it might have to live somewhere else for a short while given the pigsty she seems to like living in.
Its funny how money oriented my daughter is compared to my son, the only way I can get them to tidy anything of theirs up is through bribes! Usually monetary!! And she’s the top negotiator in our house, she definitely doesn’t like being told ‘No’. Although I’m sure it will be a good thing for when she’s older.
So it’s time for me to sign off now. If you’ve been through a few tough times recently, I hope things are looking up for you. I really do.
Take care, stay safe