I’m a big believer in instinct. So often when I have neglected to trust my instincts, my gut feeling, I have lived to regret it. Now that I’m approaching the wise old age of 30 (I know! I can’t believe it either ;-P) I’m confident enough to allow myself to be guided by how I feel and to say “I have a bad/good feeling about this” and not worry that people will think I’m weird or a bit of a hippy.
I think certain places have vibes or at least give off an energy that you can feel when you visit them. Sometimes you walk into a house and it feels creepy, sometimes mellow and sometimes a house feels so right, so positive that it brings tears to your eyes.
I’ve said before that I was dubious about moving house unless we found somewhere perfect and that we thought we had done just that. An quaint end terrace on a friendly street, built in 1906 with a host of original features, a plot of land next door as a garden…..and a bulging gable, rotten beams, rising damp and a serious japanese knotweed infestation. So not quite as perfect as it first appeared. Thank goodness our instincts told us to go for the more comprehensive survey report!!!
Whilst we’d had a lucky escape with that house, we had also detached ourselves from our current home. We’d decided we were moving towns and in our minds, we already had. So we started looking again: house after house until they all started to look the same and Phill began to suggest that we just stay put. But we couldn’t just stay put! Now that we had decided to move, we’d had forced ourselves to really acknowledge everything that was wrong with our house: the crumbling walls, every single dog bark, how difficult it would be to park when I finally learnt to drive. Suddenly the layout was all wrong, the light was all wrong, the garden was stiflingly overlooked and there were too many toilets to clean. I had taught myself to dislike the home that I once loved, Beth had already filled her mind with thoughts of adventures and new friends and Phill had begun to feel relieved that he would no longer be faced with a commute every day.
So the search continued…frantically! But we could never agree. If the house was right, the location was wrong, if the location was lovely then the house was too small. For Phill, size matters whereas I’m more interested in the location. He’d live in a mansion in the middle of a war zone whereas I’d occupy a shoe box in the right area. By some miracle, like Goldilocks we found something that was just right.
Our new home is an odd looking building and different to every other house on it’s very traditional street. On arrival we did a quick survey of the area: the neighbours have nice front gardens full of flowers and children played in the street, the road wasn’t busy and was clean…but I didn’t have much hope for the actual house until we took a peep into the back garden.
The house is set on top of a hill and the garden is split over three levels. As you can probably see, it needs some work, some love and attention but it’s clear that this space was once somebody’s pride and joy and there are some beautiful plants here. The neighbours came over for a chat about gardening and even invited us in to see their extension 🙂 Could the rest of the house live up to my hopes???
I am not exaggerating when I say that I had tears in my eyes in the hallway! Everything about this house felt light, welcoming, enriching and with every room I was more and more certain that THIS was where we were supposed to live. Even the dark kitchen didn’t put me off! Nothing a bit of paint can’t solve right? Right?? :-S The only downsides were one low ceiling and a er…unusual bathroom.
Turquoise fixtures with pink roses inside the sink and toilet bowl and grey tiled walls, with fish on them….and it’s mouldy. But everything else was amazing!! There were bay windows, built in cubbie holes and a proper fire place. The rooms were a good size and we would still have space for guests.
Am I selling it to you? I bet I am because I sold it to Phill! Phill who is obsessed with immaculate bathrooms, Phill who at 6″4 had no chance of clearing that low ceiling, Phill who enjoys barbecuing in a nice garden, but doesn’t see the appeal of tending to it, had to dash back to work before our internal viewing and actually agreed to the house on my say so, my honest description (I promise I told him about the mould and everything!) and my instinct.
I can’t explain how much it has changed my life having a partner who understands that feelings matter, that my feelings matter and that they deserve to be listened to. Later during the agonising time that followed, Phill did visit the house again several times and loved it just as much as I had done. But the next time I saw the place was the day that we got the keys.
I’ll be honest, the rooms were smaller than I remembered, the garden had many more weeds and the bathroom seemed even more turquoise!! But the warm and fuzzy feeling remained 🙂 It’s so right for us that I’m convinced that the other house was falling apart just so that we’d find this one!
The house is quite old, (I believe it’s 1930s but I need to do some more research) it has a cottagey feel to it and bears the marks of just about every decade of the 20th century. Old spindles and panelled doors have been boxed in, there’s evidence of 90s style curtain swags, 1970s wallpaper peels from the kitchen and the bathroom…..oh my, the bathroom.
We are going to have so much fun bringing this house back to it’s former glory. We’ve already weeded and planted some of the bare beds and the painting and decorating is well underway. Most important of all, it’s starting to feel like home 🙂
So hello old house on the hill! Please do brace yourself for your new inhabitants. We come with alot of stuff, alot of energy and alot of other people and you are our next adventure!