The man we bought our house from was called Fred.
I mean, he wasn’t ACTUALLY called Fred, obviously. I’m going to call him that, though, to respect his privacy, and because Fred is a fine name, don’t you think?
Anyway, because the process of offering on this house was such a long and complicated one, we got to know Fred reasonably well, and every time we spoke about his house, we referred to it as “Fred’s House”. Because, well, that’s what it was. “If we buy Fred’s house…” we would say, or “Oh look, that would look nice in Fred’s house!” In the end, we talked about “Fred’s House” so much that we started to think it would ALWAYS be “Fred’s House” to us, and that in a few years time we’d still be inviting people to “come round to Fred’s House” or telling each other that we “better get back to Fred’s House.”
Since we bought it, however, it somehow stopped being referred to as “Fred’s” and started to be known as “the new house”. I have high hopes that one day it will become “OUR house”, but I think that’s still a ways a way, because we’re still walking around saying things like, “Wow, I can’t believe how much bigger this kitchen is than our own one!” and “I don’t know how to work this washing machine: it’s not like our own one!”
Terry, meanwhile, had the misfortune of having to go back to “our own” house last week, to sort out an issue the new owners were having with the towel radiator (Remember this guy? He was the first thing we bought for our old house, and as it turns out, he was the LAST thing we bought for it too, because he point-blank refused to work for the new people, and we had to pay for him to be fixed. I think he was just hurt that we left him, you know? I certainly would be.), and although he said being in the house again didn’t affect him at all, it certainly had an effect on me. Even though I wasn’t actually there.
I think up until then, I’d somehow been letting myself believe that thus was all a big game we were playing, and that even although I wasn’t living in that house, no one else was either. But when Terry came home with his tales of painted walls and painted doors (“They looked really nice, actually,” he commented, which was great: I’m glad we lived with those hideous doors all that time when all we needed to do was slap some paint on the suckers: D’OH.), it suddenly hit me: THOSE PEOPLE ARE TOTALLY LIVING IN MY HOUSE. And changing it. And that makes the chances of me just sneaking back in and pretending nothing happened a little bit less likely, dontchya think?
Basically, then, for the last week and a bit we’ve been living in Fred’s House, other people have been living in OUR house, and everything is all messed up and turned on its head. I, meanwhile… well, I have NO house. My old house isn’t mine any more, and this house doesn’t feel like mine either, even though I know it is. Everything is new and different and confusing, and the fact that we’ve moved to a new town (Well, a new village, actually) as well as to a new house only heightens the sense of strangeness, which has been going on ever since we started to pack up the old place.
I feel like I’ve been living in some kind of surreal dream for the past couple of weeks, and I’d quite like to wake up now, thanks very much. It’s not that I don’t like the new house, obviously: I absolutely LOVE it. It’s just that I think it’s going to take a bit of time to actually feel like HOME, and everything feels a bit strange in the meantime.
Rubin, meanwhile, is every bit as confused as I am: more, probably. Which is really saying something. We knew the change would be a bit stressful on him, obviously (Actually, just the process of packing up the old place was stressful on him: he knew something was going on, and I think he suspected that “something” might be going to involve us going on holiday or something, and leaving him behind…), and although we’ve been doing our best to keep his routine as normal as possible, and to surround him with familiar things, it’s pretty difficult when you’re shuttling boxes of stuff up and down stairs all day, and there’s a constant procession of visitors and deliveries to deal with, so we’ve had one very confused little pup for the past week or so.
He’s starting to feel more at home now, I think, but we’re keeping a close eye on him: and not just because the entire second floor and stairs are covered in very pale carpet and small, naughty dog + pale, expensive carpet does not a good match make.
Anyway! These photos were NOT taken in Fred’s house, as I’m sure you’ve worked out. We should be so lucky! They were taken on the last day of our stay in Miami, when, as I mentioned in this post, we went back to the beautiful Biltmore Hotel, this time to sample their fabulous high tea, and a very excellent tea it was. In fact, ever since we got back, I’ve been insisting on having my ham and cheese sandwiches curled up into little rolls, as shown in the photo at the bottom of the page. All food should look like that, seriously.