One year ago today…
… we moved into our new house!
In some ways, I can’t believe it’s been a year already. The house hasn’t yet lost its feeling of “newness”, and I hope it never does. We still think of it as “the new house” (It took months for Terry to stop referring to our old place as “OUR house”, while the new one was simply “THIS house”…), and the memories of viewing it for the first time, of frantically trying to sell our old house so we could make an offer on it, of thinking we’d lost it only to get an unexpected reprieve a few weeks later… those memories are still so vivid that sometimes I’m STILL amazed that it all worked out, and that it’s actually ours.
At the same time, though, the winter was so long and dark (as Scottish winters generally are) that it felt more like twelve winters to me, so in some ways it seems like we’ve lived here forever. What surprised both of us most was how quickly we put thoughts of our old house to the back of our minds, and how little we’ve thought about it since. I went through so much angst when we were preparing to leave it that I really thought it would take me a long time to get over that, and that I’d constantly be thinking about it, and having to remind myself it wasn’t mine any more. I was actually amazed by how quickly I stopped thinking about it, though: I won’t ever FORGET it, obviously, but I haven’t ever missed it, and when I look back at photos of it now, it feels like another lifetime.
With that said, I haven’t been able to go back, even to drive past it. (There have been a couple of near-misses, though, when we’ve been in the area and have automatically started driving “home”!) Terry had to go back in the first week, so sort out an issue the new owner was having with that blasted towel radiator (Honestly, I knew that thing was trouble right from the start. Although, I guess it’s fitting that it was both the first thing we bought for that house, and the last thing in it we spent money on…), and reported back that it was super-freaky to see someone else’s furniture sitting in our house, and to have to knock at his “own” front door, and be a visitor in a home he’d lived in up until a couple of days earlier. I’m fairly sure that experience would have blown my tiny mind, so I’m glad he didn’t require me to accompany him.
Anyway, here we are, one year later, and we couldn’t be happier with our choice. There’s always an element of risk involved in buying a new house, and until you’re actually living in it, you don’t REALLY know how you’re going to feel about it, but I’ve loved this house since day one, and so far it’s been everything we hoped it would be. What it hasn’t been, however, is, well, finished. Other than my dressing room, and that giant hole we knocked in the wall, the house looks more or less the same as it did when we moved in – well, minus the boxes everywhere, obviously. I think we got rid of MOST of those by month two…
The walls are still bare. Some of the rooms are still largely empty. The walls of the office and “guest room” (It needs the inverted commas, because there isn’t actually a bed in it for guests. Or anything else, come to think of it.) still tell the sorry tale of the bad paint job inflicted on them by the previous owner, and Terry tells me there are some boxes of his stuff lurking unpacked at the back of the closet: whoops!
Most of this is because of the garden, which has taken up all of our time, effort and spare cash over the past year. Well, all of TERRY’s time and effort, anyway: I’m really not much help when it comes to landscaping, and by that I mean, “I’m not any help AT ALL.” As some of you might recall, when we moved in the garden was basically a wilderness, through which we were afraid to wander for fear of what we might find. These days, well, it’s still not finished, but it’s looking a whole lot better, and that’s totally down to Terry, who’s spent probably hundreds of hours now on it, leaving very little time or energy for anything else. Still! Progress has been made, and shall be duly documented in another post – er, probably. And now that we feel like we’ve had as much of the garden as we can stomach for this year, I’m starting to make plans for the rest of the house. Most of this centres around organisation so far: we don’t have a huge budget for decoration, but I have this dream of living in perfectly organised house, with a place for everything, and no overflowing cupboards, stuffed-to-the-limit drawers, or filing cabinets in which only one drawer contains paperwork, and the rest is filled with costume jewellery and other random bits and pieces.
I did make a bit of a start on this project last year, but after that brave start, I once again fell victim to the “I’d rather buy a new dress than a wardrobe organiser” syndrome, so things may well have slipped just a little. Then there’s those bare walls to tackle, obviously, which is a slightly larger obstacle, because we just can’t seem to agree what to put on them. It’s not a difference in taste, thankfully – Terry and I have pretty similar taste when it comes to interiors/art – it’s more an issue of finding things that are PERFECT. In that respect, we differ very slightly: Terry wants our walls to be filled only with things that are super-personal, and really mean something to us both. Now, I’m all for that, and in an ideal world, everything we owned would be SPECHUL, but I’m also not opposed to having things that just look nice in the meantime. (We DID manage to get a photo printed on canvas for the downstairs bathroom, but I’m fairly sure we only agreed on that because it’s the smallest room in the house…)
Hopefully we’ll come to some kind of compromise soon: for now, though, here’s to one happy year in our still-new home – and hopefully many more to come!