Just over 9 years ago, 9 years and 2 weeks to be precise, I walked out of the matrimonial home “with just the clothes on my back and the cat under my arm”. It was a Thursday night and I went to a hotel. (The cat was actually out, I went back for her the next day.) The next day a rental company I’d been in liaison with were able to get me into the house I’d chosen ahead of time, due to the circumstances. However, because it was early, they’d done no cleaning or clearing or anything.
There was a mountain of mail behind the front door, another mountain on the kitchen worktop, there was building rubble from renovation works left all over the place, and there were slimy snail trails on the carpets. I had no money, no furniture, and another mountain of debt. I sat down on the floor and wept.
Within days I had it habitable – clean, tidy and some furniture. Within 6 months I’d bought it. And within a few years, and with the help of my lovely decorator/handyman, I had it how I wanted it.
The house turned out to be quite lovely – cosy, friendly, healing. And it became a bit of a bolthole for family and friends, and the poet too, as it happened. When people visited they never wanted to leave. And, according to legend, there are still some there – fallen down the back of the man-eating settee, disappeared forever in the cupboard-under-the-stairs, or just plain hidden in the basement (of which there isn’t one, by the way).
Just over a year ago, the poet and I were in two minds about him moving in. But it turned out to be too small. We needed somewhere for the match fishing tackle, somewhere for the studio, somewhere for the office, somewhere for guests to stay, enough room for 2 cars. So I temporarily moved into his 3-bedroom 3-storey house while we looked for our first home together. Meanwhile, in April of last year, we put my house up for sale and rented it out over the summer.
In October the house sold, and in November we moved into our lovely 17th century cottage. We hoped to complete before Christmas, but there were problems at the buyer’s buyer’s end. Then we were completing last week but the plug was pulled at the last minute – again, due to the buyer’s buyer.
Yesterday, the call finally came, and was confirmed yesterday evening. We complete today.
And so the time has come to say goodbye to a lovely little house that served a wonderful purpose. I hope the new owner finds as much happiness and peace of mind as I did.
Bye bye little house. Good luck. 🙂