For the past few days I have been visiting my son Bloggerman’s, new family home. A 1930’s suburban semi in the Midlands Conveniently situated for commuting by train into Birmingham city centre , London or Manchester.. The hotch potch of houses all around were built for white collar workers and their families that once worked in the vast offices of the city.
As soon as I walked onto the new place I felt that, unlike their last house, this house had a good “feel” to it, an atmosphere of a happy home. This has nothing to do with the decor as the dated patterned carpets, pink shower suite and Swags and tails curtains are not exactly to their or my taste.
However, when I woke up the next morning, whilst in that dozy state between being asleep and fully awake, I had the distinct impression of a kindly, blading, middle aged man in a suit smiling and nodding approval somewhere around me. This was not a frightening feeling just pleasant.
This may be my over-active imagination, or some king of “imprinting” or maybe I really am psychic and seeing ghosts, but it has happened to me before. Whilst house sitting in my stepsons huge Edwardian house, I “felt”the presence of happy little girls running about and laughing in Edwardian dresses. On the other hand in Bloggermans old house, I never felt comfortable, I didn’t like to sleep there because when waking, felt the presence of a sad child. It was only much later that we found out there had been a tragedy in that house.
This brought me to thinking, what makes a happy home? Like everybody else, I instinctively homemake. It has taken me years to get my house to my personal taste. Now it is mostly as I want it to be , because before I have always compromised. Also this task is never finished because like painting the Forth bridge, once I have gone through my house, redecorating, it is time to start at the beginning again. also I suppose one changes as one goes through life and I think my home reflects this.
My house is contemporary, streamlined, functional. No unnecessary ornaments or bits and bobs. The only non functional things are pictures of my grandchildren and children, (which are the most precious things in my life.) My art, some plants and a couple of symbolic ornaments.
No hanging on to the past, no time for regrets, a bit like my approach to life now.
Of course I would miss my trendy walk in shower room, with it’s heated floor that is so cosy on winter mornings, that I waited around 25 years for. Here is some before and after pictures t from when I had it installed.
and I love my lounge, influenced by the Paris apartments we have stayed in.
Last weekend has shown me that wallpaper and paint are not necessarily what is needed to make a house a home. Bloggerman and his family are at a happy place in their lives and new house. My daughter in law, Wittylady has given up a job, she didn’t enjoy to be a full time mum and take a course to retrain. Bloggerman seems secure in his career. They both seem happy in their relationship. The children are at school, thriving and stimulated. They all seem very happy and content.
During my visit our conversations turned to the redundancy situation. My son has been redundant twice and so knows how it feels. The upshot of the discussions were that I have made a decision to put my house on the market after Christmas.
This decision is one I have been considering for a while because I am working to pay the bad decision endowment mortgage I took out 23 years ago to buy out my ex husbands share of the property. I cannot retire till this is paid off.
If I loose my job I will not be able to pay the mortgage and endowments that have only two years to run. I am fed up of the insecurity that I may lose my job or be moved to shift work that I would find difficult at my age and so I have decided to cut my loses and try to sell the house. The irony is that I have got critical illness cover up to my neck, the last time I changed the mortgage, redundancies in public service jobs were unheard of so I never took out any cover..
Whether the redundancy axe falls on me or not , freeing myself from this millstone, will give me freedom to do as I choose.
This is not a new situation, I have tried to sell the house before, the last time was at the hight of the property boom, but the sale has always fell through for some reason or other, usually because somewhere along the chain somebody has pulled out. At the time I felt that it was not meant to be and I can still be as philosophical and think that if it is meant to be this time, it is meant to be.
I love my home, I have lived here for 33 years. A lot of history has happened here. My children grew up here.
I think everybody has an emotional attachment to the place they live but it is just bricks and mortar at the end of the day. It has it’s disadvantages. Really a three bedroomed house is too big for us. The garden is too big and unmanageable, the rates ( local property tax) is high. Because it is on a hill the temperature is always a couple of degrees lower that the town centre so heating is expensive and I will not be able to afford maintenance when I am old.
So maybe now is the right time to move on.
Time will tell. What will be will be.
love from Bolton.