Mostly I am a bit like the Scarlet Pimpernel at the moment. You know: ‘they seek her here, they seek her there…’
Except I am not in heaven or hell. I am mostly either going to or leaving a 1930’s semi in a cul de sac outside Leicester.
I never thought I would live in a cul de sac.
I do not know why I thought this. It only struck me, as I was driving home last night, weary, filthy and slightly deranged, with those random thoughts flitting through my head.
It may be that in my head I had designated cul de sacs as being somehow too suburban for me. I don’t know.
It’s funny when you find yourself coming up against some little prejudice or weird social tic that you didn’t even know you had.
Apart from living in a cul de sac, which I am sure I will be absolutely fine with, and probably find that it is the finest place for a person like me to live in EVAH, I have also discovered a few other things about my house.
A Clairol Foot Spa in the loft. It is now out of the loft, and soon to be on its way to the charity shop. In days of yore I always thought I might like a foot spa. It sounded exotic, and slightly decadent. Then I had a pedicure once where they stuck my mangled, Hobbitesque toes in a foot spa and I found out how pointless they actually are. A galvanised bucket and a lot of Alka Seltzer would do the same job and not be so insipid.
Two, not one, but two, claw footed, roll top baths. My sadness is that they are not original. They are reproductions. But still, they are claw footed, free standing, roll top baths. I like. I knew about the baths. Of course I did. It’s not like I went around my new house totally blind, but yesterday, as I was sitting in one of them attempting to scrub lime scale out of one, it really struck me that they are in fact mine.
Some hard wood work surfaces in the kitchen. These are lovely. I HATE granite work surfaces with a passion. We have them in this house, and they are forever looking filthy and I really can’t be doing with them. I have always, and I mean ever since I got my first house, wanted solid wood work surfaces. Now I have them. If only my draining board were wooden as well, like the one I had custom made in my first house, and the stupid witch who bought the house off of me lobbed on a bonfire two days after I left. Still, at least I had one once. And I may do again.
We also have a hot tub. It is in the garden. The children are delirious about this. I am not. I do not like them. I do not use them. I find them, for the most part ugly. This one is brown, and plastic, and squats like a toad on the edge of the garden. I have not checked yet whether it works. I doubt it. I hope I do not have to turn it into an ornamental feature.
More transient, yet still pleasing things include:
Bonkers squirrels who chase each other up and down and round and round the trees at the bottom of the garden. The last few days has proven these particular trees to be the equivalent of squirrel Alton Towers. Most amusing.
Several cats who have poked their furry faces through holes in the fence to spy on us and ascertain whether we will be a soft touch when it comes to food scraps and fuss. Derek will not be amused.
A woodpecker. It was beautiful. It landed on the lawn, such as it is, and busied itself rooting around in the undergrowth. Then, when it was bored of being on the ground, it flitted to a nearby tree trunk where it actually pecked wood. Oh yes! That was very cool.
All the rooms in the house except one are now cleaned and not sticky or hairy or greasy, or troubling. The last room will have to wait until the weekend.
Now that we have cleaned the house, the workmen will come in and wreck the house. It seems crazy to have cleaned it first, knowing that workmen will be tramping about all over for the next ten days, but it mattered to me.
It mattered that the house didn’t smell of the last owner. Not that it was a bad smell. But it was his smell, and I didn’t want to have to think about him every time I went in the house. It mattered that we could see some of the most dirty parts of the house without the dirt, so that we could actually see what the problems were, or whether things were just in fact, dirty.
It mattered because we wanted to make our mark on it.
Now we have.