Friday, July 22, 2016

Our New Home: One Year On



When we were house-hunting in London, the first thing I'd ask myself when I walked into a house was, "How would you feel if you were puking up your guts in this house?" Probably not the same thought that everyone else had when they were viewing the property, but basically, I was asking myself just how much I'd feel at home - and comfortable - within those four walls.

To do that, I had to think of myself at the weakest, lowest, most vulnerable moment - which, for me, happens to be when I'm puking my guts up from, oh, I don't know, one-too-many glasses of Sancerre or a stomach virus or food poisoning.

It's been a year since we moved into our house and it just so happens that I did puke my guts up one evening after an unfortunate food poisoning incident at a blogger event (I won't mention any names, but just the thought of this particular hotel makes me shudder, and I can't eat sushi for at least another full year).

Before I digress into any toilet humour, I'd like to confirm that my house is definitely a place I can comfortably puke in. Part of it is because I own it, so I don't feel like I'm puking in someone else's house.

The other part is because, well, it's a friendly house. It gives off a nice vibe. It feels like home. I remember crawling (literally, on my hands and knees) back into the guest room bed that night and feeling awful, but also being comforted by the morning light that had begun to make its way into the room; comforted by the way the walls seeemed to sigh in sympathy with me as I retched over the toilet (sorry, TMI).

We haven't "done" everything we'd like to yet (the back garden is due to be completed next week - YAY! But the front will take a few more weeks and we have two bathrooms and a kitchen to remodel at some point ...), but the house is bright, airy and cheerful. It carries wonderful memories of friends and families visiting; John and I laughing; our little niece gleefully plodding up and down the stairs.

I also have really nice neighbors, which I've mentioned before on this blog. We had a street party a few weeks ago and I was feeling pretty rotten (and was later diagnosed with tonsillitis after a panicked call to 111 and a visit to the local hospital when I couldn't swallow food). After I came back from my various trips to the doctor and the pharmacy, my concerned neighbors filled my plate with food, offered me drinks, and - more importantly - rushed up to tell me that I had won second place in the street party bake-off competition. Boom (brownies ftw, btw).

But good neighbors matter, and I often go to sleep at night feeling happy that my street is warm, welcoming, and friendly.

I went to buy some roses last night after work because I like having fresh flowers in our house to enjoy over the weekend. But just as I was about to pay, I spotted these purple thistles and eucalyptus instead. They were a bit wild, but full of character and interest.

That's how I feel about our house. When I first saw it, I thought "yuck" (and right now, with all the bags of cement out front and the dustbowl that's currently our living room, I still think "yuck"). Unlike the pretty, charming Victorian houses directly across the street, ours was a beast of a place that needed "doing up". But when I walked in, it gave me a lovely feeling. And we worked hard to make it a home: filling it with beautiful objects and laughter and memories.

I don't know if I'll live there forever. And saying that outloud (or even typing it, in this case) is hard for me to admit. I have an on-going anxiety about committing myself to one place. But it's perfect for the right here and right now and for the foreseeable future.

And it'll always be a place I'm happy to puke my guts up in (I really, really hope that doesn't happen again. Seriously. It sucked.).
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24 comments

  1. Congrats on your new-home-anniversary! And while puking has never before featured in my thoughts when viewing property, it certainly will in the future!

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  2. Ahaha that's kind of a brilliant way of considering things. May have to adopt this for myself :)

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    1. Try it! I mean, not actual puking - but ... you know what I mean.

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  3. i can attest to the fact that it is indeed a warm, lovely, beautifully decorated home! oh and your guest room bed is coooomfy!

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  4. We're just buying a flat - I hadn't done the 'puke' test - just did and I feel okay about it, haha!!! Happy one year! xxx

    The perks of being a hipster – Life loves this week

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    1. Haha, love it, Cate! Thanks so much! xoxo

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  5. Happy home-nniversary (??)! I like the puke test idea, definitely one I'll be using ;-) I can totally commiserate with the retching and puking as that happened to me only a month ago... it spanned three days of endless throwing up and the toilet becoming my BFF and finally a desperate dash to the hospital for an IV to make me okay again.

    I digress. I'm sure you've filled your house with plenty of cool and kitschy interior stuff by now to feel cosy enough!

    Cherie | sinonym

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    1. Haha, thank you, Cherie! OH my goodness, that sounds HORRIBLE. I'm so glad that you've recovered from that! Throwing up is the worst feeling. I cry every time (because I'm a huge baby)!

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  6. Happy homey-versary to you and John... but OMG has it been A FULL YEAR already?!
    I'm glad you like your neighbourhood and your neighbours.

    "I don't know if I'll live there forever. And saying that outloud (or even typing it, in this case) is hard for me to admit. I have an on-going anxiety about committing myself to one place. But it's perfect for the right here and right now and for the foreseeable future." --- totally get this. I hope you and John make more memories in this puke-able friendly house of yours. Congrats again! x

    Honey x The Girl Next Shore

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  7. what an interesting way to think about it--i'm glad you love it there xx

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  8. Happy, happy home anniversary!

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  9. Happy, happy home anniversary!

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  10. I LOVE reading posts from people who feel the same why I do about our home - I feel like it has a soul and I love talking to it. I'm glad you feel so happy and comfortable there and although you don't know what the future holds, your home is the happy place for now :) X

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    1. Thank you, Lins! Love knowing that you feel the same way about your home :) x

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  11. Happy home-versary Jaime! This puke test is absolutely gold and explains why I never felt quite at home in my first year at university. Hmm.... xx

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  12. So your posts tend to leave me feeling like I've learned a thing that has made me grow up a little. This time, it was near the end where you first start to compare your house to the one's across the street, then realize that you've put a lot of work into making your place feel like home and that that's more important than "keeping up with the Jones's" as they say. That's a wonderful realization, and something I struggle with a LOT. I'm super impatient and tend to want things to immediately be the way they could be in the future if I just keep making an effort. You know that annoying in-between stage of growing your hair out? I feel like I'm living in that phase right now, haha. But as you've said, doing the work is totally worth it in the end, and you can be proud of yourself for doing it. Congrats on finding a house-soulmate, even if it's just "for now" :)

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    1. Wow, thank you, Gianni! I'm super impatient too. Being patient and learning to be happy and grateful with what I've got (because I've got a LOT, I know) has been a challenge and something I'm striving to work towards every day.

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