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.).