A shopper, collector and vintage loving librarian. History and books are a passion, so are clothes, old movies, Snoopy, Gene Kelly and heavy rock. I know, I know not the most obvious of combinations but there you go! I always have about 5 books and about 55 stitching projects on the go at any one time.
Teenage Kicks by The Undertones is my favourite song ever and The Hound of the Baskervilles is my favourite book.
Well it’s been a while. What can I say? Life has been a
pretty unrelenting steaming pile of poop. There I was hoping for a bit of a
quiet year, to carry on getting our heads around all the drama of last year and
continue to support my Mum and Himself’s Dad as they each come to terms with
living life alone.
It seems the universe however had different plans. Right out
of the blue we were completely floored with the unexpected news that our
landlady had decided to sell the house we have called home for the last 10
years and we had just 9 weeks to find something else. Looking back over the
last few weeks I have actually been surprised at just how hard this has hit me.
Much harder than the death and serious illness that coloured last year so
I conclude that I was able to roll with those blows because
I had a sanctuary to go back to, to shout and weep and rail against the world
from, to hole myself up in and mostly to feel safe and secure in. To have that
snatched away from me was like having my boat upturned in a stormy sea. I like
my security and If I’m honest I just fell to bits.
I’m not great with change, a fact I’ve known about myself
for a while so that is no great revelation but the uncertainty this time has
We started looking for somewhere straight away but it
quickly became clear just how much of a reduced rate we have been paying these
last few years. The one upside of having scrooge for a landlady was that we got
the property super cheap because it needed so much work doing to it. We soon
realised we were going to have to find a lot more money each month.
Everyone around us has said the same, “don’t worry, you’ll
find somewhere” “it’ll be great, so much better than where you are” “at least
you’ll get away from the terrible landlady” but mostly a breezy “don’t worry
you’ll find somewhere” Oh how I wish that had come true.
At first there was
nothing suitable but we didn’t worry too much because we had time. We saw the
house that was too small, the house that was too short (a bungalow with a loft
conversion where the only place either of us could actually stand upright was the
bedroom doorway where the apex of the roof was, nothing like having to crawl on
your hands and knees to get into bed!)
We saw the house that was too big, the house that was
falling to bits and the house that looked like a shitpit (this was literally,
the toilet was unflushed!?!) but nothing that would work for us. The weeks kept
rolling relentlessly by and if anything instead of more, there was less choice
Then Brexit happened and the whole housing market literally
ground to a halt overnight in this area, not sure if it’s the same for the whole
country but certainly for Oxfordshire it died a death. According to the
agencies within a day viewings on sale properties were being cancelled in
droves and people who were due to move out of rentals decided to take them for
another year. It was desperate, we were desperate. Finding ourselves homeless and relying on the
kindness of friends or family was looking more and more like reality.
Usually when I’m upset or stressed I comfort eat, my vastly
expanded waistline since last year has been the very visual proof of that. This
has been different though. I have found myself literally sick with worry. I can’t
eat because I feel physically sick all the time. I’ve actually lost a stone but
it’s definitely not a diet I recommend.
I wake up multiple times through the night heart pounding, going
hot and cold, mind racing, in a panic, panic, panic! I know it’s crazy and I’m
making myself ill but I can’t seem to stop it. The slightest thing and I’m in
tears and I am not a weepy person, frankly if anything I’m a more of your hard hearted
bitch, now I just sit and bawl my eyes out.
I’m truly starting to feel like we are jinxed or cursed or
something. Like a dog who’s been kicked too often I now cower waiting for the
next hammer blow. Even my lovely neighbour put ‘I hope your luck changes soon’
in my birthday card, my fear is it won’t! Which is not like me by nature a usually
a positive person and I really hate feeling as negative and low as this.
Having said all that last week we finally managed to find something,
literally at the 11th hour. The downsides are I really don’t like
the house, at all, bah. Plus it’s too expensive (we are having to borrow money
to pay the bills) it has no storage as well as the tiniest kitchen and bathroom
known to man.
On the plus side though it’s only available short term, we
have it for one year, which is great because we can’t actually afford it for
any longer. It’s a roof over our heads whilst we regroup and decide what to do next
and it’s owned by the manager of the rental agency so if anything goes wrong we
don’t have to go too far to get it fixed!
I thought I would be relieved when we found somewhere but I’m
not, it’s bloody hard to feel joy about somewhere you don’t even like. I just keep
saying ‘it’s only for a year, it’s only for a year’ over and over in my head, it’s
my new mantra to make myself feel better when things get too much.
Packing is endless (you know what a shopaholic/hoarder I am!)
and 10 years in a big house means a lot of accumulated ‘stuff’ I have got rid
of SO much stuff. Oh my god so, so much.
Seriously bags and bags and boxes and boxes but looking
round you wouldn’t even know anything has gone which is really quite depressing.
A couple of people have said to me I should consider it a
cathartic experience and to be fair if it weren’t for all the stress and worry
it probably would be. It’s certainly something I plan to continue even after we
have moved. As we are only there short term I’m not going to bother unpacking
properly, frankly at the moment I can’t even be bothered to unpack at all!
So I will make the effort to re-sort boxes and get rid of
more. It has been an eye opener actually how some things I can junk without a
second glance and some things I clutch too me like Golum with his precious!! No
rhyme or reason to the objects in question either. Mad.
It’s been one hell of a wakeup call. I realise how terribly
complacent we had become, expecting life to jolly along at our pace and on our
terms, never expecting to be asked to leave. How foolish it is to make a rental
I have also had the scales fall from my eyes about myself
and what I see has made me thoroughly ashamed. I realise I have spent the last
few years like the cricket in Aesops fable. Merrily dancing through life being
all about the excess and the good times and spending, spending, spending. Just
like him my metaphorical winter has come and I find I have nothing to see me
through to the next spring. What a mess.
Not sure if and when normal service will be resumed.