The weather is changing, which is no surprise given that summer is drawing to an end. All over the country, children have returned to school. My youngest, now sixteen, starts college on Monday where she will study Performing Arts. Time, like the birds gathering for migration, flies. And in no time at all, I am sure, Moving Day will arrive. Just like those birds packing their bags for warmer climes, I will be packing boxes to downsize from a family home which has almost become an empty nest.
Will I miss this family house? No. It’s a place that’s seen an awful lot of drama, one way or another. Will I miss the people around here? Yes. I have good neighbours and made some smashing friends, but hopefully we will keep in touch, although I will miss my walks with fellow pooch pals around the local meadow.
But change is as good as a rest – so the saying goes. And, boy, do I need a rest. Mentally, that is. The last twelve months have been...well, both challenging and emotionally exhausting. So it is with great hope and a sense of anticipated joy that I will be embracing the new abode (if all runs to plan, please God) at the end of next month or very shortly thereafter.
The new kitchen is in, the tiling to the bathrooms complete and everything is brand spanking new. A new start on every level! Next week I’m choosing the carpets, fitted wardrobes and size of garden shed. Yes, it’s true, size matters. So does colour. The daughter and I have pored over soft furnishings, pastels, shades and light tones. It’s been exciting and uplifting. We’ve leafed through furniture directories and trawled on-line websites for ideas, and already tempted fate by purchasing two things for the house before exchange of contracts! We’ve also taken to swinging by the building site that has, in the last few weeks, so rapidly taken shape in order to check out ‘our house’. When we stopped by at dusk earlier in the week, we both sat and gasped.
‘This place looks almost magical,’ sighed Eleanor.
And it’s true, it did. We feasted our eyes on a handful of lit-up dwellings crouched at the base of the main building – a dominant Grade II listed conversion. At twilight it looked a bit like Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
Meanwhile I’m hoping to find time to facelift an ancient bureau my sister gave me. I’m thinking Farrow & Ball posh paint and jewelled handles. Which reminds me. A blonde decided to impress her husband by redecorating the lounge while her husband was at work. When the husband came home, a tell-tale smell of new paint hung in the air. He walked into the lounge to find his wife very hot and bothered. She was wearing a ski jacket and fur coat, both at the same time. ‘Why are you decorating dressed like that?’ he asked. The blonde put down her paintbrush and said, ‘Because the instructions on the tin said for best results, put on two coats...’