It might be a bit late to be writing this but a few days before we move house I seem to be getting sentimental about the old place. We moved into this 1920s semi in May 2010, just after Sam’s first birthday and after an intense six weeks of building work and renovations.
When we were looking to move house, I was the one eyeing up the finished products whereas Roger, more used to doing up houses and making them his own, would only entertain the only one which needed work. So we put in an offer on this one, complete with its swirly 1970s carpets, five layers of anaglypta wallpaper, boarded up and wallpapered over bathroom window, tiled bedroom wall and overgrown garden.
Our house needed TLC, but it had potential. We got a builder to knock through between the kitchen and dining room to make a large, bright kitchen/diner. We stripped all the walls and had them re-plastered painted them white. We stripped all the floorboards and spent evenings waxing them. We ordered a new kitchen and agonised over which type of sink to buy for the bathroom.
Kitchen/diner before, and during renovation
We moved in with Roger’s brother and my sister-in-law while the work was being done, which was very, very generous of them considering we had a one-year-old and both worked shifts! The work slowly got done, but it wasn’t without a hitch. I remember how we all pitched in to paint the freshly plastered walls, coat after coat on the entire interior of the house until we never wanted to see a can of white emulsion ever again.
Then there was the little bathroom sink downstair which we couldn’t get a tap for which I liked; the toilet that wasn’t plumbed in right to the wall and had to be re-done; and the time I turned up to see how the work was going and freaked out at the tools left on my new bare wood worktop! I think I was overreacting, stressful times and all that.
Anyway after a few months of waiting and hard work, our house was starting to look like our own.
Kitchen/diner after, and Rog with little Sam during a visit to the house while we were decorating
Recently I found some of the old photos I took of our house when we moved in and remember just how much it had changed. There are a lot of memories in these four walls, but you know, the good ones are really good and it has been our little project and sanctuary.
I know it’s time to move on and I’m going to try really hard not to leave sobbing and clutching onto the keys, as I know this move is the right thing and being closer to my family and old friends will be worth it.
I’ve just had Sam come downstairs having a good old cry because he doesn’t want to leave, and I know just what he means. I’ve explained that I know it’s for the best, and that sometimes grown-ups need help too and I want to be nearer my mum and dad. I know he will be ok and the end of term is an emotional time for him. I WILL be sad leaving this house, of course I will, but I’m also excited at settling into our new one.
Dear house, I will always love you!
Bedroom before and after
Living room before and after
Our overgrown garden before