My little house is perfect. It’s the first home I’ve chosen and moved into as a single adult in 16 years. It is liberating to know that I didn’t need anyone else’s opinion or blessing before I made the choice to take it.
I made my decision before I even stepped through the front door. It was a nice neighbourhood, I liked the profusion of trees, so many varieties standing side by side. And the slightly quirky layout of the roads and the fact that though some people would call it an ‘estate’, there are different styles of houses. And a sense of space with no houses facing you across the road so you don’t have to hide behind net curtains or get dressed lying on the floor.
The agent was smart and young and smiley, a world away from the one-eyed old geezer the previous agency had supplied to show me their best selection of three-bed houses in walking distance of the school and shops. He was what the Irish call “a harmless old divil” but he loved his job too much (driving round town all day with desperate house-hunters, waving at everyone he knows, from the traffic wardens to his mother) to care about building any rapport with me and make me want to pay his boss an agent’s fee.
Note, this is not the first time I’ve complained about lack-lustre estate agents so to find one who seemed pleased to see me, intelligent and able to point out the best features of the house was a joyous occasion alright. She even apologised that the carpet cleaners were in and I would have to step over and around them. While they scrubbed up my new pad? No apology needed.
It’s a small house compared to the detached homes that have gone before but bearing in mind I was brought up in a 3-bed semi with two brothers, two sisters, two parents, two uncles and a granny, trust me, it is quite spacious enough.
The sitting room is disappointingly small until you step through double glass-paned doors into a kitchen that runs the width of the house. It has a long run of cupboards and drawers, not one but two dressers and steps leading down to a large utility room behind the garage. Oh, and a rather nice woodburning stove.
And so I’ve set up office in the kitchen. ‘Setting up office’ meaning the 7 seconds it took to place my laptop on the short end of the large kitchen table with my A5 pad and pen alongside. That is just the way an office should be. No papers, books, calculators or Blackberries. Just me and my machine, my second brain. Considerably faster than the one sitting on my shoulders.
There’s no-one to tell me I can’t work in here, that I’m getting in the way of some other more important kitchen activity like cooking or making tea. I feel gloriously free to do what I damn well want, even if that is nothing more exciting than watching Celebrity Masterchef with a Tesco curry, using a loaf of bread as a book-end and drinking orange juice out of an Edinburgh crystal wine glass.
My home. My happy home.
Tell me about yours. What do you love about it? Forget the shortcomings – unless they are fun to share (like the curtains in the spare bedroom held together with a couple of clothes pegs and the loo that won’t flush unless you take the lid off the cistern). No, tell me what delights you? Is it your state-of-the-art coffee machine, walk-in wardrobe or beautiful garden? Do share with us.