Arthur, aged 4, is enjoying St Ronan’s school (a stone’s throw from our Hawkhurst home in Kent) but is desperate to move in to a proper home where he can have all his toys. Hence his mother decided she would ask, even though we had expressly said we couldn’t, if we would sell and move out of our home at the beginning of October. This, dear reader, leaves us with two problems:
1. We will be in Kusadasi at a Spa resort forgetting our cares (!) and enjoying a relaxing break at the same time as moving out of our home
2. We will be homeless on our return.
Now, The Grey felt we should take this all in our stride. ‘These things have a way of working out,’ he says cheerfully! Meanwhile I am having sleepless nights, panic attacks and decide to seek therapy. I also go into my ‘danger prevention’ mode and frantically start trying to find somewhere to live in Suffolk. Very reasonably I start screaming tales of woe at estate agents, solicitors, friends, my Alexander Technique teacher and anyone else who will listen. In short I am going mad and the indicator on the stress-o-meter has pinged off into space and down a black hole never to return.
Two frantic darts up to Suffolk to look at short term rentals and we reluctantly decided to go for a house in Hadleigh mainly because we can get a six month let on it while most rentals are 12 months minimum these days. Apart from that, and some vain hope of fitting all our furniture and paraphernalia in, it did not have much to recommend it.
On viewing the house it looked like the drug squad had just ploughed their way through the place leaving no drawer unemptied and no piece of flooring showing. The kitchen was something else. This family clearly only ever eat from food that has been immersed in a deep fat fryer. The smell of stale fat was disgusting and much dirt held by a layer of grease covered every surface. It was at this point the agent looked apologetic and said that the house would be cleaned throughout and redecorated before we moved in. Stupidly I believed him. The Grey laughed nervously.
Was there a carpet in the lounge? I asked myself after viewing this four bedroomed Wendy house. Whilst I might be away with the fairies at the moment, I’m certainly not a shrunken Alice in Wonderland and the mad hatter’s tea party have already trashed the joint.
I spent the next few nightmares trying to cram oversized beds into undersized bedrooms and working out that the lounge would need to house, at the very least, two sofas, one large dining table, a large dresser, a chest, TV and an armchair, leaving it looking like Furniture Village on a sale day.
Meanwhile The Grey has been moved by the plight of the Syrians pouring out of their war torn country and felt we should do our bit to help. ‘Perhaps we could accommodate a family?’
So let’s sum up where we are:
- One Wendy House
- Lots of furniture and ‘stuff’
- One Syrian family
- Me and The Grey (hardly worth mentioning)
We did consider getting a smaller house to rent and putting some of our life baggage in storage. But the cost of storage varied from astronomical (the removal company quotes: ‘yes, it will all be safe and secure at our Rye depot, many miles from where you actually are..?’) to very reasonable from Farmer Giles in Sudbury (who’s got a bit of a side-line going: ‘I’d tell you more missus but I’m standing in the middle of a field at the moment. But don’t worry, if we’re still full up when the time comes my mate Bill will help you out.’) All so reassuring.
Anyway, never mind all that, it’s time to pack for our holiday. Now where are we going?