It’s been a while since my last post.
The person about whom I wrote in that last post, read it and took to my personal FB page to tell me what a bully and an awful person I was in glorious detail. I thought by omitting her name, or indeed any personal detail about her, if she did by some bad stroke of luck read it, she would ignore it, realising no-one would know who she was.
I naively thought that she would realise that the post, whilst sparked by her comments, was more about my response to them and the choice I had in that, and indeed the choice we all have when anyone decides to tell us of our flaws.
Alas, that was not to be.
It shocked me to the core, not least because we are not 12 in the playground of school, but grown adults who should know so much better. I realised I should have not written the post. For every action there is a reaction, and I felt its full force in that moment.
Thus, not really taking my own advice of letting these things wash over me, I fell into a bit of a despair.
I felt sorry for myself. In the past couple of years, I have endured some quite bad bullying and try as I might to not go down this path of thinking, I allowed myself to believe that the problem was clearly me since I was the common denominator. I obviously could not get along with people I told myself. People and I do not mix.
I felt like a child, the lonely child no-one wants to play with, who sits in the corner at break time all by herself.
And so I retreated, to a very dark hole that was lonely and self deprecating, and briefly suicidal.
I needed a break. Something to short circuit this way of thinking.
I took a two-week break from social media, went away with Mr C for a wonderful 4-day weekend in Healesville, where we had long talks about our futures and what we wanted from them.
We returned knowing our time in our beautiful home had run its course.
Historically, Mr C and I have not lived in any one house for longer than 5 years, less in most cases. We have owned this house for nearly 8 years and lived in it for just over 5. It was time.
We talked about the need to move, why we were contemplating it.
Master J would struggle. Having autism means change for him is very hard.
But we also spoke about the neighbourhood. We knew that it was growing rapidly – 700 new homes due for completion next year alone – and with that growth, it was changing. Our neighbourhood FB page is full of anger and hatred, directed at fellow neighbours, the committee, the council, pretty much everyone. Everyone is so quick to have their say.
A friend of mine owns a shop in our local shopping strip and she has told me how every day they witness such anger as people walk past swearing at each other, yelling at their kids, even yelling at her in her own shop for things that she has no control over or even relate to her or what she is selling. She has told me, and we have witnessed, how road rage is rife as traffic increases. She has told me how she herself is selling up and returning to the place she once loved.
Mr C and I spoke about these things and more. We spoke about how we had always wanted to live in the country, but how True Country would be impossible since he needed to be able to commute to the city. And so we decided to look into possibilities of meeting the dream half way.
We found it within two weeks from the day of our return.
We bought a 32-year-old beautiful old girl of a house on an acre of land that has had nothing done to it.
The house itself is solid brick – a rarity in this day and age of brick veneer. And she feels solid. The building inspector said it was almost certainly owner built by the owner who was selling, very solid and possibly over engineered in some areas which means the owner-builder used 5 pieces of wood or brick when 2 would do. She was tired, he said, more because the owners were old now and couldn’t maintain her in the way they obviously used to. There was love in this home.
There was love in this home.
Yet, we were not intending to buy her.
We had in fact put in an offer on another fully-formed magnficent home in another part of the area we had seen the week earlier. It was a double story, had a sweeping stair case, was on a fully manicured and landscaped half an acre and we thought she was what we wanted.
Except, I had niggling doubts. When I walked in, I didn’t feel the warmth I thought I would. Something was missing for me. Small things bothered me, like there being no pantry and no linen cupboard which you would expect in a house of this calibre and expense. But the house looked grand and was within our hard-earned exorbitant budget, so with some cajoling from Mr C we put in an offer.
From the beginning, the sale was fraught with difficulties. The agent refused to take our calls, then our first offer was knocked back, then our second didn’t get a response. We started questioning just how badly we really wanted this property.
I saw the old girl online and on a whim told Mr C I was going to take a look. I liked the look of the land, I said, but didn’t expect it to be much.
The minute I walked in, a warm glow came over me.
Mr C and I have always been emotional buyers. I have to feel a connection to the house I buy. I felt that connection in spades.
As I walked through the house with its good size proportions, dusky pink carpets,old-fashioned furniture, and curtains that belonged well into the 80s, I knew this was a home I wanted to live in.
As I walked along the veranda that hugged the house the whole way around, taking in the views and the expansive land that we would own, I knew this would become my happy place.
I came home, organised a second viewing with Mr C and Master J, as well as Mr C’s dad the following morning. We all loved it.
By Wednesday, we had been successful against two other bidders for the house. There was never any doubt.
We have plans for the house. Currently, we have a four bedroomed home and this one only has three. We entertain and have guests stay over from time to time. Four beds are our minimum.
We will be renovating the old girl, bringing her up to the 21st century whilst maintaining her soul. We are not altering the foot print at all except to build a large entertainment deck onto the back.
We are using the bones of her to create our new family home. She will continue to know the love she has clearly known in the past.
It is our intention, subject to planning, to convert the enormous 168 square meter garage into three bedrooms, a bathroom and a lounge area. There is internal access to the garage via stairs so will seamlessly integrate into the house. A new American Barn type garage will be built at the other end of the house.
The kitchen, family room and diningroom, currently shut off from one another will be made into one big open plan area with views on both sides of the house pouring in. The kitchen will be updated, as will our main bedroom and all the bathrooms. As much as I do love gold fish spouting water into the bath and sink, they really won’t fit in with our modernised version.
Other than that it is purely cosmetic – new floors, curtains, a lick of paint.
This is intended to be our “until retirement” home. As I mentioned, historically, we have moved every five years. Mr C made me promise that we will work to making this our long term family home (Yes, I am the one who gets a five-year itch). I couldn’t promise, but I said I would try.
The garden is the area that will receive the most attention. I have never been green fingered, but have always loved the idea of growing my own food. I am looking into that right now. I found a lovely website that holds your hand through the process of starting your own vegetable garden. Heaven knows we have the space for it. If you know of any green fingered websites that caters for the Victorian weather here in Australia, do let me know.
We are now in the process of selling our house. It is a crazy business. We have had to de-personalise it of everything to do with us. Our estate agent was saying that TV home shows have completely altered the way we look at homes we want to buy now. We expect them to be display-home looking, apparently. We want to visualise our stuff in them, not the current owner’s. So all of our stuff that is US is in the garage, ready for shipping to the next house.
Actually, on that note, we have lived without that stuff for over two weeks now. It does sort of beg the question if we fill our homes with too much, driving this consumerist society in which we find ourselves. I am contemplating the Slow Home movement to go along with our new farmlet lifestyle.
This is what our house looks like now:
Our house has been on the market for a week now. We hope it sells quickly, so we can start this next phase of our lives with clear minds.
I imagine that my blog will be about our renovations and life on the acre from here on in. I need a change from the anger I have had inside of me about the state of our world, and more microcosmically about the anger towards myself and my life.
I’m excited for this next phase of our life. I’m excited at the idea of living a quieter life and perhaps a life with a bit more grit to it. That would be nice.
I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes.