When we eventually move*, there are things I'll miss about this lovely old house and things I'll wave a cheery goodbye to with a secret sigh of relief.
The things I'll miss:
- This house in the winter with its 3ft thick walls that mean it's warm and snug inside even when it's bitterly cold outside. It's like pulling on a favourite, comfortable jumper over your softest nightwear and spending the day in a cosy cocoon.
- This house in the summer when we open the French doors in the morning and don't close them until late at night, feeling the warm sun gradually move round during the day.
- The view from our bedroom window of the fields that are home to roaming deer and rabbits in the summer, long-haired cattle and rolling mists in the autumn and snow-camoflagued sheep and the hoar frost in winter.
- The sound of the early morning train as it trundles across the river bridge at the end of the lane on its way to deliver its load of suited passengers to London for their 9am meetings.
- The hoot of our resident tawny owl at dusk in the summer and early autumn, it's magical and eerie all at once.
- The reassuring creak of our bottom stair heralding the arrival of a bedtime wandering child or, mug of tea in hand, marking the end of a long day.
- Pulling onto our backyard drive and looking at the house with its wobbly roofline, golden Cotswold stone and peeling paintwork which never fails to make my heart sing.
The things I won't miss:
- Having to describe where we live to anyone who wants to find us ever, then having to stand watch for them as they invariably get lost, try to call us, fail at the lack of mobile signal and pull over weeping quietly somewhere close by. This applies universally to friends, family, Ocado drivers, eBay buyers and delivery men. The perils of living in the country.
- The uneven floors. Marbles anyone? Nope, because all the marbles have rolled off into distant corners never to be retrieved (see Won't Miss item 5)
- The uneven walls. Hanging a picture at a 30 degree vertical angle is not easy. Keeping it on the wall is even more difficult.
- The temperamental plumbing. Four bathrooms, two showers, no mains drainage. Enough said.
- The spooky corners where strange crawly things may or may not lie and into which old marbles roll to retire.
- The occasional inquisitive top-deck bus rider who (if they know where to look) can see directly into our top floor bathroom. Quite a shock on exiting the shower of a morning... for them too obviously.
- The kitchen sink which will simply not ever get clean, no matter how hard I scrub it.
* I write that with a slight sense of foreboding and foolish superstition in case the very act of committing it to words will somehow plunge the whole, long drawn-out saga into peril. If you are reading this anywhere near a wood-based item, please find it in your heart to touch said wood and hope on our behalf that the move will finally happen as planned. I thank you.