It’s the little things

I posted at length late last year about all of the things that had gone wrong with our new house. This week marks a year since we moved and as I feel like we’re finally starting to settle in — I know, after 12 months! — it seemed poignant to give an update.

Many of the things that I’d written about are still unresolved issues:

  • the central heating still needs replacing
  • we still haven’t even looked at the blown extractor hood
  • the doors still don’t fit their frames properly, and the conservatory door seems to be falling apart now too
  • there are still places that smell like dog
  • I’ve not finished painting over their terrible paint jobs

…but nothing else has gone catastrophically wrong (touch wood, if you’re that way inclined) and we have started tackling smaller jobs. Over the past few months we finally got round to fixing the various tap problems: completely replacing every single usable tap, including the outside tap. This means no more dripping, and more importantly, it no longer takes 45 minutes to run a bath (this isn’t an exaggeration, that’s genuinely how long it used to take.) Giving how much I’ve been relying on a hot bath to sooth long run aches and pains, this has proved a huge relief.

Ironically having fallen in love with this house (or, how this house was presented) because of the little office nook at the bottom of the stairs, the complete lack of natural light and cold drafts from the stairwell and garage conversion finally got too much and I migrated my ‘office’ to the conservatory. Having rearranged the dining table I’ve been able to fit a small desk in the corner, which is enough for my little laptop and me. Long term I’d like to properly convert the garage to a decent home office and remove the conservatory, extending the kitchen out of the back with attached utility, but that’s a few years off yet.

After digging up the garden with my sister earlier this year I’ve been able to get beans, peas and tomatoes in the ground over the past month or so. All of the strawberries survived my risky early planting, and the raspberries and blueberries are doing really well too. The garden is providing much needed solace on bad days, as well as a good excuse to get up and move around for 5 minutes here and there; there’s always weeds that need pulling. Even from this viewpoint by the kitchen window, you can see what a huge difference there is between the ‘jungle’ of 2018 and the more controlled/planned planting happening now!

Back garden in June 2018 looking like a jungle, and after in May 2019 much tidier

(And no, I’ve still not built the kid’s climbing frame.)

I still feel betrayed by this house sometimes, as daft as that sounds, but each tiny moment of pleasure adds up, and one day this should all feel like a minor blip in an otherwise blissful home life. Hopefully. :)

Lead photo by John Moeses Bauan

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

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