A Place to Call Home

We finally moved in ten days ago. Still without curtains and blinds, I tend to rise with the sun, so I am writing this with a pink glow in the east and the sound of cooing pigeons but without traffic on the road outside. We are mostly unpacked but have pictures and paintings strewn against walls waiting to be put in position.

The house being old but with modern touches has quirks and intricacies which we are discovering daily. Four days ago, I plucked up courage to make a cup of tea using the quooker hot tap. My only experience with a hot top previously had been pretty much disastrous as I handed out cups of luke warm tea to my writing group following a kitchen refurb by our lovely, long-suffering host. Two days ago, I abandoned my kettle, completely sold on the quooker. This morning it blinks at me. A red warning light can’t be good and the water no longer steams from the tap. Have I killed it, I ask myself? My kettle has returned to its usual place but I want my quooker back. I can see another whatsapp question to the previous owner who has all the answers about biomass boilers, solar power feed-in tarrifs, cess pits and well water. It’s a whole new language we have to learn.

Along with the unpacking, rearranging, I have spent hours on the internet and phone to water, electricity, wood pellet companies etc. It’s always a relief to speak to a human as somehow the questions you need answering do not appear in FAQs on websites. I have decided to give up not speaking to humans – it’s really not worth the hours of endlessly trailing around in circles, the mounting frustration and the shouting at screens.

The rest of my time has been spent in the garden. I should have taken a before and after picture of the mess at the bottom. The remains of the concrete school yard containing the cess pit access was covered in mud and debris and two compost bins full of fairly unrotted compost. It’s almost clear, maybe two more barrow loads of mud to shift to the field. It’s going to become the pot hospital. I thought about pot nursery but that sounds like we are nurturing cannabis which is not on the cards. This garden and our daughter’s gardens need plenty of pots and ones that change with the seasons, so this is the ideal place and it will brighten a dreary area.

With the weather suddenly warming up, yesterday we took time out for a walk and, although getting lost and being too long without anywhere to sit, it was glorious to discover what is on our doorstep. I had heard about the hidden beach but to find this was something else.

I have more to add to my shopping list list, a good pair of binoculars, not the WW2 ones which I have to say are very poor and heavy too, a couple of lightweight portable chairs. Seats for crumblies are few and far between (or even non existant) around here and an OS map of the area. I keep trying not to buy from Amazon but fail. I bought what I thought I needed to make a TV work from Argos a couple of weeks ago but bought a Freeview recorder rather than a Freesat box. New, unused but because some sellophane is missing, Argos refused to take it back. Guess who will never shop at Argos again? £170 wasted unless I can sell it second hand.

About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
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