After moving to Oxford from London a few years ago, I took on the rental of a really old cottage (circa AD 1546), and ended up living here for four and a half years - way longer than I originally intended. But the owners are moving back to the family pile now that their career secondment in Ireland has come to an end. Which means that Izzy and I are technically going to become homeless.
It's been cool living here, apart from:
1. The big bastard hairy spiders
2. The plague of mosquitoes that live in the water barrels outside
3. The uneven flagstone floor in the kitchen which has caused me to fall over 13 times throughout the duration (always happens when I wear heels)
4. The low beam over my bedroom door, upon which I keep twatting my forehead (I have a permanent small circular bruise on my forehead. It looks like I've been to Mecca)
6. The shower curtain around the tiny bath. It sticks to my legs whilst I wash. The only feeling worse than that, is sitting on a toilet seat that is still warm from the previous incumbent
Moving house - After travelling around China a number of times, I can quite categorically state that this is not an unusual sight
But don't get me wrong, I also love a change.
It all stems from when I was a youngster.
My father was in the Royal Air Force (at which time he sported a dodgy moustache, flew fast jets, and enjoyed drinks with the chaps in the Squadron; "Tally Ho, Chumley!"), and it also meant that we never lived anywhere for more than two years.
Crikey, when I was a kid, we resided in Liverpool (oop North), Peterborough (on the right hand side of England), Belfast (in Ireland), Barnstaple (in Devon), Douglas (on the Isle of Man), Burnley (in Lancashire) .... and that is to name but a few.
And then I decided to add to the tally by leaving home at sixteen, and moving around on my own to various places: Coventry (total armpit), Birmingham (the ugliest city in the UK? But I really liked living there), Solihull (Birmingham pretending to be posh), London (loved it, and stayed there longer than anywhere else), Caerphilly (in Wales. Hated every second and I lasted less than a year there), and finally ...... Oxford!
Anyway, I digress. Back to the present. I was still being made homeless, and although I had a big urge to move somewhere abroad - I was thinking of California - I decided against it because it would disrupt Izzy's schooling.
So instead, I deployed the dog-walking Grannies in my village to help me with my dilemma of trying to find a a house in the general locale. I like to chat with them all you see, and they were keen for me to stay in the village.
I tell you now, Grannies with small dogs are the way forward. You know Miss Marple? They are just like that.
They wonder around the village, dragging their reluctant mutts behind them, and they spot every little thing that is going on. Say, for example, that I was horribly murdered by a psychopath with a machete who cut off all my limbs, I am pretty sure that they would not be phased by the amount of blood, and would weed out the culprit within a week or so.
The ultimate Miss Marple (Margaret Rutherford). Cat's bum lips, and a keen sense of what is going on in the village
And sure enough, my strategy paid off. Picture the scene: Last weekend, I was pre-occupied with trying to get one of Barbie's arms out of the toaster, when I heard an urgent rapping of my front door.
I opened it to find one of my lovely Grannies (armed with a Jack Russell on a leash), looking a bit flustered.
"You need to come quickly!" she shouted at me breathlessly. "I think there is a house coming available at the end of the street!"
I donned my coat and ran behind the aforementioned Granny (who was using a super-propelled walking stick) until we reached a house with a van parked outside.
There was a young man (in his early thirties) loading furniture into the back of the said van.
"Young man!" Granny shouted.
"Yes, can I help you?" asked young man.
"Is this house available for sale now you are leaving?" Granny asked.
"Yes I think so, but you'll have to speak to my Uncle .... he owns the house."
"Can we have your uncle's telephone number?" shouted old lady.
"Sure," replied the young man, pausing for a moment to write the telephone number on the header of an old newspaper. He ripped off the segment and handed it to me.
I didn't think anything would come of it, but I rang the number a couple of hours later ...... and suffice to say ........ boyakkashaaaaa! Izzy and I have got a new house! After literally 10 minutes conversation.
We are going to be moving into our new house on the weekend of the 8-9th of December, so watch this space.
P.S. when was the last time you moved? And what was it like?
P.P.S. Lovely Granny earned a big bunch of roses and lilies, and a huge box of truffles for her efforts. In response, after a huge intake of breath, she waggled a finger at me and admonished; "oooh you're a naughty girl."