I love my house. I have lavished it with time, attention to detail, ridiculous amounts of money and put pretty things in it. With help from my family and friends I renovated it, stripping away the layers of neglect and bonkers 1960’s DIY efforts (asbestos ceiling tiles, anyone?). Earlier this year it was freshened up with new plaster and paint. I finally finished the kitchen tiling and replaced the front door, through which the Arctic Yorkshire winds used to blow like we were in the middle of the Tundra.
I sat back, satisfied, happy and slightly smug that my house was finally ‘done’. A cosy and warm safe haven from the madness of the modern world. I lit a few candles and flicked on the tellybox, not even irritated by the gorgeously wonderful Kirstie’s insistence that we should all be crafty and arty – for this year, I have joined the WI, made my own Christmas tags, and upped my cake baking quotient. I am even going to attempt mince pies, formerly my nemesis, to round the year off.
I should never have allowed myself to think the task was at an end. My bad, you could say.
For in the past few weeks, everything has started to go wrong. It began with the hedgetrimmers giving up the ghost. The bath panel has started to pop out again with infuriating regularity. The downstairs freezer opened itself up and required an emergency defrost. The left hand oven has gone, leaving me with the right hand oven which is too hot, and the grill to cook Christmas dinner. Next doors’ roof retiling caused loads of rubbish to fall down all over the stuff I’d so carefully stored in my loft, so I need to hoover and dustsheet everything every time one of us goes up there. The lights on the side in the living room blew. The over picture light exploded on us one night during the second to last episode of Downton Abbey. (I never did get round to watching the finale due to the fear that the house had taken such a strong dislike to the ridiculous storyline that it would blow the replacement, and all the fuses). The plumbing unit fell off the bottom of the sink as I poured extremely dirty washing up water away, resulting in a soggy floor and a hasty evaluation how many cleaning products I actually use vs how many I own.
Damp has started to come through by the front door and under the landing window. There appears to be absolutely no reason for this that I, a surveyor, a builder or an architect can find. Coming downstairs this morning the bearings on the washing machine sounded like they were starting to go. Whilst out this morning I got caught in the rain and snow, and I’ve come back to find the back door has started to leak, the kettle is on the blink, and the additional fairy lights I’d bought because we didn’t have enough for the Christmas tree need batteries not plugging into the mains.
Oh, and on top of all this, last month the car squeak was fixed, so naturally it has developed a horrendous grinding noise to replace it.
I adore this house. But I am not feeling the love in return right now. I’m going to try and make a cup of tea. If I don’t return to this blog, it’s because I’ve gone on the blink too.
I bet this never happens to Kirstie.