Hurrah! We moved and nothing was forgotten or left behind. Ohana – as Lilo and Stitch taught me, means family, and family means no-one gets left behind or forgotten. I seem to have included a whole bunch of germs in that spirit of inclusion. The day after the big move, I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a truck; sore throat, headache, chills, sneezing and coughing. The Great English Cold had also got the change of address I’d told Royal Mail about and made itself at home with me on the sofa. Clearly, we’d been working balls out for so long that being ill had taken a back seat until our week off, which goes to show that self-care also means taking time off and not burning out.
Husband was typically awesome; told me in no uncertain terms to sit on the sofa under my blanket fort with an 10 pack of travel tissues, a full pack of throat lozenges and the back catalogue of shit films, while he lifted and shifted the remains of our stuff from the old place to the new. For once, I did as I was told. Even if I wanted to answer back, I couldn’t – I’d also lost my voice, something the phone engineer though highly amusing as I whispered down the phone to him, sex pest style, our address and yes, it was fine if he came to us later than planned.
The new house is awesome beyond my dreams. I’d had panicky, late night worries that the carpet was suddenly hugely shaggy, 80’s style and the steps to the house vertigious and potentially life threateningly steep. Stupid anxiety brain – clearly it just needed something to worry about, given my “new” antidepressants are working a dream and are keeping the mental monsters quiet in their cages. The living room is spacious, the kitchen divine (with my longed for dishwasher), our bedroom is brilliant and above all we have a garden with a patio – now adorned with a table and chairs set bought as a fabulous house-warming gift from my equally fabulous mother in law avec partner. A word about said MIL avec partner: I might have lucked out with how fab they are. Sorry for all the rest of you…I’m not sharing them.
While I was mouldering on the sofa, the house came together and became our home. Pictures have gone up, some are still waiting their perfect resting place, furniture has found proper homes (bikes and woodworking stuff in the GARAGE!), the kitchen has swallowed up our crockery and seemingly endless supply of biscuit cutters and baking trays. I confessed to Husband I was ridiculously excited about the delivery of the washing machine, and no, I didn’t care if I sounded like an outdated and sexist advert for home appliances. I love having the space to shut the washing machine and tumble drier away to do their thing, in the same way I was more than a bit excited to be able to stick plates and pans in the dishwasher – to steal the meme: Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Our kitchen has a print framed on the wall, which when we came to view the house, we both looked at, laughed and knew this was to be our new kitchen. Along with a shelf specifically for cook books, of which I have too many and only use a few, it was a space we could see us using for cooking for friends, family and anyone that decided to stay for dinner. We now have a dining space that can fit people round the table to eat without having to unpack into the centre of the living room. We don’t have hundreds of people over but even an extra 2 was a squeeze in the old flat. As I write this, I can see into our garden. Husband has gone down to the garage and the cat is sprawled out upstairs at the foot of our bed. We all like the extra space.
I’ll admit it feels like a very grown up house. A house for 2 people grow into and make their home. Some people have asked if it means we are having kids. I resist the temptation to tell them that my reproductive habits are none of their business as I know it is intended as a friendly enquiry (but seriously, what is it with people? As soon as you’re married it’s as if your kid status is public property). When/if we have kids, people will know the usual way: when I start to look like I’ve swallowed a beach ball and I run to the bathroom to puke/pee a thousand times a day so for now, it’s our home. Him, me and the cat. Our Home. And Delia, I know what you’d do – you’d go and bake the shit out of something. So that is just what I did.