Fifteen years ago today we were up with the lark after a very late night the day before. Fifteen years ago today we moved into this house, and we’ve lived here happily ever since!

We had lived in the north of England for many years, but my family lived in the west country, in this little village of Uphill… we hoped to move down for various family reasons and for those same reasons we had kept my dad’s property after he died so we could move there once we had jobs. Eventually, after years of trying, I got a job, a brilliant job! Not brilliant in terms of financial reward, but brilliant in amount of satisfaction I got from it and the wonderful people I worked with… but that’s another story.

We packed all our furniture, goods and chattels and on Saturday 22nd 2001, the day after we finished our old previous jobs, we came down from our large, three bedroom bungalow to my dad’s small two bedroom bungalow. Luckily some friends had the children to sleep-over while we tried to create a living space, because over the next couple of days coming up to Christmas, mother-in-law and aunty and uncle arrived for Christmas… but that’s yet another story!

We’d hoped to move to Uphill for many years, and visited regularly and wandered round the village looking for potential homes once we managed to get jobs. We saw this nice large house with a garden, close to the school, close to the pub, easy access to the local shop and post office, near the beach, we saw this house which was for sale many times, but it was beyond our price range.

However, when we actually moved down here, staying in the small bungalow (which admittedly was right next door to the pub) we found that this nice house was still for sale… what was more, and what we hadn’t realised, the price had not gone up, and in fact, now we could afford it!

Everything went through swimmingly, as if we were destined to have the place; the dear old couple who owned kept ringing us while the process was going though:

Dear old couple: oh hello, we wonder if you might be interested in having our dishwasher – the flat we are moving into is just too small…
Us: how kind, thank you, yes please, how much shall we pay for it?
Dear old couple: oh nothing dear, you would be doing us a favour, otherwise we would have to pay to have it taken away…

and:

Dear old couple: oh hello, we wonder if you might be interested in having  the rattan furniture from the sunroom, it’s quite new – the flat we are moving into is just too small… and it doesn’t have a garden or sunroom
Us: how kind, thank you, yes please, how much shall we pay for it?
Dear old couple: oh nothing dear, you would be doing us a favour, otherwise we would have to pay to have it taken away…

The day dawned;  the children were sent off to school, and our friends from Devon arrived to help. We had kept a lot of things boxed up from our pre-Christmas move and we had been using dad’s things in his little bungalow. However there was still a lot to pack, which we did, however at the last-minute we ran out of time for careful packing (we were both working by this time!) and stuff was in plastic bin bags all over the place and in the garden too!

We were moving literally round the corner but heavy items needed a removal company; we had two cars, our friends’ and ours so we kept piling stuff in and ‘the boys’ would drive it round to the new house. My friend is an expert cleaner, so she set to, tidying, packing remaining stuff, searching nooks and crannies for left over things, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, dressed in an apron and rubber gloves (and clothes too, of course, that would have been too bizarre!) I ran backwards and forwards, sorting things in both houses – I wish I’d had a pedometer, goodness knows how far I ran that day!

It was a mad day, and passed in a whirl; obviously we couldn’t move in until the allotted time, and we were slightly harassed by the people moving into the bungalow who kept ringing us up, chivying us to get it emptied (even though they weren’t due to move in until later). At one point, when the place was just about empty, the new occupant came round and banged on the door and tried to harangue our friend about when it would be available (still before the time they were supposed to move in!) My friend, who had been a teacher was quite used to dealing with rudeness and stroppy people, and told him firmly she was only the cleaner and would be leaving shortly!

At last… on the afternoon of May 6th 2002, we were in our lovely new home! Thanks so much to our dear friends! We have been here ever since and have seen many changes in our lives; my husband and I no longer have day jobs, he paints and drums, I write; the children moved to ‘big school’, successfully changed to different schools, went to college, went to Uni, found jobs moved away from home (although this will always be their home!) and we still love our house!

 

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