Sunday, 28 October 2012

Our place

Our house is old. It's walls are made of stone and around the windows this stone is visible like a Henge, the bones of this home. The floor is also stone and there is a groove worn where generations of people have shuffled through the doorway.

I do not keep it neat and tidy although it's the sort of cottage that should be. There are vagrant clothes on the stairs, in the kitchen and on the back of the sofa.This sofa is battered and stained but covered with a crocheted blanket to protect its modesty. Dust heaps often gather in the corners of the stairs.

In a high wind the windows rattle and the house sprouts draughts from every tiny crack. These same cracks let in our little winter visitors, the mice, looking for crumbs and warmth. An old aerial creaks on the chimney.

There isn't a lot of room, it's a bit of a squash if people come to visit. We eat in our living room at a small pine table covered in scratches, pen marks and tiny divets where Monty has banged the tines of his fork into the table with force. Some say it is an impractical house for a family with two growing boys.

And yet...

Morning light comes into the back of the house through a filter of tree canopy.Out of the kitchen window I watch  it dance with the woods, blinking and glinting, switching on and off with the movement of leaves. This is the same sunlight I see touching the tip of the opposite hill and moving down through the landscape as the day progresses. In the afternoon it fills the front rooms, sometimes dazzling but always welcome.

Our view is perhaps the hardest thing to imagine giving up. It's a pastoral cliche - all fields, farmhouses and wooded hills. This house stands on the opposite side of the valley, we look down upon the tops of trees and the flights of birds; we can watch the river rumbling by. There is a big open field which the deer particularly love to visit. Each time I see them, I am moved by their wildness. This year I watched them with their young, springing and sprinting, mad with freedom.

I'm finding it hard to imagine giving up these familiar scenes for somewhere more practical, but I think that the time may have come. We could do with a little more space and I hanker after a garden, a bit of earth to call my own. I had hoped that we might be able to move into another old stone house near some woods with a breathtaking view, but unsurprisingly there aren't many of those about that remain affordable. We have found a house that has been loved, with garden enough for growing and fruit trees in the hedges. In a few days we will hopefully hear from another who seems to love our little cottage, then we'll just need to let go and try and discover the romance in a different sort of house, in a different sort of neighbourhood. And so we wait...


(The woods outside our door)






9 comments:

Alice ~ writer, boater, dreamer, traveller said...

beautiful words! and yet so sad... but I'm sure if you listen to your heart, you will know the right next move for your family and love the next place just as much... x

Anonymous said...

It is whistful, but I feel opening your heart and spirit to something different, not perfect - but maybe right for you all just now. And the future always holds more possibilities

Selina Gough said...

Thanks Alice x

Jill M Hodgson said...

What a hard decision to make. But you are prioritising thoughtfully and the joys of having a lovely garden will be a compensation for losing the view. Hope it all goes through smoothly!

Selina Gough said...

A garden would make me so very happy...we've been encountering problems but I'm remaining positive. I think that I'm ready to let go, whatever may happen.

I see you've been in New York? I took Rob for his 30th birthday and we loved it. Do you think you'll be moving there?

Jill M Hodgson said...

We plan to move next May/June all being well. ie my husband still gainfully employed. He works there a lot so it makes sense and we'd like to experience it for a few years. Meanwhile (my head's all over the place) I also keep an eye on Hebden house prices because ideally we'd like to spend 6 mths a year here and 6 mths there in the future if we can possibly wing it, with aging parents and so on to think about. So I can see how expensive it is :(

Selina Gough said...

What a great way to live that would be! Our house is for sale at the moment...

Jill M Hodgson said...

I WISH :)

Selina Gough said...

Ha ha!