I have been tardy. It is a couple of weeks since I last posted, and I have meant to, many times, but there has been a lot going on around my house.
A pair of tradesmen, for example. They have been going around finishing all the bits that never got done in the first place. I mean, you can live without skirting boards, right? It's not like they add anything to your quality of life. The walls were not even particularly unsightly – there was no raggedy plaster edge, or gaping electrical wires. Most of the main living area is all windows and glass doors, and the remaining walls are lined with horizontal timber panels, so the walls quite neatly met the floor. Then there were things like outside architraves on windows that you don't see – unless you're round the back at the shed and you look up, or you're a bee. (I recently had to enlist the services of an apiarist to deal with a hive that had occupied the wall space, by entering under the un-architraved sill of the window in my writing loft upstairs. The smell of honey was divine as I worked!)
Then there were safety railings we'd never got around to installing – no one has fallen all these years, though my eighteen year old did slip on the stairs the day after the railings were in place.
And so it goes on, trimming and replacing and fixing and sprucing. Why all of a sudden? Because after twenty-three years, we're selling up. The Chinese apparently have a proverb, If you finish your house, you die. Clearly I chose life. The new owners will get the nice, finished house we always pictured in our heads, and which we'll only get to enjoy while it's up for sale.
The new owners. There's a whole other concept to wrap my head around. The real estate agent visited the other day and kept talking about these mysterious, as yet unknown people, the new owners. And it made me feel quite emotional. We built the house from scratch, there wouldn't be a house but for us, there were no previous owners, and the house has grown and evolved with our family. All my books have been written here – albeit in many different locations around the house, as rooms have changed with our family's changing needs. We arrived here with two boys, aged four and two years, and brought another two boys home here from the hospital. Now the youngest is eighteen, and will sit his final school exam in two days. To say the place has history is an understatement.