Predictably, the time has come to move yet again and, predictably, it isn’t to sunny Brisbane or vibrant London. Our Landlady wants to put the house back on the market and I for one am not sorry to see it go—with the open views through the ground floor windows it felt at times like living in an aquarium.
So today—in an hour’s time to be precise—the estate agent who manages both the let and sale of the property is coming ’round to ‘take some measurements’. As the dimensions haven’t perceptively changed since we moved in I take it he wants to have a good nose-around. So for the last three days we have been frantically cleaning the place.
Not that there is anything to hide, no structural damage or anything, but it is the first time that the place has been cleaned since we moved in and it is amazing how tedious a job this is—especially since having John around is a bit like having a shaggy dog that is perpetually molting. And once it started to look a bit tidier, that pile of papers in the box, the bit of fluff in the corners or those unpacked shopping bags full of bottles, cans and crisps looked suddenly out of place. I have done my best all morning and I think this house now gives a convincing illusion of being lived in by reasonably tidy people (if not neat—neither John nor I ever grasped the reasoning behind making the beds if you only lie in them again at the end of the day). We hope that it meets with the agent’s approval because we require his services again.
Where to move to—that was the big question. I adore our mates’ house in Reading in a leafy suburb with a garden surrounded by a big fence and 10 minutes walk from Waitrose down the road, but Reading is ½ hours commute across the Ring of Death and I don’t fancy John doing it. Last week they had 3 accidents in 4 days on the M4.
Thatcham is a nice village 10 minutes drive away across a pretty, winding country lane. It has all the amenities of a small town, including a train station and a Waitrose in the city centre (next to a greengrocers and across from a traditional butchers). It also has absolutely no vacant properties.
So it is to be Tadley again, at the other end of the village but equally far away from the dismal Sainsburys (of the £ 13.75/kg strawberry fame and the stale bread), our Regular and John’s workplace. On the other hand, our new home is in a quiet side-walk facing a babbling brook (albeit lined with concrete slabs) and has a big fence around a garden with a greenhouse, a shed and wild mint growing in abundance. Judging from the patchy carpet and the lime-green and pink walls they don’t expect Bree from ‘Desperate Housewifes’ to move in either, in fact it looks about right for a geek and an ex-student who never grew up.