Hubby and I have lived in a variety of properties, so a house isn’t exactly new to us, just different from the boat and a reminder of all the things that come with owning one.
With high winds last night reaching gusts of 133 kph not that far away, there was a lot of rattling and banging going on, and we were grateful we didn’t have panel fences to worry about. In fact, a pigeon was blown against the conservatory glass as it couldn’t maintain its flight. Luckily it was just stunned.
The water level on the marina is way up in the red now, having risen by at least three feet in the past week, and some of the gangways from the car park onto the river moorings are under water. The boat is rising with it, though the patio at the back of the house isn’t.
Imagine though the scenario of someone who had never lived in a house suddenly finding themselves in a box with wonderful and magical things in it, like light at the flick of a switch, cooking at the touch of a button, a flushing loo, constant hot water, central heating, a visual entry system, and a telephone and TV in every room.
Years ago, I would often imagine my dream house, using each we’d lived in as a guide to what we did and didn’t like.
In LBH (life before Hubby), I designed my own kitchen, with built-in washing machine and separate tumble dryer, gas hob, extractor fan, and electric fan oven. I had a breakfast bar, lots of working and cupboard space, and a space for a fridge freezer rather than separate items. The microwave was an added extra a year or so later which sat on the worktop. It was practical and I loved working in it.
The bathroom was another style ‘have a go’, and we’d opted for a burgundy suite with cream tiles (6″ x 4″) interspersed with an occasional random burgundy lily on three walls, and mirror tiles on the fourth. It was a sod to keep clean, the suite showed every soap mark and never again will I have mirror tiles anywhere.
I missed the kitchen when I moved out (for about 2 days), but was glad to leave the bathroom!
When Hubby and I decided to sell the cottage in 2012 and downsize, priority was to have two loos (I suppose in a way we have, one on the boat and 6 in the shower block), off-road parking for two cars (the marina car park obliges) , 2 bedrooms and a separate lounge from the dining room, though I was quite happy with a kitchen diner (no, no and no).
Fitted kitchens, bathrooms or central heating weren’t too much of a worry as we were keen DIY-ers, so could do the groundwork then get the professionals in to connect us up for the appropriate paperwork.
It didn’t happen. What was on offer in our price bracket didn’t even come close to what we were after, and what did was ridiculously priced.
There is a lot of gadgetry here though, from the humble can opener (I think I might have broken it) to wall lights in the bedroom on a remote control that we can’t find.
There is a downstairs loo which is great for Hubby so that he doesn’t have to climb the stairs each time, so we are quite comfortable in our ‘three rooms’.
Cupboards and drawers in the kitchen and bedroom are spring-loaded and self-closing, and I could play forever with the auto closing loo seats.
Mother in law would be in seventh heaven as we have no choice but to drink out of a china mug, but we are sticking with odd bowls for our porridge, curries and pasta dishes, and 2 plates that match the mugs if we have to use them. There are 4 cupboards housing nothing but good quality glassware and crockery so we are leaving those well alone.
The electric log effect fire in the conservatory is awesome: you fill a water reservoir so that it ‘smokes’ just like the real thing. When the water runs out, it switches itself off, which is a good safety feature. It’s very efficient, and also very expensive on the running juice. We read both gas and electric meters when we arrived, and have used more electricity in the first week than an entire MONTH in the cottage or FORTNIGHT on the boat during the winter. We aim to improve on that.
However, today’s modern living is not for us, and if we were to go back to living in a house, not only would we need parking for just one vehicle now, it would probably be a simple one bedroom property with a lounge diner, kitchen and bathroom. We would also need a small garden with a grassy patch (or room to put one) for Maggie and a place for a washing line.
Central heating would be nice, but a multi fuel burner would suit us as the one we had in the cottage was totally brilliant, heating not just the lounge it was in, but the three bedrooms that came off it.
If we had a house with stairs, 2 loos are still a must though!