I believe in there being ‘the one’ in love, and I also believe there is ‘the one’ perfect home for a family. Ben thinks there are several homes that could be perfect for us, that we would make perfect for us. But we’ve been driving around the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley from village to village, round bends, up hills, down lanes, and everytime we’ve come to something new, some destination, I’ve said, no, this isn’t the one, this isn’t for us. It just hasn’t been right. It’s been hard work to see ourselves anywhere there, to feel like it offers us all an exciting and filfilling life. Marriage is my business, so I should follow my own advice, you should never settle in love, or in life, you shouldn’t convince yourself that it is hard work for everyone, and that you’ll always have niggling doubts. If that’s the case, move on, find something that is a joy from the very beginning.
I admit it, I do fall in love easily. I fall in love with old characterful cottages. I fall in love with stable doors, exposed wood, stone fireplaces. I fell in love with a tiny cottage in the Wye Valley. It was completely impractical for four children, but ever the romantics, we could see that it could work for us, because of the way we are as a famly. I could actually imagine our lives there, I could see us in the house, and spilling out into the garden. We were prepared to make compromises on internal space on behalf of our kids. But could we convince ourselves of the area, would they be terribly bored and isolated as teenagers?
We’ve got through my busiest month ever, and we’ve started to celebrate an easier six months focused on DIY. I religiously check my Social and Promotions inboxes daily along with emails addressed to me. It was Saturday morning and had been at my desk since 7.30 preparing for yet another wedding and Ben was huffing and puffing around the house trying to get the kids breakfasted, dressed, and lunch made all on a tight schedule. We’d gone to sleep on a ‘I’m done talking to you for today’ note as we weren’t seeing eye to eye. I click on an email from the B&B we honeymooned in four years ago on the Isle of Wight. They’re selling up, does anyone fancy a lifestyle change? I click through to the property details, flick through the pictures and floor plan and email back instantly, not even reading the description. >We are looking for a home with a holiday let, the only thing is we’re not in a position to sell until April. >April could work for us!
I can’t hide my excitement from Ben, but I can’t tell him in his bad mood. I’ve left the surprise open on the laptop I say. Approach it with an open mind. We had already dismissed moving to the island on financial grounds. Needing an outlet for my glee I update my facebook status ‘omg life/world you’re so exciting’. Mom asks what I’ve found and I fill her in on the email exchange. Ben comes into the bathroom having read the emails and details, he looks surprised in a good way, tries to talk to me about it, but I can’t concentrate on showering at the same time. ‘Okay! way to throw us a curve ball life!’
It’s THE island. The island has always felt like coming home. That house, is in so many ways perfect, perfect, perfect for us right now, in the medium and long term too. It feels so much like home it is the first place I’ve been able to picture putting our slate name plate on, renaming it Jam Jar House. It feels so much like home that even the prospect of living there without Ben or mom for a year fills me with a sense of ease, comfort and excitement. Wow.