The beginning is almost imperceptible.
Ideas float around.
Some drift away,
and help shape the future.
October 2013, and a holiday in the Lake District.
We hire a wing of a farm house,
possibly converted from a barn.
The living area is one room.
A large room,
big enough for the kitchen with units, cooker and fridge freezer,
dining table with chairs,
and a generous lounge area.
I think about my own narrow corridor of a kitchen,
and I know which I prefer.
Move forward to 2014 and the feeling that,
much as we love our house,
it is time to move on.
We are currently living the other side of the town from our church,
but we want to live in the catchment area.
We consider various options.
I watch on Zoopla,
to see what houses are coming up in our chosen area,
As we hang the decorations,
we know in our hearts
that this is the last time we will be decorating the beautiful edwardian home.
On a grey cold January day, we tour the new developments being built,
with the expectation that we are ruling them out.
Several of the new houses have rooms too small for what we require.
Then suddenly we see something that sparks interest,
A house, that was sold, is unexpectedly back on the market...
I love the downstairs space,
but I am not sure about the size of the bedrooms.
It is hard to imagine furniture in an empty room,
with walls of grey plaster.
Having dismissed the house, we set off the next day to explore the delights of Tewkesbury.
Except we never reach our destination.
Half way down the M5 we change our plans, and instead visit the show house in Worcester.
Admiring the study (for my books) tick
the lounge (a good size) tick
the downstairs cloakroom (nice storage cupboard) tick
the wide hall (plenty of room for a sideboard) tick
and the fantastic living/dining/kitchen.... tick, tick, tick
Seeing furniture in the bedrooms helps us to imagine living there.
We check that the furniture is not scaled down to emphasise the feeling of space,
In our hearts we know that we have found our future home.
The next six months are a roller coaster of doubt and decorating,
as the wave of emulsion washes over us,
and we are carried along by a relentless tide of sorting.
The cocoon of clutter which had accumulated around us,
is separated and sifted - some we will keep,
but much will be rehomed,
either in a charity shop or the tip.
It is a painful process.
Often I feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task,
and I encourage myself,
by thinking of the future,
when this process of simplification is complete.
The end came very suddenly.
A couple of signatures and a few emails later,
The old has gone.
No longer will I walk up those steps and into the porch,
sit in the lounge enjoying the evening sun,
or hide away on my computer,
whilst in the kitchen the dinner burns once more.
As I sit in the new kitchen/dining/living room,
I give thanks to God,
for the old and the new.
Let the next chapter begin!