Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Mouses and houses.

I have never had so little control over my life - ever. Unless you count that one time in the hot-tub when far too much wine had been drunk and a guard had to be posted incase I slipped beneath the bubble-filled waves and was permanently lost at sea.
Here I am in windswept, muddy Northland when I have Beatrix Potter's townmouse written all over me. I know the marriage vows say something about "in sickness and in health" - I am sure, however, they didn't mention "up in the North and down in the South" because I wouldn't have signed up for that. I come from Leeds - I have "done" the North and you know what, I like dear old London town just fine. I feel like I am a character in one of those epic sagas of a Northern lass who gets hersen' down to London and suffers vicissitudes along the way, oh yes. But does she let them get her down? She does not. She's got grit has our heroine and she makes a reet success of her life in London and she gets a posh job and brass and nice frocks and a fella and then bugger me, if the fates don't decide to blow our scrappy heroine back up North to the mud she thought she had escaped so long ago.
But it is not just the mud and the loneliness. Three small children hang off our heroine at every available opportunity (or at least when they can't find the nanny) and they should know that really their Mam is not just their Mam, she is a career girl. Well maybe she is a little passed her sell-by for the term "girl" but there was a time when she definitely wanted to conquer the world. I mean, in what chapter did it all start to go so horribly wrong?
Was it that fateful moment, clutching a tear-stained photo of her little ones, she handed in her resignation at t' Big t'Office where she had t'Big Salary. Now, her glory days behind her, she works at home and when I say "works at home", at the moment she pretends to work at home because she hasn't actually done anything she got paid for since October. Soon, the nanny will notice and then there will be talk in't t'village about our soft-focus heroine being no better than she should be.
Anyway, enough of her. Cut. Pull focus and back to me. And the house.
To say we have dithered about what to do about the house is putting mildly. Let's spend nearly nine months waiting for planning permission to knock two houses together and go through a very painful tendering process. Yes let's do that. Then let's take some advice from estate agents and our accountant and decide we can't knock them together after all because we won't get back a big chunk of the £120,000 building costs when we come to sell one big house rather than the two little ones. OK, then let's decide to go househunting. (This involves vast and incomprehensible arrays of numbers on bits of paper and calls to a variety of building societies - some of whom laugh at us.)
I know what! On the same day (today) as having a meeting with a prospective builder about the original plans, let's go see another house we could buy for the laughable sum of £615,000 which we could just about afford if I sell the children's kidneys. Luckily for them, I didn't like it although my husband did. If, however, he thinks I am letting him decide which house we live in up here, he has another think coming. By four o'clock in the afternoon, we are so fed up with not knowing what to do, we decide we will go back to London. That's straight then. By 7pm, I decide that is a bad idea because we will feel we have been beaten by the system and if we go back to London I want it to be for positive reasons and not because we can't make up our mind between scrambled or fried eggs on a morning.
There was a time when I used to be quite good at making decisions. The latest decision, incase you are interested, is to knock the two houses together (what do estate agents and accountants know anyway?) and stay. I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow. Over breakfast when I shall be having cornflakes. Or porridge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I sometimes have a hissy fit at the mud in Northumberland, especially as my garden, drive, lawns, footpaths are ankle deep in leaves [that have turned to mud] and your bog standard mud.

My hissy fit is generally preceded by mud being present in fairly large amounts on my Gucci boots, or on the back of my gorgeous cashmere coat [both I hasten to add ebay purchases!!].

But following the hissy fit and the diatribe at my husband, who is actually responsible for the whole mud 'thing' in Northumberland [bless him] I take a deep breath, and thank my lucky, lucky stars that I live in the most beautiful county in the whole world, that my children are growing up and breathing fabulous fresh, clean air, I see the Northern lights now and again - and traffic congestion - what is that?

I love the blog, I am a northern lass born and bred [although lived around the world in my life], and I do have southern girlfreinds who now live in Northumberland - try the WI or start a book group or run naked around the village and get into the local rags - just for a giggle!