Thursday, June 11, 2009

This Old House

We'll have lived in this house twenty-one years on Saturday. I'm not a big one for birthdays and anniversaries but I'm feeling oddly sentimental about this fact.

We were telling somebody about it yesterday. "Do you like your house?" he asked. Well, it has one unique feature. It has been Our House so long that it ceased being something you could assess the likeability of decades ago. After twenty-one years we are intimately familiar with its every noise, creak, sticking door, loose tile and eccentric flushing action. We can find our way around it in pitch darkness.

When we moved in the two kids were small enough to have barely any recollection of the previous place and the third had yet to come along. There's a lot taken place under its roof, whose slates, I note, could do with a little attention. I note also that a digit has dropped off the house number, meaning couriers have to use their powers of deduction. There are many improvements we would make if we were in the first flush of ownership. But it's strange how your view of house ownership changes in twenty-one years. We don't cast envious eyes on anyone else's pile or think life would be better if we had more space or a rural address.

Somebody asked the other day if we would ever move. While I was thinking about it, the GLW issued a statement on our behalf. We would only move, she said, if the neighbours moved out and were replaced by people we didn't get on with. She's right. Of course.


  1. Paul K11:29 am

    In an era when property has come to be viewed as a commodity, this was a lovely piece to read.

    When you add up the divorcees and the property ladder climbers, I doubt many people have spent as long in their house as their parents did.

    Thoroughly heartwarming to encounter a house which is truly a home.

  2. I loved the line "While I was thinking about it, the GLW issued a statement on our behalf". That sounds so familiar.

    My GLW & I lived in the same house for 18 years, so I know exactly what you mean, David. We've since moved twice in 4 years, which is not without its excitement, but I'm not keen to repeat the experience for a while. Our current house is still at the stage where the quirky plumbing and ill fitting doors are irritatiions. I'm sure I'll come to love them.

  3. Anonymous2:26 pm

    Really sorry - and this probably marks me out as some old school idiot or something, but..."GLW"?

  4. GLW: Good Lady Wife. I believe it's one of Danny Baker's, or one of Danny Kelly's, depending on who you ask. It's issued with the utmost respect. And it's pretty old school by now.

  5. Danny Kelly used to talk about "the current Mrs Kelly". That really is taking your life in your hands.

  6. My dad used to wind up my mum by introducing her as "my first wife."

    He was telling the truth though and now does have his second wife.

  7. What made you choose the house in the first place, out of curiosity?

  8. The GLW targeted the road it's in. The house came afterwards.

  9. I tend to use the Natural Blonde, both on the radio and when blogging. I get loads of people asking me if she really is natural, or whether I'm trying sarcasm...

  10. Anonymous8:08 am

    A woman I worked with unselfconsciously referred to her current boyfriend. I thought, I'm in there. And I was.