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8 August, 2004

Happy anniversary, house?

That Helen needed to remind me is possibly some indication of how much I relish the fact, but today I have owned my house for a year.  I collected the keys at 22:00 on 8 August, 2003 and unloaded my possessions from Sibsey Street, with the assistance of A. & A., then after a cup of tea at their house, drove to Wales (arriving 02:00) to collect furniture from my mother's house.  Hence, the anniversary of occupancy is 10 August, but I won't be too pedantic (for once).

Since moving in, I have:

  • Bought a bed and mattress, a washing machine, a vacuum cleaner, a TV, a DVD/VCR, two lamp shades, two rugs, cleaning materials, a desk chair, crockery, pans, and a shower head which fits over the bath taps. All other furniture, utensils, etc. were inherited from my grandmother, collected for my first home over several years by my mother, and salvaged from items my mother was discarding when refurnishing her home (so there's a reassuring continuity between my childhood home and this house), as were the sofa & armchair, donated by J & Fiona. Thanks to all!
  • Thoroughly cleaned the whole house. I could do with making a concerted effort to repeat the exercise.
  • Sanded the bathroom door to fit better and added a lock.
  • Replaced all lightbulbs with the energy-efficient type.
  • Removed the smelly carpet in the front room, though that was only done a fortnight ago, at A's instigation.
There were also several rather major tasks to be done, which I simply haven't:
  • Decorate. The walls are the same ugly colours as when I moved in; the purple and gold ceiling roses remain. I've stopped noticing them.
  • Buy new furniture. None of the existing items match. In particular, storage in the bedroom is under a weird curtained canopy rather than proper wardrobes, and needs to be replaced.
  • Buy/build a bike shed. I barely started to price building work. Too much hassle.
  • Remove 'porch'. The previous owner had fitted a flimsy dividing wall and archway by the front door. It's ugly, takes up space in an already small room, and obstructs access to the light switch - it has to go. I was going to wait until I'd fitted a bike shed and hence stopped storing Bikey in the front room, but I have no idea when that'd happen, so I might as well get on with it - some time....
  • Fit a shower. Haven't got round to it; I still shower kneeling in the bath with a £5 hose and shower head jammed over the taps.
  • Remove stairwell wall. A low-priority task which I still think would improve the lighting and appearence of the narrow stairs. I'd like it to be done, but not so much as to inspire me to get on with doing it!
  • Host a 'house-warming' party. I just didn't see anything to celebrate.
In summary: things which to a 'home maker' would be essentials, but so far as I'm concerned, profoundly do not matter. A year on, I still don't want to be a home owner, responsible for maintenance and expected to want to make improvements. The house keeps me (reasonably) warm and dry, and my front door can lock the world out, but anything beyond that is trivial.

NP: a screaming PC.


Don't feel too bad about your attitude. I've "owned" the same house for 18 years and still have to make all the improvements that I've promised the wife. The things I've fixed need fixing and the things I haven't just don't seem that important (unless guests are coming over)....


Posted by Don Webb at August 10, 2004 10:02 PM
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