1. The oil-fired heating is busted: the boiler won’t ignite and the pump won’t pump. So, I’ve had a chilly couple of days.
2. The built-in fridge-freezer lets out a big shudder once an hour, every hour. I mean a BIG shudder; it’s like somebody rattling pots and pans. Not nice at night-time, especially when the room you chose as your bedroom is right on the other side of the wall where the fridge is fixed. But thankfully this old house has solid walls, so I’ve been able to sleep through the racket. If I’d been moving into one of those new builds, where every wall is like cardboard, I’d be cursing the house every night. As the saying goes, “They don’t make ’em like they used to.”
3. The bathroom looks recently refurbished – not a trace of dirt in the spaces between the tiles – but whoever decided it was a good idea to fit the toilet so close to the wall needs shot. It wouldn’t be so bad, except the radiator is right where your knee would normally be. Maybe a woman can poop with her legs closed, but for a man, this arrangement means you can’t sit on the loo without rotating your butt thirty degrees to the left. Not comfortable.
But none of the above is a big deal. Everything can be fixed. I felt totally at home in this new house almost straight away, something I’ve never felt about the old house in the three years that I lived there. The internal layout of the old house was just not conducive to feeling good; there was no privacy, because all the houses in the estate were built too close together (which is sadly now the norm for new builds); neighbours wouldn’t take responsibility for their kids’ actions outdoors; worst of all, none of my friends were within walking distance. The new house is private and peaceful and pretty much next door to my friends. I am really happy to have moved here.
The weather was sunny on Saturday evening, so I took a break from working, grabbed my mountain bike, and went for an aimless ride, as was my custom when I used to live in the neighbourhood. Ended up cycling around Craigavon Lakes. I wish I had one of those camera-phones to show you how beautiful some of the scenery is around here (this blog strikes me as a pretty good reason to buy one). The ride felt wonderful, especially the journey home, knowing that I didn’t have to go through the town centre or head through the school neighbourhood. It’s hard to convey exactly why living back in my childhood neighbourhood is so important to me. I think there were just certain simple pleasures I had taken for granted all my life, like my old cycling routes. Three years ago, when I moved to the opposite side of town, these pleasures disappeared and were not replaced by anything better. There’s nothing like being denied something to make you appreciate it all over again.
Glad to be home.