Rule 52, Chapter 44: Things often get worse before they get better. But that’s ok. Because things do get better.

We have moved. From our cosy little London flat, to a semi-detached 3 bedroom cottage in the countryside. It’s got a big workshop and a big garden and big fields all around it. The husband, cats and I are in love with country life, and have taken to veg growing and pruning like you wouldn’t believe. We’re in the garden all the time, digging and lopping. In fact we’re never really in the house.

Gardener’s world….

And that’s because we actually bought a bit of a nightmare. Nine days in and the old oil fired boiler exploded and flooded downstairs. We found out the oil tank was leaking. Then the roof started leaking. There’s damp everywhere. We need new windows. It’s freezing even in summer. The whole place needs decorating. And all I thought we needed to do was pop in a nice new kitchen….

However. We decided to face the problems head on. I did research on boilers and heating and learnt lots of things I didn’t know about pipework and lagging. We made lists of things we needed to do first. We got some chaps round to quote for a new boiler and oil tank for us. We felt positive about the whole thing. Moving house is an adventure, right?

Be gone, big green evil leaky oil tank!!!

Then the quote dropped through the letter box. The cost was £10,000. Yes. Just for a new boiler and oil tank. That was pretty much our whole decorating and doing budget.

We nearly fell over. I cried. We had an enormous row about the stupid house we’d bought. We both thought divorce was on the cards. I sulked for about a week. I became inert with house buyers regret. But I pulled myself together and  got some more quotes. They were all just as expensive. I cried some more.

Now. There have been a few times in my life where I know I’ve made a massive mistake. Like one which alters the course of you, the very fabric of your being. With this house move, we’d changed everything. Left London and a vibrant city life. Left our friends. Moved to a town where we didn’t know anyone. Given me a 3 hour round commute every day which was tiring and expensive. And, whilst I loved getting home to the countryside, I started wondering if it was all worth it. The money we needed to spend was enormous, and as the sole earner in the relationship, I felt enormous pressure. Which lead to more rows and sleepless nights.

All in all, the house move was not going well.

So, just as I was about to give up on our county life,  I decided to phone one last boiler chap. He came round. We liked him. He also seemed to like us. We agreed that we (the husband) would do the labour and prep for him so that he could just come in and do installing of our shiney new boiler and whizzy new oil tank. He quoted a third of the original cost and the sun started shining again. We booked him there and then.

Super new concrete area for our super new shiney boiler and oil tank

So we’re now living in a building site. We have lurched from good to bad to good to a right old mess. We have had numerous rows about money and how much everything is costing. But we’re learning all about building stuff. And sorting out our new old cottage from the guts outwards. The kitchen floor’s up. We’re insulating the walls. I might just get a new kitchen after all because I married a fine furniture maker and he’s offered to make me a hand-made bespoke little number out of beautiful wood which we can now kind of afford beause of our excellent boiler chap.

Not quite the dream kitchen I had in mind…

Yes, there’s dust everywhere. No, you can’t walk on the floor barefoot for fear of splinters and nails.  The cats have been under the floorboards, and I thought we’d lost one of them forever, she seemed to like it under there so much. But things seem to be getting better. We are moving forward. Making inroads. And the boiler and oil tank are finally in.

When my mum visited, she told me that houses on corners have bad ‘chi’, which is why it’s all been a bit of a nightmare so far. I say that our house had just been a bit unloved. And although things might have to get worse before they get better, we’re going to patch her up and going to stick with her. And hopefully, when the dust settles, we’ll have also stuck with each other….

Here’s to a super home and happy ending