We sold our house. It is frankly a phenomenal relief, just as long as we gloss over the fact that we’re due to exchange in May and we don’t have anywhere to move to yet. We’re working on it, we’ve got back up plans (the tent!), and May is many many weeks away yet.
But the feeling of having sold is wonderful. I don’t think you can possibly know what it’s like to keep your house to viewing levels of clean and tidy with three small children underfoot until that first week when you realise that you’ve a viewing every day except Tuesday. We had 33 different people view the house between Christmas and selling, with a fair few second viewings thrown in there for good measure and that’s a lot of tidying up. We are, to be honest, not people of the tidy variety. I will always neglect putting away the toys in favour of a good book, or a new quilt, or just one more row, and to quote the photographer who took pictures of our very messy studio, our house is a “creative space”. But in the interests of house selling we upped our game. In the run up to a viewing we’d near enough empty the kitchen, moving the bin into the garage and the radio into a drawer and draping a spare tablecloth attractively over the bits that really couldn’t be moved. In the lounge we’d put things away, and then have a mad run around and put the things that usually live out in sight into yet another long life carrier bag, many of which have yet to return from garage purgatory.
I doubt it’s easy when your household does not include a Kitty, and Elma and a Pip, but it was so hard to explain to them why we had to tidy up and tidy up now, and no that really amazing railway layout can’t stay down but we can take a picture and I’ll build it again with you later. Balancing that with trying to keep the kids enthusiastic about the move, especially when our multiple attempts at house buying have come to nothing, has been really really tough.
The day the sale was agreed I don’t think we let ourselves believe it, but slowly it’s sunk in, and we’ve celebrated with the little things; leaving the train track across the lounge all night, washing the laundry rather than hiding it in the boot of my car, and yesterday, doing the messiest thing we could think of: gloop.
Gloop is always an outside activity, but even then it’s usually pretty messy and needs a good heavy rain shower to wash away the resulting detritus, something that isn’t always guaranteed, even in England (I know!). It’s the classic non-Newtonian liquid experiment, made with cornflower and water and then a blob or two of food colouring for good measure. I make it the same way as in the instructions I wrote last year only this time we used green gel colour, blue liquid and a pink liquid that I found in the back of the cupboard and I’m pretty sure had seen better days.
The green was by far the dominant colour and as the kids mixed and swirled and dug their fingers in it all turned a pretty spring green, very appropriate if unintended.
All three of them enjoyed mixing it up and pushing it around, and picking it up to let it ooze through their fingers.
It’s such a weird but wonderful sensation, even if it does always end up on their feet, and the perfect excuse for making monster faces.
But most of all, it was a chance to reclaim our house from property selling perfectionism, and let it just be our home, for a little while longer.