It became abundantly clear, as we tried to set up for photos, wrassle Kitty into school mode, and keep on packing, just why we have never before tried to take our family photos by our old front door. It’s a really lousy spot for photos; unless your dream set up involves a drainpipe, a really pointy windowsill that you keep bumping your shoulder on, and enough orange brick to give everyone a charmingly oompa-loompa-like glow. Also the light is wrong, but as I never discovered a place in our old house where the light was right (except the studio, and that was a conservatory, so that’s cheating) that at least should not have been a surprise.
I’m not quite sure why we’re half out of the frame either, I suspect the involvement of some small child between the camera set up and the pressing of the button but we are still all in the frame, and imperfect as they are, these are the photos that I wanted to capture to mark June in our Me and Mine year, and to mark the end of more than a decade of calling that our front door.
That was the last morning in our house; we owned it until mid-morning the next day, but by that Thursday evening we were all moved out of our house and our village and our county, and setting up a tent.
It’s strange looking back at these photos. It’s only been a couple of weeks but it feels like a different life and I can’t imagine living there anymore, any more than I thought I could imagine it as someone else’s house in the weeks leading up to the move. It’s an inner confidence that even though we are living in a tent, and we still don’t have a completion date other than “as soon as possible”, moving has been the right decision.
It was a difficult sale, and to be honest one of both John and my highlights of the month was seeing the sale go through without any more hitches. That and watching the removal men lift the kids playhouse out of the garden and straight on the van all in one piece – I’ll show you the video soon, I promise.
Of the children it was only Kitty who was upset about leaving, and while she found it hard to say goodbye to the only place she’s ever known as home, she and her littler siblings have done really well with the whole upheaval. There have been tears and moments when discombobulation won out over common sense (and that’s us as well as the kids) but I think they’re doing pretty well.
It doesn’t hurt that the move has brought them their much adored aunt and uncle, the strawberry fields, the swimming pool and Bob the cat, they’re nearer to school and spending no time at all on what Pip calls “the overtake motorway”.
And while they re-enact snippets of my childhood, John has made sure there’s a bit of his sneaking in as well, taking them for their first ever trip to the bowling to liven up a wet afternoon. The girls enjoyed it and Pip was completely in his element – finally, finally he’d found a place where it was OK to throw balls inside!
I had planned to bookend this post with a picture of us in our current canvas home, but it’s England, and summer, which means that when it was sunny it was too hot to move, I only left the swimming pool under sufferance, and digging through a pile of things to find the camera and tripod wasn’t at all appealing, and now it’s raining. But last weekend we went “housing” and drove south late on Friday night to spend the weekend with my Dad, and while we were there we went to visit Coleton Fishacre (otherwise known as my dream house and garden). John had just run a half marathon, hence the “I’m shattered, let me go and have a cream tea and then a snooze in the car” expression but it’s a lovely memory of a weekend well spent.
My little family, finishing June as we mean to go on!
Now roll on July and the real dream home.