Monday, 12 April 2010

Selling up

Our house went on the market on Saturday and we had our first viewers on Sunday. It's a weird feeling, walking round your home with a pair of strangers, telling them about the little things, wondering if, maybe, they might one day be cooking in your kitchen, walking up those stairs and banging their heads on the low beams just like we do. Our visitors were far too tall for the house, even the young lady was at least three inches taller than me. Her partner pretty much had to stoop in the main room - he must have been about 6'3!

And my London flat is also up for sale. It's the place where I first found my feet as a non-student - a little studio flat just a minute from the yuppie pleasures of Fulham Broadway on one side, and wonderfully seedy North End Road on the other. I loved being a Londoner - with so much to do just on your doorstep, and feeling like you're at the centre of the Earth. I can see why people want to live there, cramped, noisy and expensive though it is. It makes you feel like you're interesting, like you're alive and living the high life. You can be who you want, dress how you like. No-one stares at you because you're Chinese or you decided to wear leg-warmers. And I have a lot of friends there - I will miss being able to see them on a whim.

Of course, that's the Londoner's attitude to things - they like to think that they are the only ones having a good time and that everyone else is living in the sticks eating at under-quality restaurants, going to uncool places for a night out. But the thing about me is that, more than those things, I want space to breathe and a bit of green to call my own, where I can grow my own food in clean earth and sit outside without a hundred near neighbours all piled on top of each other. I like the quiet life and don't hanker after trendy bars and great shopping (Lord! I need to be kept as far from shops as possible!). I'm happiest with a pair of walking boots on and the wind blowing hair into my eyes or pulling something that I have grown out of the soil. There is a wonderful life to be had outside of London and I'm glad I escaped, even if only to commuter-land in Essex. Next step: the back of beyond!

Image courtesy of Intercounty Estate Agents.

EDIT 11.13am: we got an offer! It was too low! We'll see...


  1. I am wearing leg warmers today (with a yellow top that clashes with my skin and my fave crazy printed skirt).

    You don't have to be in London to dress weird :)

  2. ha! that's quite a coincidence. I used to get stared at in Bristol sometimes (OK, I lived in white people posh-land Clifton Village) for dressing weirdly. Glasgow sounds much more forward-thinking :-) (I quite like being stared at, though!)

  3. In glasgow you get stared at for being white. Day-glo orange (with black hair that looks like straw) is all the rage...

    Did you have any luck on your house search? I guess you have to get out of the "chain" and sell your properties before you fall too in love with anywhere...

  4. :-)

    We haven't been on our house search yet - that's this Friday and into next week. The one with the pine kitchen and outbuilding is now under offer! Boohoo! I'm gutted. But as you say, we'd be better off as buyers if we've already sold our own house so there is plenty of time to find something else. I am really looking forward to snooping around some houses.

  5. It must be weird having people poke around your house, but I hope you get a taker very soon! Are you going for a place with higher ceilings?! (And those beautiful Georgian sash windows hopefully!)

    Good luck! x

  6. Thanks! We sold it yesterday for a good price and we are very pleased (and hopeful that it all goes smoothly to completion now). We would LOVE a place with higher ceilings, but most country homes are quite cottagey (that's not a word but you'll know what I mean) with beams and low ceilings - so it'll either be a country cottage again or a higher ceilinged townhouse, unless we are lucky. The Georgian style country properties do exist, but they are hard to come by. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for one :-) x