Not Drowning, But Waving? by Debbie Bennett

I’m a founder member of this blog – ever since Katherine Roberts invited me to join her way back in June 2011. And I’ve blogged on the 6thof every month since then, without fail, and never missed a slot.

Until last month. July 2018. For the first time, the 6thcame and went and there was nothing from me. I haven’t even blogged on my own page since the New Year – and back then I said this:  2017 has in many ways felt like I’m treading water, marking time. 2018 will be the time to move forwards again. Who knows where I’ll be by this time next year?

Which all turned out to be very prophetic. In February we finally put our beloved house of 22 years on the market and went from this to a much smaller 3-bedroomed house. We moved in late June – hence the missing blog post last month as I barely had my computer unpacked by then.

It’s been hard. The plus point is that we are now mortgage-free, with a nice solid little detached house in the same village. But the last place was ours – we’d spent 22 years gutting and rebuilding it; every plug socket, cable and pipe was where we wanted it, the kitchen was new and perfect and there was so much space. Now my books are mostly in storage, I’ve given up my study and we have the mess of new heating, windows etc all to come. I keep telling myself it’s a stepping stone – a waypoint to our forever home when we move on in a few years. It ought to be much easier to sell when the time comes (last house was quirky and needed the “right” buyer - not everybody appreciates living on an unmade, unadopted single-track lane with shared access, plus it was always a high-maintenance house with constant damp issues and subject to the vagaries of the British weather). But I hate mess and disorder and not knowing where stuff is. I hate not having somewhere to escape to when I want to be alone, and the conservatory is a loose term and more of a lean-to – certainly not secure enough nor suitable to put a desk or television in, although I’m tempted to buy a very cheap second-hand small sofa eventually (when we’ve finished the majority of building work and don’t need the space as a workshop/toolstore/temporary kitchen).

Interestingly I don’t miss the views. I thought I might. I’ve posted many pictures on the blog of the stunning views from the old place – 30 miles across the Cheshire valleys on a clear day, right down to the Peckforton hills. Here we are on a road, with buses and traffic and people. But we do have our own drive now, the aspect is surprisingly secluded and it seems quieter with no sheep bleating all night and no trains at the end of the field. And actually it’s fascinating looking out of the huge bedroom window and watching the world go by.

And so here I am. No longer treading water, but moving on. This blog post feels like the first thing I’ve written in forever. I’ve missed my local writing group and the new village radio play project I’m involved in. I have a story out in an anthology in the Autumn and I need to pick up my life again.

I’m swimming again, I hope. Not drowning but waving?


Jan Needle said…
Glad to have you back, Debbie!
Lydia Bennet said…
Wishing you happiness in your new home! There's a lot to be said for downsizing, in cutting boring housework and maintenance, and leaving more time for enjoying yourselves. That was certainly my experience.
Lydia Bennet said…
Also, can't you have the smallest bedroom, or put a lovely writing shed in the garden? Shame to give up the 'room of one's own'!
Sandra Horn said…
This is such major stuff! I hope the writing space will have top priority when the dust/chaos has settled.
We haven't moved house for so long I can't imagine ever doing it again!
The conservatory sounds sort of promising - I would colonise that if I were you...
julia jones said…
Good luck Debbie
misha said…
Good to see you are back in the swim. Moving house is such a traumatic event, no wonder it takes time to adjust.

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