A New Horizon

I grew up in what was then a deeply unfashionable Victorian cottage on Epsom Downs. Never mind that we could watch each crop of yearlings being put through their paces in the racing stables opposite, when a mile up the road my best friend, Susan, lived on a modern estate in an open plan dormer bungalow with pampas grass on the lawn. Across the road from Susan, our friend, Mandy, had a house that was so utterly cool it had a split-level living room with a conversation pit! Unfortunately the conversation pit was a bit wasted on me; if Mandy’s older brother, Bill, was about it took all my effort just to stop blushing so any kind of speech was beyond me.

I daresay Bill grew up to be ordinary bloke and avocado bathroom suites and clumps of pampas grass have also lost that sense of the exotic, but part of me never quite got over my crush on Susan’s dormer bungalow.

In the last two years, three if you include a year of testing the water, we’ve been trying to sell our house. During that time we’ve come close to buying or selling more times than is good for a healthy bank balance. We’ve had buyers who’ve come in search of the country dream then taken fright at the reality, we’ve tried to buy a house that turned out not to be for sale, one which was found to have expensive structural problems and one with a water supply that was so private no one seemed to be able to guarantee access to it.

At last, a couple came who loved our house... except by then we couldn’t actually find anything we wanted to move to. For a while it looked as if we would have to move into rented accommodation and, once again, I must thank Preseli Mags for coming to my rescue and putting us in touch with helpful people.

In what’s been a difficult and trying year with worries about the health of some of my nearest and dearest, I was beginning to feel very anxious about where we would live. Then Tom, who’d been meticulously trawling the property websites said, ‘Come and look at this...’ Nestling in a valley sloping down to the sea, sitting in its own good-sized plot... was a dormer bungalow; we move there on Thursday.

See you when we’re out the other side!

Painting is a favourite, West Coast Surf, by Tom Tomos


mountainear said…
That's fantastic news - I hope it is the home of your dreams. Hope the move goes well.
Milla said…
Bloody hell, now it's actually happening, that was a bit quick. Been there, tho, done that. Know the stress pattern intimately. Thrilled for you. A cutting of pampas grass is in the post.
Posie said…
Wow that is fantastic news Chris, I am so so pleased for you. Enjoy your new home, wishing you many happy times there....when's the house warming?? x
Pondside said…
At last.....good news for you and Tom. I'm so glad that the time in Limbo is over and that you're on the move. Will there be photos? I'll bring salad to the house warming.
Teresa said…
You'll be my early death, Chris. Somehow I didn't expect that it would be this quick - the see you there mates kind - but I'm glad it's the kind of thing you've been looking forward.
Glad you didn't marry Bloke Billy but Tom who find your dream house (or one of the kind) ;).
I could relate with all you said about growing up and craving our friend's homes. Of course you were a precocius Martha Stewart :D and did it for the - what was it? - split-level living room with a conversation pit ;) while I only craved them living there so if I lived there I'd be living with them ahahahahahah. Now I'm really envious of your dormer bungalow. Lucky Girl! Enjoy! And have lots of Fun!
Pauline Barclay said…
Fab, I told you it would all sort itself out! As for Epsom, we used to lived close by and work in Epsom for many years. Loved it back then. Now I am looking forward to hearing more abour your beautiful new home. Hugs xx
Preseli Mags said…
I've still got my fingers crossed for you - this time for a smooth and trouble-free move! Best of luck. xxx
Debs Carr said…
Yay, I'm so relieved for you. It's about time everything came together for you on the moving front. Hope all goes well and you're soon settled in.
Cottage Garden said…
...'nestling in a valley sloping down to the sea' - sounds just about perfick!

I'm so pleased for you Chris - most excellent news!

Liane Spicer said…
It sounds wonderful, Chris. Enjoy the move, and the settling in even more!
Exmoorjane said…
Did I know the Epsom Downs bit?? I have SUCH a rubbish memory. I grew up around there so that took me back!
Also this post reminded me forcefully of where we all began our blogging journeys, back on CL, when we were desperately trying to sell our house.
I'm thrilled for you that you've found THE house....just thrilled.
elizabethm said…
Yes! It has happened. So pleased for you. It will be lovely. You will have a hostess trolley and Tom will take to calling you Abigail. Sorry, the words "dormer bungalow" must have set me off.
Truly am delighted for you.
Frances said…
Oh, this is such great news, Chris and Tom!

Hoping that all the details involved in the actual move will be bearable. How wonderful to be making this move as spring arrives.

I'm looking forward to some photos, and perhaps Tom will be adding some pictures to you future posts.

As a sideline, please let Tom know that his Japanese physicist is appearing daily on morning ABC television new programs. I wish that the professor was appearing due to happier developments for our planet.

Don't let that last paragraph dampen my happiness to hear about your happiness.

Elizabethd said…
What good news, so pleased for you.
Lins' lleisio said…
Ooh, Chris. It sounds absolutely lovely - idyllic. I'd love to be that close to the sea.

Hope the move goes really smoothly and I'll see you when you come out on the other side, can't wait for the photos.
Fennie said…
Wow that was a sweep into the drive and stop in the nick of time ending!
But it's happening? You're on the move? Wonderful. How far? Travel broadens the mind, or so they say. Maybe not so much the travel as the time spent at a foreign destination. Bungalow. Indian word. But of what language? Does it have a veranda? On which to sit in the languid afternoons and take tea and tiffin? And dream up your plots in a white dress and sun hat? Very well done. Congrats to all.
Flowerpot said…
That is terrific news Chris - talk about whistle stop! Look forward to hearing all about it. What a relief xxxx
sheepish said…
So you will be thoroughly at home by now!!!! Hope everything went smoothly and looking forward to hearing all your news.
Liz Fielding said…
So glad that life finally gave you lemonade, Chris.
Chris Stovell said…
Mountainear, thank you... I'm a bit closer to Aber now. I think that calls for a summer meet-up!

Milla, it was a bit of 'mare rushing to move! Now we can't find anything, ah well, we're here!

Posie, thank you... ooh, that would be good, wouldn't it? Even a halfway point would take some setting up for us though, wouldn't it?!

Pondside, you'll be welcome anytime! Photos this week.

Teresa, sorry to give you palpatations but imagine what it did for me! It was such a rush - still now we can just settle in.
Chris Stovell said…
Pauline, yes, you did! Thank you!

Mags, I can't find anything and I also forgot to unpack the dishwasher (eek! hope the stuff was clean) but other than that it went well!

Debs, it has been a saga, as you know. I'm glad its over now!

Jeanne, thank you - I may even get some gardening done here, although it will be a while before the house looks anything like yours!

Liane, thank you, that's very kind of you!

Jane, yes, it does bring all that back and I thought of you when we moved in because for a while I thought we were bonkers taking this on!

Elizabeth, I'm hoping to do a bit less hostessing and a bit more gardening. I shall be asking for tips too!

Frances, thank you. Tom was very pleased to hear about his physicist! We still can't get over seeing him at the Met that night!

Elizabeth, thank you -we're glad the waiting's over.

Lins, we do feel very lucky as the location is lovely... the house needs some work though! See you soon, I hope.

Flowerpot, it's been a mad rush but it's lovely to be here. Thanks m'dear!

Fennie, we have indeed sat in the sun which has been truly lovely... although it's raining today.

Sheepish, I'm still trying to find things. We packed in such a rush I don't know where things are. Oh well,we'll get there!

Thanks, Liz - fingers crosssed it's your turn soon.

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