How NOT to buy houses.

(Entry III)

After a lovely couple of years, just me, my perfect little home, and my perfect little cat Womble, I met my husband, and eventually, we got engaged. My fiancé wasn’t totally keen on living in a house I bought with someone else, and he began an intense relationship with ‘Rightmove’. Every night he would show me houses and every night I would say, “don’t be ridiculous, we’re getting married, that’s stressful enough right now”. Everyone knows you shouldn’t double up on life’s most stressful events. Turns out, that’s actually really true and excellent advice, because he eventually found a really beautiful Victorian villa that looked like somewhere I might want to live, and we enjoyed that stress first hand. 

Okay, so it was really near the town centre, surrounded by quite busy roads. Okay, so it had a postage stamp garden, totally overlooked, but hey, it was a total steal due to the inhabitance getting divorced and hating each other, so onwards we went. Who needs peace and quiet when you have crazy high ceilings and spacious rooms? Who needs a quiet road when you have an inquisitive, tiny, roaming black cat? Guys, I have to warn you, this gets quite upsetting, so you might want to skip down if you are particularly fond of little black cats, so tiny, everyone thinks they are a kitten. So, in we moved, two weeks before we got married. It was the most stressful period in our lives, unrivalled until the joys of home-schooling during COVID. Yes, it really was that bad. But then there we were, in our vast villa, starting our lives together and our happily ever after could begin…

How not to buy houses
How not to buy houses

…Except, we hadn’t really taken much notice of the street. Specifically, the neighbors. Or its location. The neighbors on one side, lovely, brought wine, and invited us for coffee on day two. Big tick. But the other side was flats. They were extremely run down and it turns out, very well known locally for being a thriving drugs den. I kid you not. All our friends seemed to know. Afterward. We hadn’t even noticed the state of the windows, or that it was flats. Unsurprisingly, the following disturbances became regular occurrences a) police cars with flashing lights outside b) people feeling the need to shout or sing football chants whilst walking along the road into town at 9 pm c) those same people walking back from town at 3 am d) random strangers falling asleep on our wall e) planters being stolen from the front garden. You get the idea. 

Only a couple of months in, our beautiful little cat, who had been used to exploring a safe little back road and the safe little gardens and park beyond, ran straight out in front of a car and was very badly injured. We blamed ourselves for having put him in harm’s way, and it wasn’t something we had even considered for a moment. Womble was now completely blind and had other complications from brain damage. We then decided that we no longer had enough real stress in our lives, so went straight ahead with starting a family. Months after, when I was eight months pregnant, Womble died from further complications from the accident. It was predictably ghastly. We then go on with the business of having a baby, who apparently hated sleep, which wasn’t helped by the fact that sleep was attempted in a room that backed onto a student house (unfortunately the lively sociable type), with a floodlight bright enough to rival the strength of the sun to illuminate their late-night outdoor drinking fun. Good times were not had by all. 

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