yes, this is my new backyard. and yes, this is only a third of it. yes, i know. i can’t believe it either!
a few days after richard and i’s conversation (to catch up on chapter 1 click here) about dreams and houses, etc, i was hanging out with another american ex-pat. we were sharing our stories about how we have found the cultural shift and lifestyle differences between home and here and i shared with her about what rich and i had talked about. she then tells me that a mutual friend was looking to rent a house in our area but was having a hard time finding one that was in good decorative order.
well, i was stoked to say the least! for starters our house was pretty cute compared to what you can get on the rental market here, so i was confident it would at least get a second look. i also just had a feeling that something exciting might be around the corner. its like when you open the door and fresh air pours in, you know? so, i immediately called to arrange a viewing and he loved it!
but there was a catch. he needed to move before mid-may. so the pressure was on. we set up saved searches in our preferred areas on all relevant house websites and i started the task of clearing out 6 years worth of accumulated stuff. almost everytime i have gone into our attic over the past few years i have looked at everything in it and thought to myself, ‘i can never move, this is going to be a nightmare to clear out!’ but, it was time, and i figured that even if we didn’t end up moving, we could at least start living a little less cluttered. i was ruthless. and it was so cathartic!
i made my way through the attic and upstairs within a few weeks, but there was no luck on the house hunt. there were 3 great houses within the first few weeks of looking that we loved. with each one there were different benefits, one had studio space (a dream of mine!), another was right across the street from bedford’s huge victorian park, another in the heart of a super cute town community. but they got snatched up before we could put down the holding fee. one of them we lost by literally 20 minutes. it was so hard. when we lost the 3rd one, i was getting discouraged. i had pretty much moved out of our house in my head and the thought that maybe we would have to end up staying filled me with such sadness. we kept looking everyday, but for the next 4 weeks, NOTHING we saw was suitable for us, or worth the move. we were running out of time.
one night, whilst feeling particularly discouraged, and thinking to myself, ‘if this doesn’t pan out, that’s it, we are moving back to the states,’ i decided to have one last look online before heading to bed. and there was something. it hadn’t been listed when i looked at 5pm, so someone must have been working late. but there was a house. a cute house. in a village 5 minutes down the road from where we were. a 2 minute walk from a good school. with a freaking, massive garden. i ran in to show richard. we left a message on the estate agents answering machine and we went to bed.
with butterflies in our stomachs.