Welcome friends. A Jug of White Daisies is about my life and all the thoughts that come to me while I'm walking, doing the dishes, having a shower or hanging washing on the line - some of my regular activities that give me time to think. It's about all the things that make up my life - cooking, cleaning, creating, loving, learning, discovering, rolling my eyes, sighing, smiling, forgiving, making do, making the most of, looking up, gardening, hugging, being. It's about the things that I make for sale, fabulous finds, the wisdom and beauty in the world, and it's about stopping to admire the simple perfection of daisies.

And in amongst all the thinking and writing about that, I'll be doing it all, and more, so if you don't see me for a day or two, please send chocolate.

May 6, 2015

Reluctant Renters

We are going to buy a house. We have been reluctant renters for seventeen years. Seventeen years of 3-monthly inspections by sometimes rude and dismissive agents, who expect the world to smell of fresh paint and carpet shampoo, just like it does for the Queen; but are super reluctant to have any repairs done, whatever the need or urgency might be. Seventeen long years of not being allowed to hang any pictures, choose a colour or a window dressing, put up a useful shelf, or make a place ours.

We have, in that time, lived in six different rental houses, three of which we have had to leave because the owners put them on the market. It makes for unhappy children and cats, and too much packing and unpacking, unsettling and resettling, and that's not even considering removal costs and all the gardens I've started and had to leave, just when they were starting to finally look nice.

However, I'm grateful and glad to say that we are now in a position to look for a house. I've been trolling the online sites for a few months now, while we were still not quite ready, and keeping a bit of an eye on the market, learning a few interesting things as I have gone along. These things, for instance:
* how many chickens you're allowed to keep in town, and how far from the boundary fence they have to be
* that you have to get permission for almost anything with the council, from a retaining wall to lopping dead branches and how much all that will cost
* how much it costs to replace rusted through guttering
* the right way a deck should be supported as opposed to the unsafe and scary way
* what it takes to bribe your builder friend to take a look at a place (a loaf of herb bread)

And a whole lot more. I'm happy really, that we didn't go for some of the houses we've viewed, with all the lessons I've had afterwards. I have become a much more discerning viewer.

We put in an offer on one last week. It was not the first one we wanted, but it was the first one we had a chance with, really, because the houses have not really been hanging about long. The owner accepted our offer and it was quite exciting because it had so much potential and so much lovely garden space. Our joy lasted almost 24 hours, until someone put in an offer higher than we were prepared to go and it slipped through our fingers like fairy dust. I wanted to stamp my foot (at the very least), although I was very brave and said through slightly gritted teeth, oh well, it wasn't to be.

And people are so philosophical at you.... and I know they are right, but I wanted them all to bring me tissues and wine, not knowing smiles and "Oh well it wasn't to be" commiserations.

The trouble is, you have to fall in love with a house, to make a move on it. You have to see yourself there, to imagine the daisies you will plant, the shelves you will hang, and how your stuff will look in it. You have to sit on the porch with a cup of tea, if only in your imagination, and watch where the sun goes down. Only then do you know that you could live there. And by then you're invested in it, emotionally.

It's kind of scary though, how quickly you can switch allegiances, lol.... oooh, does that mean I am fickle? Or that, having lived in eleven houses since I was married 27 years ago, that I could make a home anywhere?

So... we had a house for almost a day, and I was very reluctant to believe I wouldn't be living there. Then three days later, I found a new one I could love. We're both pretty excited about it, although I know that's a slippery slope... but.... I can imagine growing daisies there, and putting up shelves, and sitting on the porch, and .... well, you get the picture. Duncan's been doing all the calculations and I've been designing a new kitchen for it and we've been trying not to let our imaginations run too wild until we get past a few hurdles. But it's fun to dream and I'm happy to do that with a few if it takes a few to find The One.

love Heather x

To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution. ~Jo Coudert

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