Crowds have been stampeding through my house, poking and prodding, peering and sneering, but occasionally too oohing and aahing.
It’s a cosy house, with nooks and crannies, and I’ve come to love many things about it. But it’s time for a parting of the ways. Hence: it’s on the market.
It’s the most thoroughly dispiriting experience, and I’ve had second, third and fourth thoughts about it, trying desperately to hatch plans that would let me stay on.
I don’t even know where I’m going to go when it’s sold. When I was humming and hawing about selling, friends said: “Just think about where you’ll be in six months’ time.” That, to their vivid imaginations, was in some cosy island nook by the sea. But, since such nooks are few and usually beyond my budget, I’m beginning to envisage myself sleeping in the car.
The area here is lovely and leafy, and the suburban hill, as regular readers will know, is one of my favourite places in the world, with its accompanying forest letting a chap get back to nature while remaining within sight (from the hill at least) of the city centre.
All that said, I’ve come to dislike the suburbs in many ways. Somehow, in urban tenements, people keep themselves to themselves more, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. In the suburb, I’ve made a huge amount of friends and there has been considerable sorrow, believe it or not, at the prospect of my departure.
At the same time, in the suburb, I guess because everyone has their own front garden, it makes some folk more territorial and, not to put too fine a point on it, primitive. They look out their windows and believe themselves masters of all they survey, even when that purview is full of other houses.
Parking is an aggressive business. Bigotry prospers behind moated demesnes. Class considerations make the upwardly mobile both cocky and insecure (and noisy), while the downwardly mobile try to maintain standards even as they fight off despair (quietly).
I’ve had both strata viewing my modest wee semi, and have to say pretty much everyone has been perfectly pleasant. Open viewing day was chaos, with several couples arriving at the same time, and kids running hither and yon.
At one point, I thought everyone had gone, and it was only a blessing that I didn’t start talking to myself or allowing my body to make manly noises. For there were still some people lingering upstairs.
I’ve had effectively to hold lectures, which largely consist of me pointing out all the faults in the place. It’ll sound impossibly pious but I do have an unshakable dedication to the truth. However, I’m beginning to understand that I should just keep my big fat mouth shut.
As with the garden, where the less I do the more it prospers, the more I talk the less I sell. Open viewing day was exhausting. And the upshot? Not one note of interest. A complete waste of time.
One or two recent developments have made me reconsider the need to move but, at the same time, I think I’ve talked myself into the desirability of a wee change. Maybe I should place an ad somewhere: “Suburban refugee seeks nook by the sea. Indoor plumbing optional. Roof preferred.”