My house...

I have a relatively short history with houses. I haven't lived in that many. Spent my entire childhood in one house. Then the first house that my husband and I cohabited in was a one bedroom flat. When I arrived on the scene it was a resolute batchelor pad; all black furniture and hi-fi systems (those where the days when your graphic equalizer was something to be reckoned with). I painted the furniture and sold the stereo. Our kitchen was so small you could stretch your arms out each side and touch opposite walls with your fingers.

From there we moved to our first proper house. I loved that house. To this day it remains the place that carries some of the sweetest memories; the place we lived in when we got married. It was Victorian townhouse; with an attic and a little flower garden. We cherished that house with every attention. I used to spend my weekends prettifying it, as that was before children, when frankly I had all the time in the world. We would have dinner parties and host our friends for racous weekends, playing at being grown ups.

When babies came, we moved from that beloved townhouse to a newly built 'family' home, out of town. It was in a cul de sac with lots of other people 'just like us'. Although, as it turned out they weren't really like us as they seemed to love their new houses whereas I just never, ever really did. That was the shortest time we owned a house; we sold up before baby number 2 arrived.

In effect, we stumbled across our farmhouse. We knew of the house and had been inside it before, but never in our wildest dreams thought we could buy it. But a convergence of circumstances meant that we got a chance to and so when I was just 10 weeks pregnant we moved in. It was the biggest gamble but we did it anyway. One sight of Boo, aged 3, running across the lawn with the budding wisteria on the flint house in the background made me realise: this is the place.

We swore we would never need to leave and so have spent recent years restoring it, tweaking it, making it ours. And now I spend more time here that even I imagined I would. It encapsulates everything that home is meant to be for me. But each day, I go through this routine of making it look like a 'Country Living' spread and each day, the rest of my family mess it up! Life messes it up. And instead of spending just a weekend putting it straight, I spend every day doing it. It's that cruel trick: you long for a beautiful abode, you spend your hard-earned cash on having a house to be proud of, then the tyranny of keeping it beautiful sets in!

all pretty images via tinywhitedaisies
It's a good house; people often say that when the walk in the door, it has a good feel to it. It's a house that witnesses the ebb and flow of family life, every day. It's crooked and old and comes scarily close to flooding when the water levels are high. It looks out on acres of fields and when the wind blows sometimes it feels like the whole place is going to pick up and take off - Wizard of Oz style. Oh, and squirrels have moved into our attic...but even so, I am rather grateful I live here.