On Reflection

The house always wins

House gate

I was eight months pregnant in April 1995 when Bronnie and I were driving on a crisp Spring countryside day to sign off on a new house. We were moving from Suffolk to Norfolk.

Prior to that, it had been an arduous and tiring search, not least (obviously) because of the bowling ball baby pressing down on my bladder 24 x 7. And when I say obviously, I of course mean obvious to the vagina carrying members of the population.

It was on this drive that Bronnie got a call.

Two miles from our destination to sign off on a new place, Bronnie got a call about another house viewing.

In light of this news, I may have said something co-operative, or I may have said if he thought I was going to drag my bleep bleep arse through another bleep bleep God forsaken house, I was going to bleep bleep shove his bleep bleep head up his bleep bleep arse and birth it through his bleep bleep penis minus painkillers.

Hard to remember now.


We end up at this dilapidated farmhouse that God hadn’t even bothered to glance at never mind inspecting and then forsooking. He couldn’t be doing with it.

Nor could I.

The place was dark, damp, dusty, dirty and, as I said, dilapidated.

Even the oven was in the same dank and dirty state! An oven which would require vacuuming inside and out before even attempting to clean it conventionally.

Horrified, I looked up from that oven astonished to find it was 17 years later and that we had raised a family in that cold and draughty farmhouse. A farmhouse we had gone from renting to buying to fixing to loving.

I could have ‘fixed’ Bronnie that day in April 1995, but smile wryly now that Team Speaks is on the move again – or rather Team Speaks is looking to be on the move again. So it is the pain of pouring over property outpourings which nudged that 1995 memory into sharp focus today. Well that and the children’s howling and caterwauling at one of the first houses we saw. A house that I fell in love with and them…not so much.

“Isn’t there a law, Mum, about the conditions children are allowed to live in, ‘cos we’re pretty sure this is the house they had in mind when that law was passed?”

No amount of reminiscing about a Spring drive, Daddy, a heavily pregnant me and a dilapidated farmhouse which then became home for 17 years making the least impression upon them – holding out as they are for a house which doesn’t need gutting and demolition orders stayed before moving in.

Bless ‘em.

For how can they yet know that we mere humans merely go through the motions of choosing a house; that our new (or old) house is already out there waiting for us and, when it is good and ready, will reveal itself and come find us. Favour and choose us to pass through its gates to inhabit it for our next 17 years of indelible family memories.