This is my first online relationship. Somehow I identified this house as my soul mate among all the other potential candidates on the property equivalent of Tinder (what Baz calls ‘house porn’). I had little idea what I was looking for in my partner, only that it would be French, considerably older than me, and would hopefully introduce me to some good walking and a bit of skiing. I didn’t care how it was dressed, what sort of health issues it might have or what its relationship history would be. In fact I don’t even remember what especially piqued my interest when I saw it, but I committed there and then. I could not wait to be face to face, so I booked the first possible flight over, and it felt good. Now I spend my time dreaming of being back there when I’m not …
But what if fate and the internet hadn’t brought me to this old unloved and unfashionable house? No doubt it would have remained empty for another 40 years, and there would eventually be a sign on it – like the one further down the road where the stonework is now partially naked and the front door is rotten through – which unashamedly invites people to ‘make me an offer’
I cannot imagine these beautiful old buildings having no souls, nothing beyond the simple fabric of which they are made. They have withstood so many changes, outlived all the people who dreamed of them, built them, and several generations living in them. They have energies – some are less than positive
It’s also difficult to comprehend how little monetary value they have and how little interest they get. The estate agent had the front door key but hadn’t bothered to free up the lock so that we could use the front door when I went to view. As a result, my first sight of the house interior was while negotiating my way though a garage full of junk, and this made it feel like a bizarre film set, not a place to live. Once we finally completed the sale and wrestled the key from the agent it took Baz 30 minutes and a bit of WD40 to get the lock working. The house immediately felt like a very different prospect – a home with a future
As a footnote, the plans arrived in my inbox this morning. An architect has painstakingly put together detailed plans of the layout to enable me to work with a small local team towards stabilising and saving this lovely building. This is the first essential element of progress. I’ve been told that the plumber and the builder apparently think we are ‘very brave’ to take it on. Should I be panicking?!!!