Having had nearly 35 years’ worth of memory associated with our old house, it was no surprise that leaving it behind was hard. The foundations of that building had, over the course of three decades, soaked up emotions and memory, love and nostalgia, like litmus bricks and mortar.
It was the last building in which I saw my father when he was alive, 30 years ago, and it was the home of my grandfather with whom I was exceptionally close.
Saying goodbye was a process that began when we put the place on the market, and stopped when we stepped over the threshold of our new home.
The human need to hunker down, to build and cosset and feather nests, is an emotional need.
Fareham dog walker and trainer Ian 'Wiggy' Symes thought to be killed by XL American Bully breed dog
Man dies after dog attack at Hillson Drive recreation ground in Fareham - owner is arrested
Police have found a missing Southsea woman
Fareham dog attack: Shrine set up in memory of man who died - named locally as Wiggy Symes
Heartfelt tributes paid to Wiggy Symes who died after Fareham dog attack
Bricks and mortar may be physical substance, but the heart of a home is essentially made up of those that beat physically within its walls.
We chose our new home carefully – it was the final house that we were looking at before giving up entirely, because nothing else had felt quite right.
But, as ever with these things, there was an instant sense of belonging as we looked around.
And isn’t that what a home is all about, a place in which to belong?
The concept of homelessness is horrifying. Compassion fatigue and cynicism lead some to become sceptical of those living on the streets.
But the very idea of laying your head at night on the stained and coffin-cold concrete of the pavement, is perhaps so far removed from the majority’s experience of living, that we don’t quite allow ourselves to really accept that this is reality for many.
Our old house was filled to the brim with memories that scaled each end of the spectrum, from rainbow joy to the dark, and fathoms deep depths of grief – the same as homes up and down the country.
Home, truly, is where the heart is.
Becks refused to leave us up Telly Creek without a paddle
One of the first things that we knew would need sorting when moving was the internet and TV – 21st century priorities.
The very thought of being minus the world wide web and sans the goggle box was like a dagger to the eyeballs of our offspring, so it was with deepest joy that we greeted Becks, the fabulous ‘Telly Person’, to quote the aforementioned offspring.
Becks not only arrived later in accordance with our completion times but also stayed until way past 7pm due to an issue with our cables.
She went above and beyond our expectations and we felt in safe technical hands, fully trusting that she wouldn’t leave us up Telly Creek without a remote paddle.
Great customer service is worth every single penny
The varying levels of customer service that one receives when moving house is similar to a gigantic pendulum.
People are either at one end of the arc or stuck firmly at the other, Totally-Duff-and-Frankly-Taking-the-Mick end.
The estate agent with whom we were purchasing was always prompt and courteous, but also of note was one particular gentleman, Baifeng Zhang.
Bai is a financial advisor and worth his weight in gold. Given that his services cost substantially less than others, the quality of his work was most definitely at the end of the pendulum arc known as Totally-Wonderful-and-Worth-Every-Penny.
A fastidious approach. You couldn’t ask for more.