Sunday May 7, 2006
It would have been less disappointing had it not been such a very nice house. It was solidly built, well maintained, in good order, with a pretty, established garden and all the accomodation we need, in the form and layout we find most supportable. Sadly, though, it is approached through a really horrid council estate, and situated on its edge. I don’t do horrid council estates. Had it been in a half-way acceptable location I’d have bought it there and then.
The second house, the one I had such bad feelings about and which I had agreed to do no more than drive past, was in an even more unsuitable location.
Hey ho. I turned the car homeward and drove back in a haze of regret. I really liked the first house and would have enjoyed living in it.
“That’s a shame,” Graham said. “You’re quite upset about it, aren’t you?”
“Oh, not really. It was an awfully nice house, though. Would have done us a treat.”
“Well, look on the positive side. If you can find one you’ll be able to find another over this side, in Williton, perhaps, just as nice if not better. And houses here tend to be a good £20k cheaper on average than those in Taunton.
“That’s a happy thought. Thanks.”
“Good. Now take yourself off to the caravan and leave me to this lot.”
I took a look around the bar, stuffed from wall to wall with blokes in frocks, all drinking merrily and discussing things that such folks find most fascinating. “Yeah. You’re right. It’s too busy here for me. Don’t work too hard.”
I’ve searched the local area diligently for that little house at the end of the lane and there are none on the market. The next most desirable class of housing—a small country cottage—is way out of our financial reach. So now we’re on our third pass, looking for a respectable house in a quiet area of a local town or village. Graham has done some intensive networking and has concluded that he doesn’t want us to live in Bridgwater or Glastonbury, largely because of the lack of public transport facilities that’d allow him to get there in an emergency during periods like this when he’ll be obliged to lodge in the caravan at the holiday club.
And busy it is. I walked over to the clubhouse this evening for my pint, to find the bar even more crowded, thick with cigarette smoke, and filled with that constant conversational buzz that interferes most effectively with my hearing. I managed to catch Graham’s eye, we smiled, I grimaced and gestured my intent to go back home. He nodded his approval.
I fixed my dinner, enjoyed it, and flopped on the sofa with Dolly to watch a much-publicised drama-documentary on Krakatoa, found it to be insubstantial and unsatisfying, and nodded off happily.
Next thing I knew it was three-twenty in the blessed a.m. and Graham was coming in the door, shaking the rain from his coat. While he was cooling down and munching his supper we discussed the house-hunting situation. We’ve concluded that a nice little house in Williton or Watchet will suit us fine for the next few years.
“Soon as we’ve settled you can sit down and write that series of novels you’ve been on about and I’ll keep networking to find a nice quiet West Somerset country pub needing a good manager in a few years when I’ve had enough of this place,” Graham said. “One way or another it’ll all turn out for the best, see if it doesn’t.”
“Yeah. You’re right. That’s exactly what we shall do. And it will all turn out for the best. Always has.”
“You said it. Now I’m ready to turn in. Another busy day tomorrow.”
I remember thinking, as I closed my eyes, that the nightjar singing from the hedge behind the caravan had learned a new song. Then I realised it wasn’t a nightjar, it was a thrush, and the dawn chorus was upon us. It’s a strange time to go to bed, is the dawn chorus, but it’s not so bad, really.