I love my house. It's not the most attractive, or the best laid out, or the best decorated house in the world. Far from it. But I've lived here for over three years, and actually can't quite imagine living somewhere else. Even though I will be living somewhere else in just a few weeks.
It's been a happy home, our daughter's first home, and we have great memories here, as well as some incredibly, erm, character building memories. After moving from flat to smaller flat to disastrous flat share to even more disastrous lodgings in Paris and keeping on with that sort of pattern for years and years, moving out to the country was wonderful. Our first flat out here was huge in comparison to where we had lived in Paris. When we moved to this house to be nearer work and to have a garden, I thought I was in heaven. Free from Paris, from the past, from dodgy lifts and nightmare landlords and scary dark streets.
Having grown up in the country, coming out here was like coming home, but better, because this home is in France, and you'll probably have worked out by now that I prefer life in France to the UK.
But we need a little more space, and the new place will be lovely, and I know I will love it. But now people are starting to look round my home with a critical eye, trying to imagine themselves living here, I feel protective of the place that has been my home. When a comment was made about the noise from the geese next door I wanted to defend the
When the visitor turned to me and commented on one of the light fittings I took it very personally, and practically snarled that I would be taking my light fittings with me. I was actually going to leave that one. I don't like it.
As they left, obviously comparing my home to some other, superior home that they have either visited or invented in their head, I wanted to shout after them that this house is too bloody good for them anyway. I contented myself with sticking my tongue out once the door was closed and I was sure they couldn't see me.
There are two more visits set up over the next couple of days. I hate having my home studied in this way. And it's not like I have to sell it - I could put off all potential tenants by telling the truth about the damp and the geese. I could make up stories about the neighbours, who are in fact lovely people. I could tell them about the slightly unhinged dog opposite that is chained up most of the time but occasionally escapes.
But I don't to put people off. It's my home, and a happy home, and I would (making myself sound like a loon here, I know) actually feel sorry for it if no-one loved it enough to come and live here. So I hope tomorrow's visitors will wander round it tomorrow with an inane grin, like I did a few years ago, and start imagining their own happy home here. And instead of crying when I imagine emptying it in a few weeks time, I'll look forward to filling up the new place.