'But I thought you really liked the barn,' said I. 'Really, really liked the barn.'
'I do like the barn,' said Andy. 'But I thought you liked it best, too?'
'Well, yes... I do like it but only because you said you liked it,' said I. 'And I would live there, because it is really nice, isn't it?'
'It is,' said Andy. 'And I would live there, too...'
'But...' we both said together.
And thusly ran the conversation yesterday afternoon when we were both having a fit of barn wobbles and a joint suffering of the inklings that something just wasn't 'quite right.' And I hate inklings, don't you? Never know whether to trust them or not. If you ignore them they are likely to be proven right and will follow you around forever and a day, sticking out their tongues and going 'Nya nya ne na na!' Follow them and they could well lead you up completely the wrong path and make you do something you'll regret - maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life - and who let Rick from 'Casablanca' in, for heavens' sake?
No. You just can't trust an inkling. So Andy and I walked away fast until we lost them. We went out and about, into the fresh air and sunshine. We talked about the barn. We did the pros and cons things. We ummed and aahhhed. We scratched our heads and frowned and said, 'What if?' and 'Maybe...?' We thought with our heads, our hearts and our wallets and our wishes.
And do you know what? It turns out we aren't barn people after all! Nope - it turns out we are cottage people. Damson Cottage people to be precise.
At 9.15 this morning I was on the phone to the estate agent managing the sale of Damson Cottage. Do you remember Damson Cottage? It was the second one we saw three weeks ago now, and I came away from the viewing not quite knowing what to think. Couldn't put my finger on it. Just wasn't sure. And then we got seduced by the barn. And you know the story of THAT malarkey.
But these intervening 3 weeks Damson Cottage has been there, drifting in and out of the picture, waving and calling, 'Cooo-eeee! Don't forget me!' I don't want to say it has been haunting us, but I suppose that is exactly what it has been doing. Reminding us how excited we were when we saw the garden; how we wanted to run around the main lawn like 4 year old kiddies high on Haribos and energy drinks. How we planned to put the bees up there under the trees next to the back field. And the hens there, by the side field. And how we would expand the existing veg beds and maybe we could put our polytunnel over there? (Yes, we still have the polytunnel. It's been sitting in the loft, waiting to be called back into action!) And herbs there, on the patio, flowers there in those borders, and we could sit under that huge tree when it got too hot to garden and have a picnic.
And we could turn the brick built outhouse into an art studio! Oh yes we could! It'd be perfect. A dedicated place to sew and paint and lino cut and write. What about the garage? We've never had a garage before. Perhaps we could turn some of the drive back to flower beds if we've got garage space for the cars? And a five-bar gate! Isn't it a bit peculiar to be so thrilled about having a five-bar gate out the front? Not to mention the dangly sign on the wooden post saying, 'Damson Cottage.'
Then there are the views. Field views and tree views from EVERY window! I kid you not. Who said she always wanted to live in the middle of a field? That'd be moi.
We love the wooden cottage doors and the original built in cupboards in the bedrooms.The lightness and brightness. The huge kitchen with its triple aspect windows, its larder cupboard and its range stove. The cream coloured wood burner with its oak beam. We love the way the ground floor goes round in one flowing movement from the hallway to one room to the next room to the next room and back to the hallway. Flora will love it, too. There will be a lot of cat circuit training, we reckon.
(And as a girly, I love the walk in wardrobe in the main bedroom!)
So by 2 p.m the purchase of Damson Cottage was all agreed! There was a bit of friendly to-ing and fro-ing twixt us and the vendors. We explained that because Andy starts his new job at the end of May we need to move quickly. 'That's okay,' they replied. 'We'll rent if we can't find what we are looking for immediately.'
'Really?' said we. 'That's incredibly kind and accommodating of you.'
'We are just really pleased you've come back to us and want to buy the cottage,' they said. 'And we are keen to sell quickly.'
And so a price was agreed and we have settled on our new home! Damson Cottage!
(We have also spent the last few hours walking around with silly grins on our faces. Says it all really, doesn't it?'