Tuesday marks three months since we moved into our house. Our bona-fide, mortgage guzzling, energy zapping, plant infested, hamster ruling home.
There are still a backlog of daily hiccups to record, but for the most part, the house very much feels like ‘ours’ – our little happy place (well, apart from the fact that we have realised that we actually hate each other...).
Yes, we still have to erect a huge set of ladders when we’ve done a clothes wash and the weather is shit, attributable to the fact that we have nowhere to hang our garments.
Yes, the washing machine still randomly decides that it wants to perform a nine hour spin on certain batches of clothes, which we can only stop by turning it off at the main socket and prising the door open with all our might. (This usually results in an extremely soapy floor, but what can you do?)
And yes, the house makes some very odd groaning noises, usually around 2am, which isn’t exactly what you want after watching The Haunting of Bly Manor.
But it’s ours, and we can do whatever we like – decorate it to our taste, fill it with our treasures, or even dance to Ja Rule on the kitchen table.
My Mum is notoriously like Regina’s mother in Mean Girls (‘I’m not a regular Mom, I’m a cool Mom!’), and is so laidback that she once allowed me to have a college house party WHILE SHE WAS IN, and ended up in the kitchen with the lads, telling one of them how handsome he was. So it goes without saying that I had a lot of freedom and space while I lived at home with her. It was just the two of us for ten years, and we truly are like best friends as oppose to mother and daughter. There are no boundaries to our chats!
Of course, I respected the fact that it was my Mum’s house, not mine, which meant that despite the freedom I had, there were still certain restrictions and rules, such as no fake tanning in the living room (God bless a light grey carpet), and no dogs (Rolo just about wrote her off in the three weeks he was with her while we waited to exchange contracts on this house!). Now, I have all of that prior freedom, and then some!
It got me thinking about adulthood, and what it really means...
* Adulthood is candles – lot of them – and wax burners. I’m not gonna’ lie, I didn’t even know what the bloody hell to do with a wax burner until I moved into this house. Actually, I didn’t even know how to light a match! Nowadays, I flit about my house like a hyperactive moth, burning match in each hand, illuminating every single candle and burner within a 55 mile radius. The ambience of my house is somewhere between goji berry, ‘summer unicorn,’ and rancid hamster.
* Adulthood is smiling smugly at the 30% chance of rain prediction on your weather app, bunging out your washing, making yourself a nutritious lunch of Quavers and settling down in-front of an education televisual feast (... 29 episodes of Olivia Attward Meets Her Match...) and then cursing as the heavens open.
*Adulthood is buying Christmas decorations in March, because you’re just so goddam excited at the prospect of decorating your OWN house EXACTLY how you want! This year, for the first time ever, there will be none of Moira’s traditional nativity set taking up the entire window ledge. No, THIS year, I shall be making miniature flashing Santa hats for all of my cacti and displaying them for the whole square to admire.
*Adulthood is houseplants. I mean, let’s not skirt around the fact that there’s something wrong with me in the way that I feel more maternal over plants than I do actual children, but you know, plants don’t increase your risk of a temporarily balding scalp, and plants don’t demand to watch 105 showings of Peppa Pig on the bounce at 3am (well... Not yet, anyway). Since moving into this house, I have become a self-confessed ‘crazy plant lady.’ Seriously, it’s becoming a problem. I think we’re now up to 18 greens, and are fast running out of room. I know them all by name (Mark YukkaBerg, Whiz KhaLEAFa, Kate Bush, Plant & Dec, Hugh Plant, etc, etc...), and sometimes, I sing Nelly Furtardo to them while I shower.
(PS: Can I just say... the plant on the cover photo is actually MY plant?! He's my pride and joy, and the realest OG! The absolute Notorious BIG of the plant world)
*Adulthood is killing at least houseplant. Trust me, it brings me no joy to say that even I, as the well rewound plant doctor of the North (ask my work colleagues to verify this title), have succeeded in killing a houseplant over the last months. And this plant was actually sold under the title ‘unkillable!’ It started off with around 60 beautiful, blooming leaves that spiralled down the side of my bathroom counter in a blaze of voluptuous heath. Now... Well, I can’t quite bear to think about it. Let’s just say that I can count its remaining leaves on one hand...
*Adulthood is devising a Christmas list that consists of a combination of the following: tea towels, [more] scented candles, [more] houseplants, a B&Q gift card (to buy more plants), a wheelbarrow, mango scented food waste bags, and a panini maker.
* Adulthood is feeling so violated by your first energy bill that you refuse to turn the heating on for the entire winter, at the cost of a few fingers and toes.
*Adulthood is Aldi. There’s not much else to say on that one really – if you know, you know. If you don’t, then you’re clearly either a millionaire or you still live at home. 27p for a packet of crumpets. 85p for a box of knock-off Cheerios. £1.99 for a bunch of roses that last over a fortnight (lads, take note!). 90p for a calorie-infested tub of ‘birthday cake’ flavoured ice-cream which shits ALL OVER Ben & Jerry’s – just sayin.’ You literally can’t go wrong!
*Adulthood is picking up the Aldi Christmas food catalogue, and it being the highlight of your entire weekend.
*Adulthood is weirdly enjoying cleaning. Or is that just me? Please tell me that’s not just me! I actually quite like getting up early on a Sunday morning and blitzing the whole house. I mop the laminate, put the clothes washes on, water the plants, empty the bins, and bleach all three bathrooms (it’s not easy keeping a bathroom spotless when you have adult acne and your beauty regime consists of clay and charcoal...). Once all done, I spend my day strutting around the gaff inspecting dust marks like something from Four In A Bed, blaming the husband for never helping, although I actually don’t want him to help, because he’d do a half-arsed job, and I’d end up having to do it all again anyway... But still, it’s soothing to blame somebody else for my missed cleaning errors!
* Adulthood is treating your spouse to a bout of salmonella at least once in the first three months. How mushroom stir fry can cause such an ordeal in the stomach region, I have no idea!!
Cara Jasmine Bradley ©