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We Bought Our First House... Harrowing Tales Of A Home Owner: Part One

Buy a house, they said!

Get a dog, they said!

... Whoever ‘they’ are have a lot to answer for!

Adulthood: you have that picture-perfect image in your head, don’t you? A roaring open fire, pristine furnishings, a soft, immaculate white carpet underfoot, bliss and harmony between you and your spouse, and an obedient, non-biting dog sat peacefully in the corner...

Reality check: there’s a pissing fridge in my living room because it physically won’t fit in the kitchen, I can’t move for discarded Dunelm boxes, I've just asked for a divorce, and the puppy has ripped half of the skin from my ankle.

It all started on Monday, when, after months of waiting, we finally moved into our first marital home...

My husband and I have always likened ourselves to Gavin and Stacey. For example, up until recently, we were married but living apart. Also, our family dynamics are fairly similar, in the sense that it is just me and my Mum at home, whereas my husband’s house is quite busy.

I have never felt more like Stacey than I did on Monday! I was even dropped off at the house by my Uncle (although he is nothing at all like Bryn)!

On that first night, I sobbed for about 8 hours solid. Not even my ‘garden party’ takeaway pizza or a game of shark themed Top Trumps could stir a smile.

Looking back, I don’t even really know what I was crying about. I mean, what I will say is that moving house on the first day of your time of the month is not a wise idea. Despite being a Libra, I’m not the most well-balanced of people to begin with, so add hormones into the mix, and you’ve got a five foot ball of over-dramatic stress on your hands!

People are always been quick to point out that getting married, moving house and having a baby are the most testing events that will occur in one’s life. I have been there, done that when it comes to weddings, and I definitely would not recommend it! Months of trauma and arguing with suppliers, for it all to fade into a pointless nothingness of one day, during which I didn’t even get to eat any of the pigs in honey mustard blanket canapés I myself had chosen! It was an outrage, but anyway, that’s a different article...!

Moving house has been a million times more despairing than getting married. I have lost count of the amount of occasions I have Googled ‘Hire a hit man to end my solicitor.’

Thanks to Covid, and one member of our chain shielding, our official move date was continually pushed further and further back, and at one point, we considered pulling out.

So yes, to cut a very long, painful story short, I can conclude that I never want to move house again – unless it’s to live in a shack on a desolate Greek island, which is looking all the more temping as the days go on.

By the way, our new neighbours are absolutely lovely, and actually leant us the camp bed that we're currently using as a dining table. They popped round to introduced themselves as I was mid-breakdown on that first day. I answered the door in an overflow of tears, snot and Maryland Cookies, with the puppy wriggling upside down in my arms, and the husband Googling the cost of divorce.

Trying to present as even half way to 'normal' when you're literally on the brink is a challenge in itself.

"HELLO!!!" I practically screeched, a little too enthusiastically. "I'm Cara, this is my husband, and this is Rolo, our puppy. You won't hear a peep out of him - he's good as gold, especially at night! HAHA! We're VERY normal."

... At that exact moment, Marzipan rolled into eyeline in his exercise ball, looking as sinister as always.

"And that's Marzipan," I said feebly. "He's Russian."

Luckily, I think they put the whole saga down to first day stresses, and not the fact that I am an emotionally unstable collector of European hamsters.

As I round off my first seven days as a home owner, I reflect upon some of my personal ‘favourite’ moments of the week:

-I fell downstairs while carrying an abnormally large puppy, and bruised one entire bum cheek.

-We have no curtains, which was a fantastic revelation during the violent electrical storms earlier on in the week...

- I have had relentless arguments with SCS, regarding the sofa I ordered five weeks ago, to arrive within six weeks, which is now apparently scheduled to arrive in three months...

- I’ve eaten a gourmet slap-up meal of Frosted Shreddies... For tea... While sat on an old mattress... Using a camp bed as a dining table...

- I have endlessly fantasised about divorce, about living with my Mum until I’m 45 and having no remorse about it WHATSOEVER, and also about shaving my hair off, growing a beard, and pissing off to Outer Mongolia, where I plan to reside for all of eternity, declaring myself a nomad, making purses out of bamboo.

- I have resorted to sleeping in trainers to deter puppy from decapitating my toes in the night.

- A *well know UK electric stockist brand* are absolute rubbish, and advertised a fridge to be 10cm smaller than it actually is, meaning when it turned up, it didn’t actually fit in the alcove, and in the process of trying to squeeze it in, we ended up tearing the brand new kitchen floor. Mint.

- Thought I’d have a pamper to cheer me up: got a hair mask ready, dug out my favourite moisturiser, bath bomb... No hot water (FOR TWO DAYS!).

- Built our first flat-pack item of furniture... Marriage was hanging by a thread for about an hour afterwards.

- Immersed myself in the sheer tedium of carpet samples, duvet tog ratings, and Aldi comparisons. (I really hate being an adult.)

- Bleached the house until my eyeballs practically bled.

-Wrestled with curtain poles.

- Had to remind the hamster to be kind to his dog brother, no matter how irritating he becomes. Had to further remind the hamster to limit the usage of his wheel, especially at 3 O’clock in the morning.

- Have endured countless unprovoked attacks from puppy, who almost certainly has an undiagnosed foot fetish, and possibly schizophrenia.

- I nearly turned to the bottle after 26 years as a teetotaller. In fact, I nearly turned to stronger stuff and went in search of a dealer.

As I write this – at 25 to 2 in the pissing morning – I am supervising the latest match between F.C GSD (German Shepherd), and Daddy Long Legs United. This particular ‘clash’ involves puppy throwing himself at walls in a desperate bid to catch various insects that have invited themselves into my home throughout the day. Three candles have been sacrificed thus far.

It’s only a matter of time before puppy diverts his attention back to my feet, which are currently dripping in Bitter Apple spray as a deterrent (it doesn’t work).

I’m lying uncomfortably on a camp bed in the middle of the living room, because we can’t build our own bed until the carpets have been fitted next week.

We are still without curtains, so the entire street are able to peer in and catch a glimpse of me, lay like a Mummy, using my old Vivienne Westwood cardigan as a blanket.

My how the mighty have fallen.

God, honestly, take me back to college when my biggest problems were as follows:

- Superdrug have discontinued their Ultra, ULTRA Dark shade of tan.

- BBM has wiped all of my contacts, meaning the 89 chats I have open with 510 different lads have been closed off.

- Somebody else has set their FB status to the Pitbull lyrics I was just about to change mine to, so now I’ve got to post Taylor Swift instead.

- Hollister have a sale on, but the grey joggers with HOLLISTER garishly plastered down the leg in pink cotton are still full price.

My how the mighty have fallen.


(Originally posted in August 2020)

Cara Jasmine Bradley ©


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