But it got me thinking of that day of when I moved into this flat with nicotine stained walls & dirt engrained in every crystal top tap & toilet, gross looking carpet & a kitchen unfit to cook in as the Council hadn't made sure the place was clean & fit to live in before we exchanged with the previous tenant. If you ever watched those daft house makeover programs, they say that the place has to be perfect to attract the next person living in it. In some way they are right as in clean & fit to live in, but to do a whole make over would be a laugh. After all one’s taste in décor don't mean its mine.
Despite all this I saw potential for more; I saw it as a home, a place to build a life with then my new wife with prospects of building a family. All it needed to be put right was for the walls to be painted, floors re-carpeted & kitchens refitted which was the 1st on my agenda with the Council & soon to find out to get them to do anything normally ends up in a battle of words in the form of letters, phone calls & lots of emails....
But within 3 weeks of moving in, my then wife walked out, claiming that she couldn't live there & never came back. And as I found out later there was another on the scene all along & that was the real reason. So our 1st anniversary I spent alone in this flat, trying to get it sorted for her to come back. All in vain as I discovered the truth a yr after she left. So now I had to deal with filing for divorce & keep the flat, dual tenancy meant I was at risk of loosing it. Thus I lived like a squatter for a while as nothing got unpacked. I was sleeping on the sofa as the bedroom was filled of boxes of her stuff & my boxes occupied the livingroom to the cats delight.
But finally with divorce finalised & Council letting me keep the flat, kitchen refitted twice & finally got the ex's stuff out of the flat another year later, I had an empty shell of flat. It was time to do something with the place for me & my pets to live in.
So the first thing was to sort out was the bedroom. And for the past 6 off yrs I have had work done by the Council with new Bathroom suitable for my disabilities, making good the Patio with help from my darling Jules, etc & me laying laminate flooring in most rooms as well as spending months at a time repainting rooms. It isn't easy painting walls as you try hold brush in one hand & support yourself on a stick with the other. Slowly I had started to make this shell of a flat a home & started to see this place as a home for life.
Hall in 2004
then in 2009, incomplete but close.
But again things changed which changed my perception of this flat. I had spent a lot of time off work near on 5 yrs now, most of it I had used to get this flat in order. I am now healthier & not as disabled as before, and then near on 3 yrs ago I met someone. Someone who I fell in love with & over time has made me see this flat as just a place to live & no longer a home. And why is this, well she lives across the country from me & my heart is there, the rest of me wants to follow. So I guess home is truly where the heart is after all, for I feel this is no longer where I want to be now. I just see it as a roof over my head, a place I am trying to exchange for a new home.
Now don't get me wrong, this flat is looking good. A lot of work has got to make this my home, it’s just now it don't feel like it. It served me well as a home, but its time to move. This is why I am thinking of the past nine yrs in this flat, there’s been a lot going on in this place. Some good, some bad & probably make a good story, but in the end I have never regretted moving to this wonderful place & even though my heart is elsewhere, I do feel an attachment to this place. For I want to swap this place with someone in the area where my beloved lives, someone who like my place for what it is. I know if I can’t, I will have to surrender it back to the Council & go to private renting, where I won’t have as much freedom to make a home of it. But worse of all if I do surrender it; the Council will rip it all out & refit it to a blank canvas & undo all the good work I put in. A total waste of resources & finance, but that’s what they do!
I know my time here is now limited, I am planning to move this year (hopefully during the Summer). And I know when I do finally leave; it will be with a teary eye. For it will end a chapter with fond memories & photos & to start another life changing one…..