Finally we have a buyer and a house to move to in as much as they’ve accepted our offer now it’s all subject to contract ie surveys and long chains not breaking. Fingers tightly crossed everyone!

I was thinking back to how many  moves I have accomplished in my almost 44 years and I was shocked!

Born in London and bred in Brixton, we moved out to Dartford when I was a toddler and then onto Gravesend when I was in 1st year juniors (old timers will know what year that is) I stayed there until I had finished school at 17.

I then moved to Broadstairs to go to the college and after back up to London where I bumped into this awful man. I also bumped into this man who changed my life completely and off I went to Italia!

Even there, we moved from pillar to post, renting places whilst ours was being renovated. I totalled up 8 properties in 18 years. Throw in the odd separation/argument and add on another 5 dwellings.

Then as of  2004 when I returned to the UK I have totalled up another 4 homes including our current home.

22 different houses to call home in 44 years. That’s not a good statistic and I have everything crossed that our next nest will be for a long while, at least while the girls are at school but then I could win the lottery and if so, I’d move to my dream mansion and make it 23. Plus a home in Folgaria, plus a holiday home and a flat in London overlooking the Thames obviously depending how many millions I win :)

That’s an average of 1 house per two years!

marling way

Here’s a photo of the house we have bought, every single room in it needs working on as not to our taste or dated but I’m looking forward to the project and the fact of having a 100ft garden to play with. I want to create an allotment at the bottom to grow my own.

Fabulous news for us and now praying that all goes well with the contracts and solicitors.

Do you remember me mentioning Mr Elliot the other day? Pondering on how he too had been stung in a love story gone wrong? Well he has put an offer in on our place which we’ve accepted, albeit not quite what we were hoping for but it’ll have to do as I can’t wait a minute longer.

Tomorrow, 9.30am, we’ll be viewing a property which we have already looked at time and time again on internet with the intention of buying it too!

Actually we already viewed it last October. It’s owned by a Chinese family who run a local take away and although they asked us to view at 10.30, the bedrooms still had sleeping teenagers in them which didn’t make for the best viewing – in fact we opted for another place back then which we lost shortly after to people in a position to move.

Now they have moved out which is marvellous as it allows us to see the place properly, opening cupboards, checking the windows and looking at the flat roof too. All things you can’t do while the owners are still there.

I am so excited I can’t concentrate today, on anything. I am already mentally decorating the place up, smashing down the odd unnecessary wall and ripping up old fashioned carpets to lay down wooden floors. Oh the fun!

As for the 100 foot garden, I have already constructed a small allotment  down the bottom close to the shed with loads of goodies. The patio needs a good scrub and I can ‘see’ the future flower beds gloriously lining the garden fences full of colour, texture and height.

So after a week of relax chez mum’s and all this excitement happening, I am bubbling over with energy and the will to get on and take on this first major challenge of the year, ticking off one of my ‘must’ do’s’ for 2010 as written on my lifeplan.

We’re into the fourth month of 2010, how are you getting on with accomplishing anything you set yourself on Jan 1st?

broken heartMy latest house viewer, who incidentally has returned for a second viewing, is a man. He is begrudgingly selling his five bedroom detached house after the collapse of his marriage and the past three years of singledom.

That has got to be tough. Having worked for your dream house, obtained it and then only to have it all taken away.

He has been accompanied each time by his partner for a woman’s feel on the place and she is being very positive about our little pad. They’re not moving in together as they both have teenagers who will probably fly the nest one day, for work, university or who knows? Saving their final move for a few years down the line.

He’s a good-looking bloke who you instantly feel at ease with, he was quite jovial as he walked around the house for the first time, glancing in each room. It made me wonder what on earth had happened to his previous relationship? Why had it gone all wrong?

His concerns are majorly for his children which is very touching as although they will continue to live with their mother the 16 year old son will spend every other week with him and their daughter Hannah will visit every other weekend. He wanted to make sure the rooms would be big enough for them to be comfortable.

His budget has obviously been greatly reduced as he’s had to halve any proceeds from the sale of his property with his wife but as any bargain hunter he’s looking for the max.

Our third bedroom is a box room, you can get a single bed and a bedside table/tall cabinet by the side but not much else. Ample for a weekend stay and can be done up nicely to make it even more inviting but Leigh was worried as his daughter’s current room is 17 foot.

I mentioned the fact that Hannah would have a bigger room at her mum’s and the important thing was to spend time with him.

‘Don’t talk about her mum’ he replied with a gutted look in his eye.

Three years down the line and still choking on hearing her name mentioned is sad. I felt sorry for him but I shut my mouth before I stuck my foot in it any further and left his partner to carry on the convincing. I know that hurt and it takes time to heal.

As although in my case it was the man who cheated and I was devastated that is not always the case and this gentle man has been heart broken too.

Sometimes a hurt woman can proceed in life to class all men as evil. I know it took me a long time and many debates with Paul to believe in him and more than anything else trust him and his word. This was a clear sign to me that it’s not always the man who is the wrongdoer and there are many heartbroken men out there suffering just as much.

I hope he does buy my house. He’s second viewing another before he decides and I also hope he finds the happiness he deserves in the future, all this after two brief meetings.

It’s amazing how much we pick up on someone in the shortest space of time.

kitchen view

What awful weather we’re having! I wanted to go for a walk with the girls and take some shots to show you where we live but I stayed safe inside where it’s warm and cosy. This photo was taken from the kitchen window yesterday during a rare ray of sunlight.

Please note my Christmas Poinsettia still thriving on the window sill – first time EVER I’ve managed to keep one so long and my chicken from Key West which I have since seen in tourist shops dotted all over the UK and Europe!

sunset

As for outside, I see first of all the estate agents bill boards and then the magnolia tree in the centre, planted by the previous owners and just beginning to bud. I adore this tree and think it’s possibly my favourite, alongside a Weeping Willow oh and this one, a Walnut tree which I can see from the back windows, taken last summer when I spotted these fabulous colours in the sky.

St MIldreds

We live just outside London in North Kent so we’re surrounded by country parks and village pubs. We’re also only 50 mins from the seaside where we spend most of our weekends once the weather permits. Here’s a snap from last summer at the end of the day before packing up with one twin (Bessie) sliding out of the buggy! I love the way the tide turns so dramatically in this part of the world, leaving a hard surface to walk on.

big ben

And I couldn’t leave without a photo of London which is my favourite city in the world. A shot of Big ben taken a few years back now whilst taking my Italian friends on a tour.

These photos are for Tara’s The Gallery week 5 – Outside my front door, please go and have a look at the other entries which are fabulous.

Tara – I promise to sort out the badge by next week! – been a bit manic this week over here x

The best job I ever had was with the people you can see here in the photo and it has to be said they are the loveliest people to work with.

This job was my lifeline out of Italy and back to the UK. It was the job where everything started to fall into place for me and for my life, at long last, to start going right and it was the job that restored the confidence in me that had been chiseled away over the years in Italy.

I moved from Italy on the 31st August 2004 and first day at work was 3rd August, the following Monday. A turn around that still today defeats all belief. How did I do that?

My role was in the Travel Trade Relations Department. I was to work alongside Diego (not in the photo but on holiday in Thailand at the time!) and it was our job to promote Italy with all of its beautiful destinations to the Travel companies that you bump into everyday with the hope they would put more and more destinations in their brochures for you to choose from. From Thomas Cook to lastminute.com, they all came under our umbrella.

In order to promote Italy to its best, we had to have contacts with the Italians of course and the tourist departments in every region would call us up with ideas to promote their corner of the peninsula. So you see it was our job to connect the two together, the regions would run workshops and invite members from various travel agencies to their homeland. They would organise flights, accommodation and entertainment and in the few days they hosted these new contacts they would show off their towns, resorts, museums and restaurants to the best of their abilities. Of course the best bit was frequently we were asked to go along too, in order to help with the hosting, the translation and the organising.

Have you had the pleasure of The Italian Experience? If you have you’ll agree it’s one you’ll never forget, if you haven’t make sure it’s on your list of ‘Things To Do Before I Die’. I promise you won’t regret it.

An amazingly open, friendly bunch of people, and they adore children making us look so stern sometimes. Their food, their ice cream, their wines, their art. I could go on forever, please go there and see for yourself.

I personally helped out on a trip to Rome another to Venice and my favourite a ski trip to Trentino where I had previously lived for so long. Not to mention all of the events organised in London, around the UK and Ireland.

I left the company as Paul and I wanted children and time was running out for me as 40 had been and gone. After losing a baby at 21 weeks of pregnancy and a succession of two more miscarriages, I opted to find a job closer to home so my body stood a better chance at getting pregnant and holding on to it.

I miss the job which brought the best out in me, I miss the buzz of working so close to Oxford Street with the flagship Topshop store just over the road but most of all I miss my wonderful colleagues. I’d give my right arm to go back tomorrow but this cannot be whilst my girls are so small and maybe wouldn’t be right. Things change, people move on. I could probably never recapture that time again so it remains a favourite memory with the badge of Best Job Ever.

If you have a quick mo, visit their web site which was one of the last projects I was working on before I left. Italian Tourist Board

This post was writen for Josie’s Writing Workshop I chose prompt 2 and am so pleased I have had a chance to remember these wonderful people in my blog. Writing workshopThanks Josie :)