We Irish have a unique way of expressing ourselves through the spoken word. If you haven’t heard the above expression before I should explain that it refers to something that one might inherit from a parent or grandparent. Personally, I blame my grandmother. My grandparents moved house 13 times. Not a record by any means I’m sure. However, this occurred over an 8 year period, after my grandfather had retired from the County Donegal Railways.
These were houses that they had purchased, not rented. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this story is not the number of times they moved in a relatively short period of time but the fact that they (and I promise this is true) actually bought the same house twice! There was no particular reason for these moves other than “she felt like it”. There were excuses made. She (it was always my grandmothers decision, apparently) fell out with the neighbours. She didn’t like the planes flying overhead. She was too far from the shops. She was too near to the shops.
As a result it is an ongoing joke in our house to say at the dinner table:
a) “When are we moving house again?”
b) “Is it time to go back to one of our previous houses yet?”
The usual answer to these questions is invariably “I don’t know, but I would never say never” and “none of them are for sale at the moment”. However, if I were to be asked the first question this week, the answer would be “maybe this year”.
You see, after much deliberation, we (and it is we, not I!) have decided to put our house on the market. Why? Well obviously because we like to torture ourselves and our children. When we told them, their reaction was “oh, ok, when?” Then, when they had digested it they gradually came up with ideas for things we could or should do in the next house. These ranged from a requirement for a trap door into a sleeping area with a fireman’s pole like in the movie the Princess Diaries to a request for a spiral staircase in a bedroom.
Actually we have only lived in 4 homes that we owned (and another few that we rented) each one quite different from the other and each time we have genuinely believed that “that this is the house we will stay in forever.” Our children often say that they wonder how other people can remember when certain events happen in their lives, as we tend to remember events by where we were living at the time!
So, back to why we are on the move again. Well I inevitably spend a lot of my time looking at property and the property market in general. Recently I found myself looking at properties for sale and thinking, “mmh, nice house “ or “nice street” “that could be interesting”. So, after doing this for a while we began to think maybe it’s time to try something new. The bottom line is we are designers and we love what we do. Our homes reflect our design ethos and how that ethos is implemented in practical terms. So, whether it’s a new build or a restoration project, we do it first and foremost to create as great a home for our family as possible. We do this to the best of our ability, respecting materials and heritage whilst being as innovative and ecologically minded as possible, learning from each move.
So, for now it’s a case of “For Sale”. For the future, who knows? Maybe we will build another contemporary home, or buy a place in France or Italy, maybe save another house from dereliction. The excitement is building! The only thing that is quite unlikely to happen is the prospect of buying a house that’s perfect as it is. But then again, I would never say never!
Ps. For the record: I have lovely neighbours, there are no planes flying overhead, we are just the right distance from the shops and this time we will definitely buy the house that we will stay in forever.