Year down

Cards again. Birds again this year – some folk-ish stylised hens and some that have got a bit out of hand, currently with referred to as the anarcho-chickens.

In the meantime, a year has passed in this house and while not much art has been done, the toilets are no longer leaking, the windows don’t rattle every time a car drives past and there is no longer a whistling draught blowing down the hall. The broken washing machine has been replaced, although we haven’t managed to get the cupboard door put back on, as all the holes are in different places. Six or seven rubble bags of vines and thorns have been dragged to the dump, there are pears and raspberries in the freezer and two boxes of apples, deep blood red like ones from a fairy tale, sit in the shed.

We know the place better now; where to park and who the neighbours are, when the bins go out and how to open the back gate when it swells in the damp.

I’m trying to enjoy living in this generous old house, with its garden and the absurdly gothic cemetery beyond, but it still feels precarious, being here. When it rains, I fret about the roof, and in the drought about subsidence. Even in good times we didn’t expect to be here forever and it would be hard to call these good times. Everything has to be done with an eye to keeping options open, hanging on until school is done with if we can, one eye always on the lookout for an escape route.