Yes finally, we’ve made our choice after four months of house hunting. A difficult task that, finding a house that wouldn’t keep us looking back nostalgically to the one we’d left behind. Ducks, orchard, village life…..aah, I love you with my rose tinted spectacles. Our roller coaster ride ends on Monday with the signing of the papers. Stress city stops here. What have we finally chosen?
The children had their hearts set on a little farm we’d shown them, oranges, figs, lemon and vines growing up the middle with a field big enough for two ponies, a courtyard, two barns and a lovely view from the garden. It was the sort of place I’d dreamed about so why had we not bought it?
We first approached this house when rain was bucketing down our necks, the view was clouded in mist and we couldn’t make it to the end of the garden without water leaking into our boots. A definite no. We went back again to show the children, the sun shone and they flitted around the outhouses happily. A definite yes. Meanwhile the estate agent rattled the door trying desperately to unlock it. Neighbours looked on, heads shaking, and a parrot next door peered over the wall from his cage. The agent then sent for a friend who turned up with the Portuguese equivilent of WD40. Still the lock wouldn’t work.
The children never did see inside. If they had they would have walked down a long, dark corridor with four small bedrooms on either side, a miniscule living room and a long kitchen. All perfectly acceptable but preferably after knocking some walls out, attic extensions and barn conversions. We are already in the middle of one renovation so NO WAY do we want to do any more work. In a new area. Where we have no contacts.
So what have we bought instead? No barns, no orange trees, no figs. Yet. A view of the countryside, tick. Space for the long dreamed of pool, tick. Space for a pony, tick. Light and spacious rooms, tick. No knocking through of walls needed or major building work, tick. The children don’t know all that yet though because the day we took them to see the house the locks had been changed and the agents didn’t have the key.
Sure, they’ll soon love it. Meanwhile, we are on the look out for an English speaking electrician, a painter and a glazier. Oh and someone with a digger type thing to remove the brambles. Definitely a firm to fit new shutters. Ah, and replace a couple of windows. Install a pool. Recommendations anyone? We are near Lisbon in central Portugal. Half an hour from the beach. What children wouldn’t love that?