Number 85

Rachel’s writing always has a dreamy quality.  She’s captured it perfectly here. talking about her first year in her new home.  We’ve talked about home a lot recently on the blog.  Here, home represents family, experiences, history, nature, a place to be.  I want to sink into Rachel’s description of her home and how it changes over the course of one year.  Hell, I even want to scrub her stone floor.  It’s beautiful.  Oh, and the pictures.  Ethereal.  Over to you, Rachel:   

27th July 2011

We’ve been looking for 18 months, sold a flat, moved into a rented flat, put one offer in and then it fell through, changed area, viewed more houses than we care to remember, been on familiar first name terms with at least one estate agent before we reach today. Walking to the estate agents to collect the keys to our new house. This is our home, together, for a very long time. What will we discover, how will life turn, what memories will we create here?

August 2011

The first week in our new home, popping to B&Q, our new high street and a new supermarket. It felt a little like being on honeymoon.  To strangers in the street we’re just another couple but we have a secret, we’ve just moved into our home.  I buy a scrubbing brush for our stone kitchen floor. I think about the, most probably, women who’ve knelt and scrubbed it before me. What were their lives like? Their hopes, their dreams? 

September  2011

Getting used to the new commute. Itching to get home in the evening. The thrill of the key in the door, our door, our home.  Picking too many apples for us to eat from our apple tree. Lots and lots of visitors – wonderful friends and family.  They really do love our home – and it’s not just because they are polite.

October 2011

We now have a window cleaner, an electrician and a carpenter to call on – how very adult and grown up. With the carpenter we now have more bookshelves and can now decide where to put all our books. This is the first time all our books have been out together – it’s a joy. How to organise, which books do we have that are the same? A whole new To Be Read pile.

November 2011

Adjusting to our home in winter. Our windows really do need restoring, but phew the heating really does work! Experimenting with lights and using automatic timers, having lived in flats in London this is different. A month of saying “No entertaining”. 

December 2011

The all important decision. Where to place our Christmas tree? Discovering that our local florist sells red berries. A family Christmas party. We all fit in. Playing ‘Stations’ in our front room. Continuing the memory of  family parties from my aunt and mother’s childhood to twin and my childhood, and onto our niece and nephew. Waking up on Christmas morning. Opening our presents in the front room, tree lights twinkling, fire sparkling. Hosting bucks fizz drinks before walking to Warmth’s brother’s for the day. 

January 2012

Celebrating the  New Year with friends round for New Year’s Day supper. Enjoying our new community in the snow. Realising that the trains do still work in the snow. Enjoying the celebrations in becoming a Royal Borough, for the Olympics.   

February 2012

Our home is taking shape. Furniture from two small flats doesn’t really fill a lovely three bedroom house. I found the larger decisions – curtains, sofas a little stressful when decorating my little flat. I love making these decisions together. We like similar things. I’ve had my turn decorating the ‘pink palace’, as my flat was affectionately called, now for something a little more grown up. Warmth loves all the research, and Ebay – hello new dining room table for £100. A great joy for me is prettifying my dressing table. 

March 2012

Itching to get into our garden. I love seeing the new life. The bulbs I’d planted are peeping through, the previous owners’ bulbs also. Our pruned apple tree is looking like the blossom will open. Oh and a rotary clothes dryer for the garden is purchased.  

April 2012

Our newly-decorated dining room is ready for eight people on Easter Sunday. Easter decorations – an Easter tree and retro Easter bunting. My mother is emptying the loft, now we are in a house, of school books, letters, photos, cards so one last outing for the primary school c. 1970’s Easter cards. An Easter egg hunt and races in the garden. A hose pipe ban – my garden! A bucket is bought for collecting shower water and a watering can for by the sink. 

May 2012

The garden, oh how lovely it is to have a garden. Everything is awakening. The rose bushes I planted have survived. This year we get to see all the foxgloves – we arrived last year to their faded glory. Planting a honeysuckle on the terrace for the scent. Discovering that I do actually like garden centres, remembering the years of wandering behind my mother and grandmother so bored at their discussions on every plant – oh no I’ve turned into them! Continuous rain so the bucket and watering can are put away.

June 2012

Hosting my birthday party, 28 adults and 10 children. Thankfully the rain stays away, we would not have all fitted inside. Warmth has bought some ponchos just in case. Lovely to see everyone milling around using inside and outside. Talking, laughing making more memories for us and everyone. Discovering that our laundry cupboard is a great place for hiding, when playing hide and seek, but one must be found as there is now way of getting out from inside once in! 

July 2012

The hosepipe ban has been lifted. I find it so peaceful pottering, when it’s dry in the evenings. Picking flowers from our garden. Next year I hope to learn more about gardens and the flowers that make good cut flowers. Waiting for the summer holidays to arrive so I have time to potter and mooch in our home. 


Our first year in our home is drawing to a close.  It’s no longer ‘new’ in that sense, but there will always be discoveries. It’s been a wonderful first year and we look forward to year two, and onwards, with delight. This was the right house for us to buy. It was worth the wait.


Categories: Life Experience
26 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted August 2, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I love this post! It makes me feel all safe and fuzzy reading it, and reminds me of all the things I love about my own place. Home really is a space you make yourself, and the feelings of belonging you create there are just as important as the bricks and mortar.

    Love the pink trews on the washing line too – yessss ;)


  2. Posted August 2, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    This is really lovely. Proof that it’s almost always the little things that bring the most pleasure.

    Wishing you lots more happy years in your home

  3. Sandra C
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Absolutley gorgeous, evocative writing. It’s sometimes the small things that pass us by like a growing love for garden centre visits (rung true with me too!) and the passing seasons that can be missed and go unrecorded, merging into one over time. Forgotten moments in a relationship and in the life of a house. I read once that ‘a house is a machine for living in’, but that doesn’t reflect the emotion involved and invested. I know that my huisband sees it as ‘just a house’, but for me it’s the fun had choosing things, the bargain-chasing and winning (yes!!) of a piece on EBay that makes the house. Memory making. That’s what makes a house. xx

  4. Posted August 2, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I feel like I’ve snuck into the secret world of Rachel and Warmth, a whole year compacted into a time lapse of toing and froing with these specific moments you talk about explored in real, slow time. And now I’m back out on the street again, looking back through the front door as it gently closes. How very lovely.

    Like Amy says, this has reminded me of all the things I love about our home. I’m also thinking of the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic zeros song. Oh the quirks, the history, the cycle of season to season. Life is sweet.

  5. Posted August 2, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    This is in my top five AOW pieces of writing ever (-do I always say that about Rachel’s posts?!)
    So dreamy, so happy and the photos go perfectly. Makes me excited to have our very own house, whenever that may be…

  6. Frances
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Magic – I feel like I’ve been through a house version of that scene in Notting Hill where he walks through the market in all the different seasons. I hope beyond hope that we one day have a house like this – full of fuzzy happiness and new, small but poignant memories (goes without saying I also want a stone floored kitchen and that ceiling light – gorgeous).

    • Posted August 2, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I know it’s cheesy but that’s one of my all time favourite bits of a film.

      • Frances
        Posted August 2, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Me too! I love the music and the fact I spot new things every time I watch it.

  7. Posted August 2, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Flippin’ love this. Will you keep on doing this, Rachel? Makes me feel so positive about the idea of one day being able to record life in our own home.

    Also, I love those champagne glasses on your dresser!

    • Posted August 2, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Esme – How is your home searching going? So glad this makes you positive about your future home. Maybe I will keep a brief record of each month for this year too.

  8. Posted August 2, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Oh that made me cry a little bit! That’s my dream house with my dream ‘first year in’ explained in such lovely writing…

  9. Posted August 2, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    This gave me actual goosebumps to read. I’m so excited about hopefully having a house soon (we’re currently on the hunt).

  10. Vivienne
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    This is lovely. I’m glad I’m not the only one who garners great joy from having a rotary dryer (or a whirligig as I call mine). Wishing you many, many more happy months and years in your home xxx

    • Posted August 2, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Whirligig! Blast from the past, that’s what my grandma used to call it!

  11. Posted August 2, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Thank you all for your lovely comments. How apt to post this today as I sit with banging of windows being restored around me!

    • Posted August 2, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      ps. Thank you AOW for giving all of us the chance to write our thoughts and emotions to share with others. It’s a real privilege and chance to find ones own writing voice.

  12. Katielase
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    This is such a gorgeous piece of writing, I feel like I was entirely immersed in your world and at the end was oh-so reluctant to come back out into reality. You capture perfectly all the little details that bring joy to life and a home, and express them in a way that reminds me of all the things I love about our home, and longing for all the plans I have for our future home, when we find it.

    K x

  13. Clare
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I just love your writing Rachel; it’s always so evocative and poetic, and a joy to read.

    You’ve made me miss our home in the UK so much.

  14. Hannah
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Lovely, just lovely.

    Hope year 2 is just as good as year 1


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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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