I spent a lot of the day yesterday feeling a bit churned up inside. We’ve been talking a lot lately about things we want to do and ideas for the future. This is normal for us at the end of the holidays. We like to have projects in mind and K particularly gets a bit fidgety if he doesn’t have something to plan or think about other than work.
As you know while we were away this summer we decided that next year we would like to go abroad so we’ve been looking at possible destinations and accommodation. A few years ago we went to Menorca and stayed in a private villa with its own pool. In stark contrast to our previous and only other holiday abroad with both children, it was bliss. No early rising to bagsie a sunbed. No being made to feel unsociable by other holidaymakers. No bar next door to your room. No children other than your own to annoy you. You get the idea. We’re not sociable people and we like to do our own thing. The idea of an apartment in a huge complex fills me with dread. A villa is the only way forward. But SO expensive when you look at package deals, and going just for a week doesn’t seem long enough, or in fact much cheaper.
So we’ve gone off piste and looked at booking it ourselves. K’s colleague has used a company several times that act like a sort of holiday broker; a one stop shop but you choose the component parts: villa, flights, transfers, etc. it shows you the options and you add it all together. But you’re still pretty much booking it yourself. Scary. But ridiculously cheaper. Anyway we’ve bitten the bullet and booked two weeks in the Canary Islands. It’s still a hell of a lot more than our usual holiday cottages in the UK but we promised ourselves we’d be nicer to us next year. Still makes me feel a little bit anxious in the pit of my stomach. What if the villa company/flight company goes bust? What if one of us gets made redundant? What if? What if? Story of my life (and mostly in the middle of the night).
Another topic of discussion recently has been our house. We never intended that this would be a long long term abode. We’ve been here eight years at Christmas and I think we both envisaged that we’d have been able to afford to move by now. However it’s very clear that a move is out of the question. Our house is valued at a lot more than when we bought it but so is everyone else’s. And we just can’t make the step up to the next bracket. So we’re staying here for the foreseeable future. Which is fine except there were quite a few things that we compromised on when we bought this house 8 years ago: only one toilet – not an unmanageable issue and certainly not a deal breaker but an extra loo would be handy; the size of A’s bedroom – becoming more of an issue the older she gets. I had a small room growing up and it didn’t kill me but hers is smaller and very cramped. And her brother has a double sized room which seems a little unfair; the kitchen and the garage – the kitchen is not big but it’s ok and we’ve made the best of the space by sticking the tumble dryer and freezer and other gubbins in the garage. But we can only access the garage from outside on the patio. This is not fun in the rain. Or the snow. Or at night in the dark.
With all this in mind and having concluded that we’ll be living with it for a considerable number of years more we have discussed how we could extend or rather “if”. In the meantime we’ve decided to get the wall between our lounge and dining rooms blocked up – more options with the furniture, more privacy for T when tutor here, better for me working etc – so yesterday morning my friend’s husband came to give us a quote. While he was here we picked his brains about extending. Just to see if we could. Ideally we’d like to go out a bit at the back to enclose the door to the garage and add some space and then maybe go out over the garage to make A’s room bigger. “Yes that shouldn’t be any problem.” What? Really? Could we get a loo in the downstairs bit? “Absolutely”. Ok. Oh bloody hell. We could do it. We could have a better house. Now we just need to find out if we can afford it. Oh. Pit of stomach feeling a little bit more churned up now.
And to finish off my stomach churning day, we left the children in the house alone for a forty minutes while we nipped out. We’ve never done this before but again it’s something that’s come up in discussion quite a bit recently. T is 13 now and we’ve been letting him stay at home on his own for shortish periods for a while. He lets himself in from school if I’m not back and is generally very responsible. He’s mortified when we arrange sitters insisting thatwe make it clear that they are only here for A and that he’s more than able to look out for himself. We’ve been invited to our neighbours for dinner in a few weeks and a debate ensued as to whether we need a sitter. On the face of it probably not: we will be just over the road; T is very responsible; we can keep coming back to check. However when you start to think about it: he’s a deep sleeper and wouldn’t hear a fire; do we want to keep coming back over in the middle of an evening out?; is A going to settle without an adult downstairs?. We decided no, we would arrange a sitter for A. But agreed that we could probably pop out and leave them for a short time during the day. Neither wanted to come to the DIY shop so off we went. As I locked the door I felt like I was sentencing them to death. I clutched my phone in a death grip the entire forty minutes and sighed a huge outpouring of relief when we go back. They were both still alive and the house had not burned down. Obviously. Still getting a sitter though. My stomach can’t handle an evening of that.