I wasn’t intending to blog this week, which would have made it two non-blogs in a row. Last week I had no free time at all, and this week I caught a lurgy, which made me feel a bit sorry for myself. Excuses, excuses…
— Phil Jewitt (@philjewitt) September 26, 2012
The shame of it
It was Kate who came up with the brilliant idea of a photo marathon – the visual equivalent to Janet Davis’ Songs of Me challenge. Basically, the challenge is to submit photos and blog about any of the ten topics listed in Kate’s post: A Weekly Blog Club Photomarathon Challenge. Er, by yesterday.
I really enjoyed the Songs of Me challenge, and I was hoping to earn extra cake by submitting photos for all ten topics this time too. However, given that I’m already late, I’m limiting this post to the topic I find easiest: A sense of the place you live.
I know the norm in the UK is to buy a house – or at least it used to be – but I’ve never been keen on setting foot on that ladder, and my partner Nicky and I have rented places for many years.
No longer stationary
We moved out of our last place around three years ago because it was so damp that chunks of brickwork had started disintegrating, and storage heating really wasn’t up to the job. Sounds horrible, I know, but it was a nice large victorian house with a decent garden in a brilliant location on the edge of the South Downs National Park, right next to the River Itchen. I don’t use a car, and it also had great access to the railway (clue: the house was called Station House)
Our landlord at the time – Network Rail – agreed to sort out the damp, but they asked us to move in to a portacabin for up to three months whilst the work was carried out, and we chose to move out instead.
Saw it on the Internet
I spent ages searching for something we could afford, and got rather worried, as prices had risen a lot since we had last looked. We also had two dogs to consider, and many landlords automatically exclude even well-behaved dogs.
So I was amazed to find an advert on the web for a large house, with land, at a price we could nearly afford. We went to see it. To be honest, there were all sorts of problems and complications with the house which I won’t go in to, but the pluses far outweighed the negatives.
It’s a wild life.
Whilst we were waiting to have a look at the house, I heard a woodpecker. A few minutes later, deer dashed across the bottom of the garden and a Sparrow Hawk* landed on a fence post near to where I was standing. I was hooked.
Here are a few photos of the neighbours. There are some more on the ‘About‘ page of my blog.
Sorry the gallery isn’t very good. I haven’t done one before and somehow I managed to lose all the captions! I will replace it with something better at the weekend.
The captions should have mentioned stuff like:
- new foals born right in front of the house
- crows who terrorise the local foxes and buzzards
- raiders of bird food come in all shapes and sizes
- ducks who come to stay in the Winter when it’s wet
- butterflies, acrobatics, dogs and snakes that aren’t
* It was actually a Kestrel