A Cottage in the Country

Two weeks ago today, I answered an ad for a granny cottage. It was partly furnished and sounded perfect. I was able to go and see it that morning and everything about it felt good. The owners are a friendly, generous retired couple and I liked them both immediately. We shook hands on the deal and arranged that I would start to move in three days later, when my sister, brother-in-law and I all had the day off.

That Thursday was a long process and involved the hire of a vehicle to transport the larger pieces of furniture – my grandfather’s hand-carved dining table, the big book case my father made for me nearly forty years ago, and two tall solid wooden bookcases that I wouldn’t go anywhere without.

We also began to move my smaller pieces of furniture, and some of the boxes, in three cars. That carefully packed Move Cube I loaded with such precision three years ago contained a lot more stuff than most people would imagine. Somehow, when you are saying goodbye to the only life you’ve ever known, and the country of your birth, you manage to squeeze a lot of stuff into the available space, in the hope of replicating at least part of that familiar life, in a new country.

I guess most humans gather more stuff over time than they think they have, and I’m no exception. Despite the fact that I’ve been living in a room in my sister’s house for three years, I’ve managed to acquire rather a lot of things.

The next two days were spent at work, with a bit of cleaning and measuring of the new cottage to make sure I knew where everything would fit. I don’t like to shuffle it around physically, so I do it all on paper first to get the right fit. Scale drawings are second nature to me after a lifetime spent in the theatre.

Three days later we all had Sunday off, and the rest of the stuff was moved in the cars. The last two items to move were the most precious of all – my two cats. I unloaded them into their new home after dark, plied them with catnip and food, and waited while they sniffed, ran around and eventually settled down to sleep on the familiar duvet covering my bed.

By last night – a week after that final move – most of my books had been unpacked and my new place was looking like the home I always imagined I would have here in Australia. It’s a medium sized cottage on a large property, just on the edge of horse country, and yet only twenty minutes away from work.

All five houses in this lane are old and huge, and the neighbourhood is quiet. The trees are tall and the birds are gloriously noisy. A cottage in the country is what I have always wanted, and it’s what I’ve got.

Soon I will have no excuse not to pick up my novel and write…

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10 thoughts on “A Cottage in the Country

  1. What? No more pictures? Would love to see how you settled in. 😀 (It’s been awhile! I actually deleted YOUR blog address thinking you were another Susan who had been awol for months. I only just realized when I got your newsletter thingy that I hadn’t been to your place in a while. So glad to have found you again! rolls eyes… I need a keeper!)

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    • I haven’t finished unpacking yet because not only am I relishing each moment as I unpack long lost treasures, but we’ve been quite busy at work, so I’ve been working extra hours. Will definitely most more photos in future blog-posts.

      (I wondered why I got a new notification that you were following my blog. Glad you came back!)

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  2. Welcome home, Susan! Setting up a new house is always inspiring and always a lot of work, but I hope you’ll find it more of the former once you have everything sorted and the “extras” given away or tossed. Now, you can create your own writing space in whatever room/nook you wish–having that space is inspiring in itself. Enjoy!

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    • Thank you. It’s a lovely feeling knowing that I can expand into a new space and get a fresh start. It’s amazing how much junk I brought with me, and it definitely needs sorting! I’m looking forward to gazing out of that narrow window on the extreme right of the photo as I work on my novel. That’s where my writing desk is set up, although at the moment it’s covered with stuff relating to my move…

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  3. Congratulations! It looks lovely and cozy and bucolic (I have always loved what “granny cottage” conveys). It has been 3 years and you have come a long way. May you have many happy days in your new home.

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