Around this time, Alice started coming home from creche with an ever growing vocabulary of funny little words and phrases. Daraghs and my favourite was the very random but oft repeated “All Aboard, Choo Choo”. This soon become the mantra/slogan/calling card of our little family. You would be suprised by how many situations you can use this phrase in or for.
Anyway, sale agreed, the nephew in a massive move of trust/mentalness gave us a key even though we hadnt closed (oh yes, that was in fact nearly a year away but that is a whole other post!). Daragh was MAD keen to get over and have another goo. I was terrified, trying to put it off but he was having none of it. In the end, I was practically carried over the threshold and not in a romantic newlywed way and yep, my first thought was exactly as I suspected. “What the f@*k have we done?”
Having now agreed to pay every last little penny we had in the whole world plus even more we didn’t for this place, I was a little more attentive to my surroundings. It was even worse then I remembered.I genuinely for once am not exaggerating when I say that even rats would not live there.
It was like an episode of World’s Worst Hoarders Uncovered meets the Marie Celeste. Actually literally in bits, it was like the previous owner just looked up one day, mid cup of tea and thought “Christ this place is a complete dump, Im off. Permanently” More than a little creepy and actually really sad, there were still signs of every day life everywhere: milk cartons and tea bags out on a tray, a max factor lipstick next to the mirror in the hall, Tesco shopping bags next to the front door.
In fact, it took me ages to actually even see past all of the sheer volume of “stuff” that remained. Once we began to see past the actual mounds and mounds of crap everywhere, it was clear that the whole place was falling down. Not in a sweet doer upper way. More a very real “this is actually quite dangerous to even be in here, there is sunlight in that room that is coming through the ceiling and not the window, oh and be careful not to walk on the floors if you can help it as they are kind of caving in so if you could just float around that would be better.” kind of way.
I think this is one situation where the pictures say it all.
I was horrified. Suddengly the amazing inherent vision I always thought I had when I watched property programmes to see past all the crap and imagine the shiny white end reveal abandoned me. I got unbelievably sweaty, itchy palmed and nerve rashy and was desperate to turn and leg it out of there and pretend the whole thing never happened.
Daragh was also looking sweaty, shifty and had a very odd look in his eyes. We left. Upon coming home (10 seconds later), we both said nothing for a sec but then as I started to speak/babble/cry , Daragh cut in eyes shining: “I know”, he said, “Isnt it just amazing. I cant believe we got it, Im so excited. This is the luckiest thing ever”.
I meekly mumbled “Choo Choo, All Aboard”.