Until now I have been selective with the images that I have shown of our new home, I’m not really sure why that is. It’s not our decoration or mess or rubbish or damage so I have nothing to be embarrassed about do I? We have simply inherited what has been left by a combination of the previous owners efforts and the councils rip it all out and ignore the rest approach.
Maybe part of me has been reluctant to share because it makes it real doesn’t it? BAM! Here’s a photo of our home in all it’s glory, this is our reality. Maybe it’s because I’m worried you might all see something that I don’t and say ‘oh it’s fine! You’re worried about nothing’ or worse, that I’m ungrateful because it’s been provided by the government and it’s cheep and a damn sight better than being left homeless. I know. I can see Jeremy Kyle curling his lip as he spits ‘grow a pair, put something on the end of it and grow up because we’re paying for you and your baby’ at me. I really, really know.
Yesterday I wrote this and after a day offline I logged onto support and care and love and loveliness that made me sob a little and floored me a bit at just how amazing a community can be. Thanks in the most part to a certain flame haired goddess of blogging my post got around and people wanted to help.
Now, I’m not great with help. I’m learning and I’m trying to get better at accepting it when I need to but frankly no one wants to say that they can’t provide what their family needs do they? I certainly never expected, in a millionmillionmillion years to get the response that I did. Really, I am amazed and touched and just wow.
So because you’re all so lovely and you asked and it means so much and I really have no way to thank you I have decided that honesty is the way forward. But please know that this is not me asking for charity or begging or taking advantage. |This is not me asking for pity. Truly, having such a lovely bunch behind me gives me all that I need.
BAM! Here is our house. I don’t think the photos do it justice. Mainly because they’re dark (no electricity) and were taken covertly when we were being shown around.
The wallpaper in the main bedroom and lounge needs to be stripped because its really beyond repair, as are the walls that they hide. There is no way that we can afford to carpet the floors so the husband is currently a blur in a mist of sawdust as he sands the floorboards as best as he can in the hope that with a bit of stain they’ll be ok.
The bathroom is just ick, even after I emptied a bottle of bleach down the toilet, and the thought of touching the vinyl tiles that are stuck directly to the floorboards and ripped up in places makes me come over all funny.
Jamie and Joshs Beans room thankfully is probably going to cause us the least bother and this makes me happy because I am determined that we can make it super nice for her to soften the blow of all the unsettled-ness.
If fact that is why this all hits me so hard, it’s Beans. She’s old enough to be affected but not big enough to properly understand. I want to make a home that is bright and warm and comfortable and above all, safe for her. I want her to be happy there and have toys and space and love, not the current patches of damp and crumbling walls and dangerous garden…
I have picked up a couple of bits of cheap furniture where I can which I’m actually pretty pleased about a) because it was cheap, b) because it’s retro fabulous and c) because all our money needs stretching as far as it can when we have paint and food and paint and cookers and wood and turf and sofas and paint and flooring and furniture and bleach and everything else to buy too.
So that’s it, that is our reality. If any kindly PRs need furniture reviews or appliance reviews or have spare toys to spoil Beans because I feel so guilty then you know where I am. But your support means more to me than anything.
Edited to add:
Due to the absolute influx of totally unexpected interest and support over this post I want to add a few things:
As mentioned above, but to clarify, these photographs were taken during the viewing of the property. In the photograph of the lounge you can see boxes which, as stated in the comment below the image, shows new kitchen units which were installed prior to the keys being given to us.
The majority of rubbish has been cleared and when we pointed out the ‘health and safety’ issues that the garden posed, the uneven ground was removed and shingled over. The end of the garden (seen in the photo above) runs alongside a public alley and currently there is no fencing at all along the boundary meaning the rear of the property is totally open. Fencing will be erected there but we are waiting to hear when this work will be done, as well as a repair to the gate to the front garden (it doesn’t open) and the replacement of the broken and graffiti painted kitchen window. The damaged floorboards that you can see in the above images have been replaced and a toilet seat has been fitted.
The rest of the house remains exactly as these photographs show. We were given a voucher to help towards the costs of ‘decoration’ and although much needed and appreciated it won’t even cover half of the costs per room and all the work will be done by ourselves. I lucked out when I married someone who has the skills needed to do all the work and obviously it is extremely normal to decorate when moving into a new home – however to say we are not shocked at the sheer amount of work needed (all the wallpaper needs removing because of the state it’s in, the floors need work etc etc etc) and the condition in which we received the property would be a lie. It will take much more than a fresh coat of paint and really is not liveable at all, especially with a young toddler.
I am saying these things now in the hope that it answers the questions that some have asked and to make everyone aware that in no way have I exaggerated things or deliberately omitted information. This post was written merely to illustrate our reality, the life that our family is living right now. I never expected the reaction that it has caused and the support has been overwhelming. In spite of everything, I know that there are people in much worse situations and believe me, I am grateful that we have a system that provides housing to those who need it.
While I’m here I want to thank every single person that has taken time to read, email, comment, tweet and message me. I have had over 500 messages in the 48 hours since this post was published. All of your support means so much to me and I will get back to every single one of you.