When I look back at the rather short amount of time I have spent living on this planet, I realise that all the best things that ever came to me did so in the most unusual and unexpected of ways. But when they came, I immediately knew that they were going to stay and that they brought with them their own stories that I would cherish repeating for years to come. Shane happened to me like that. And so did this home.
I mentioned on the little house tour video we did a couple of weeks ago that I'd been looking for a new place for about eighteen months, although I'm not sure if you even caught that, what with the audio having been an utter mess for the first 7 minutes. Sorry about that! I hope your ears have stopped bleeding by now.
I think I first decided to at least start looking at what was available on the market when one of the first instances with our old boiler took place. Aaah, how fondly I remember those days of yore when a steady stream of nice warm water in the shower got replaced by what felt like sharp deadly icicles piercing through our bodies. No, I could never really come to laugh about that agony. Or at least right now is too soon. But as I was saying, I'm quite sure it was around that time, by mid-2016, that I first started looking.
The problem, however, was that we were in debt at the time and I had just started earning money as a blogger - money that wasn't even enough to buy lunch for two people for more than seven consecutive days let alone contribute to the couple of extra hundred pounds we'd have to pay to move to even a place with the same square footage.
Before I go on with this story, I should pause for a second and explain why I keep saying I was looking for a new place, and not that we were. The fact is, Shane being Shane, he could not give a rat's arse about where we lived, whether the boiler was broken or if the roof fell in. Literally. Towards the end of our tenancy, we noticed that there were thin lines of water streaming down the roof near the entrance, and when we got our property agents to have a look at it, they discovered that the space between the flat upstairs and our roof was gradually filling up with a pool of water. A pool that could one day make the roof give in. But who couldn't care less about any of that? Shane, that's who.
Since mid-2016, I've lost count of the number of apartments I've viewed. I've viewed them with other people, I've viewed them with just Shane, and one apartment, I even viewed just by myself because Shane couldn't make it in time and the agents were getting pretty impatient when I suggested that we wait for him. My morning routine around that time was pretty much: wake up, have breakfast, browse through property websites for half an hour, work, refresh property website, eat, refresh property website, sleep, dream of property website, wake up, feel dead inside. Everywhere I went, I looked for new developments and could gauge how much a place might cost by just being in an area or having a look at a kitchen or a window.
Finally, on one particular day in January 2018, just about a week after I returned from a stressful time in India, I booked three viewings in one day for the first time in my life. And I still can't figure out how I did it, but I convinced Shane to accompany me to all three because one was scheduled for right before he had to get to work and the other two (that were situated close to each other) during his lunch hour. On the day of the viewings, just as we were hurriedly getting out of our apartment in the morning to make it in time for the first session, I got a call saying the first apartment had already been "taken off the market" which is code for "things here work on a first come first serve basis unless you're a bachelor or have pets".
By the time we had to get to the second viewing during lunch, Shane was in one of his foulest moods ever, and was passive-aggressively letting me know that he was extremely unhappy to have been dragged away from his desk during a crazy time at work to view a flat that we weren't going to get anyway. And about five minutes before we got to this place, I had had enough with his passive-aggression and told him in a fit of anger that I was giving up. That once the day was done, I'd stop looking for apartments altogether and that the third apartment of the day was going to be the last one we'd ever view until he decided to take initiative a find a place himself.
As it turned out, the apartment we had this argument at was simply abhorrent, and as we inched our way closer to the last and final one, I found myself hoping that it wasn't going to be too different from what I'd seen in the pictures. This was the one that I'd been waiting to see the most and in all respects, it seemed a good fit for our needs. Moreover, I was pretty serious about giving up looking if this last one didn't work out although my gut told me that I wouldn't have to look any further. And most of the time, your gut is right.
It most definitely didn't resemble what I'd seen in the pictures - it was much better in person. It was love at first sight, to say the least. In fact, we were so giddy with love that we even forgot that we'd been arguing up until a few minutes ago.
I'd applied to view this place just half an hour after it had been listed and the agent assured me that we were the first people viewing the property. Within two hours of the viewing, I had sent in our application, and I'm guessing that the next morning, someone else got a call saying that the property had been "taken off the market".
I was serious when I said I'd decided to stop looking, you know. And I think someone somewhere heard me and decided it was time for me to stop too.