Friday, 15 May 2009

On the move

Hey, Jenny and I are actually moving house at long last, fifteen months after we first put our own house on the market! We can't quite believe it's really happening - for definite!

After months of not getting any offers, and houses we planned to move to falling through for one reason or another, finally all the jigsaw pieces have fallen into place and we're off - from South Belfast to East Belfast.

In a couple of weeks we're leaving the posh, leafy streets of the South (Queens University, the Queens Film Theatre, fashionable Lisburn Road, the Botanic Gardens) for the almost as posh Belmont (Stormont, Campbell College and several other swanky schools).

Once again I'll have to completely reorientate myself, in an unfamiliar neighbourhood with different shops, bus routes, amenities, landmarks. I really love exploring a new area and getting to know all the backstreets and quirky old buildings.

But what an upheaval it is, so many details to sort out with so many people - estate agents, solicitors, removal men, buyers, sellers, banks, phone companies. And of course all the friends and relatives who have to be updated. Aaargh!

I will have lived in thirteen homes altogether, including my boarding school and a slummy bedsit in the illustrious Abbey Road. One was next door to Sade's house, two were in red light districts, two adjoined railway lines, and the present one is under a flight path.

One thing I know is, homes all have their distinct personalities. Some I could never live in, they feel cold and unwelcoming the moment I step through the door, while others just vibrate with happy, exuberant lives.

I wonder if some houses enjoy being houses, while others would rather not be there at all?

Photo: a typical Belmont street

NB: Blogging and commenting may be a bit erratic over the next few weeks, what with the run-up to moving and transferring our broadband connection. Be patient!

Jenny has given me the intriguing Noblesse Oblige Award - "for his constant efforts to make sense of the world - some entertaining, some deadly serious, all expressed wonderfully clearly." Well, gee thanks! Nepotism rules, okay!


  1. Congratulations, good luck with your move! Impressed with the name drop, my wife is a big fan of her music.

  2. Good luck with the move. Hang on to the kettle it is the first thing you need when moved in.

    I like the Belmont Road, had some fun times there before my friend moved to Scotland. She lived close to Campbell College.

    Enjoy, may the spirit of your new home be peaceful.

  3. Ooh, congratulations! It looks like a gorgeous area.

  4. Aidan - Funnily enough, I was always lukewarm about Sade's music, but she was a lovely person. She found a dead cat in her garden one day and knocked on every door in our block of flats looking for the owner.

    Grannymar - Thanks. The spirit of our new home seems exactly that.

    Caro - Thanks. It's a very charming neighbourhood.

  5. I send you my best wishes for happy residence in your new place. Having moved around quite a bit in my life too, I can quite understand what you feel just now. All the very best.

  6. An Irish blessing for you and Jenny, Nick:

    May you have warm words
    on a cold evening,
    A full moon on a dark night,
    And the road downhill
    all the way to your door.


  7. Ramana - Moving around can be fun now and again, but not too often. Children whose parents are always on the move can get very insecure.

    www - What a lovely blessing. I hope the road is all downhill too!

  8. Good wishes for your move and for happy days in your new home. As we've moved twice in the past 36 months I know what hard work it is! Msake sure that the box with the wine and corkscrew in it are clearly marked!

  9. How exciting! I'm glad for you. Almost jealous--it's a little adventure, a chance to begin anew!

  10. Good luck with your move.

    I think the houses that wish they weren't houses are the ones where you can feel an atmosphere as soon as you enter.

  11. Herschelian - Twice in 36 months, what a nightmare! Indeed, must make sure the wine is instantly accessible....

    Leah - Oh don't be jealous. It sounds like you have a fabulous home in Brooklyn. But yes, good to be still having adventures at 62!

    Suburbia - Good thinking. They probably pine away, wishing they were animals or birds instead.

  12. Hey well done and I don't envy the move but a new place is pretty cool. I'm still a lady in waiting . .wish someone would buy my place then I could retire and explore new backstreets! And yes, Nepotism rules, my kids are my greatest fans and I wouldn't have it any other way!

  13. I'm bikehikebabe, not Anonymous. We don't move. We've been in this house for almost 50 years. What a lot of STUFF one accumulates. And I'm a "pack rat". Maybe if we moved???

    How can I get rid of all the expensive stuff my mother bought. And what about the 1 cent postcard I wrote to her from camp in 1943, that she saved for 65 years.
    HELP, somebody.

  14. Best of luck with the move you guys! Hugs!

  15. Baino - I hope someone takes a fancy to your place and you can move as well!

    Anon - A bit of a problem there. I think you have to bite the bullet and say "I don't need all this stuff of my mother's, it has to go."

    GayƩ - Thanks! And hugs to you too! How's the top-secret project going?

  16. WWW that is beautiful and I am saving it for other uses. Thank you.

  17. Muddy - Thanks. Of course I can't reveal any more details because of the Data Protection Act, lol!

  18. What a lovely blog! Good luck on the move and try not to take too long of a leave of absence from blogging. Now that I've found this blog I'd like to see more of it.

  19. Kate - Glad you like it. Hopefully there won't be too much interruption of the normal ruminations. But there's plenty in the archives to entertain you!

  20. Hope you enjoy the wonders of friendly East Belfast. I do miss it!

  21. Alan - Sorry to hear that. I would have thought Lisburn was a good place to be....

  22. Alan - You've obviously had enough time to thoroughly compare the two!

  23. You're right: homes do have personlaities. Our home is happy - even the lady who came to do a survey said that.

    Good luck with the move. Hope it all goes smoothly.

  24. Liz - Thanks. This home felt happy when we first saw it, and other people have often said the same.