How long have we lived here? Hard to answer. Nobody really wants the details. Could say 4 years in May I suppose (FOUR?!) But it wasn’t really ‘home’ then, just a whim, a Monday to Friday rented flat to make life easier/more interesting. Our first-floor city-centre pad, our ‘lurve nest’, our escape.
Long story short – didn’t want to move out after our 6 months, ended up buying the whole tatty, long-time rental property, both flats – inheriting the ground floor tenant for a while until she found somewhere else. All decided STC October 2014, completed on purchase March 2015. So… that’s 3 years then? Except we only lived upstairs. Upstairs like the bridge of a ship with wide wooden plank floors and this arched window where I sit and stare and muse in this room, my room, with the view that convinced us to rent the place in the beginning.
I wanted a sunny room, a place to rest and write. I’ve got this great hanging chair, perfect in front of the window. It’s a tiny bedroom really – someone came to the door once and told me his aunt slept in here years ago. And we think that before that it was the landing at the top of a set of stairs that existed beside the front door – you could see the way it had been decorated when we took the old paper off the walls. An old house – built around 1838? Before the Museum was a non-conformist Victorian school.
I have the best view in Leicester, a spotlit, elegant, Greek temple of a building towering over one of the most treasured features of the city – New Walk. It’s not new now, of course. It was created for the ladies and gentlemen of the Georgian era and lined with beautiful residences for them, trees and lamps and railings. 200 years later this wide pedestrian path leading from the city centre to what was their out-of town racecourse – now Victoria Park – is used by everyone from commuters to beggars, weekend families visiting the Museum to Uber delivery boys – who are NOT allowed to cycle, but do.
Location, location, location. We are so fortunate to live here – we fell into it. No parking but who cares? I sit and stare at the Museum sign and Muse. Um. I ponder the art gallery of my life, its walls lined with all the experiences and adventures of the years – the inner eye sees so clearly. There is time now, when I choose to use it wisely.
We’ve really only lived in this whole house since Ann moved out in July 2015 – and then the downstairs had to be renovated, decorated, made liveable… so say Christmas 2015 when we could actually start to use it as a house? So that’s 2 years. 2 years in the house people now look at as they walk past, 2 years since I planted shrubs in the gravel drive that will never be used for cars again, 2 years since we had the front door and woodwork painted blue and realised it was actually Leicester City blue – and they started winning and didn’t stop! The Leicester City fairytale.
Muse on, Sally