Sitting on a deckchair pretending to be happy, that’s how I spent the first night in our house.
We had lived in Walthamstow for seven years, five of which in flat we bought on Coppermill Lane. We loved the flat but really wanted to live in a house with our own front door and stairs, so we made the decision to buy a house.
Our first thought was to move out of London and buy something by the sea, Kirsty and Phil from Location, Location, Location have much to answer for. Luckily though on a weekend wander across Walthamstow marshes we came to our senses and realised we really didn’t want to leave the stow so started looking locally.
After viewing lots of property’s we visited the house on Springfield road, the guy that owned it forgot we were coming and was still in the shower when we rang the doorbell. He did eventually let us in and had some kind of bonkers wrestling on the TV, it seemed to be a cross between the WWF and porn. He showed us around the house telling us all about the work he and his wife had done to it, non of which was evident as the kitchen was older than both of us and the fireplace in the living room resembled a grave stone. When we left I was just about to say “Back to the drawing board” when my other half told me he really liked it. After much debate, we agreed to go for it and put in an offer.
Several months later it was moving day, we packed the cat in a box, and loaded the fish from the pond in to a collection of plastic boxes we had bought from a pound shop on the high street. It was a short but strange journey to the house, the fish swooshing around in tubs in the back of the car and the cat sceaming. When we arrived the previous owner were still at the house pretending to clean, luckily the removal men scared them off so we could start getting things, including the fish moved in.
In the first five 10 minutes the handle fell of the back window, the hinge on the door snapped and the wardrobe collapsed, an hour later everything was in, most of our stuff was in a heap in the dinning room and the cat was upstairs having a nervous breakdown. It was not long after this that we found our selves sat in deckchairs drinking fizz wondering what he hell we had done.
Things have changed a great deal since then, we have ripped the house apart and put it back together again, we have also spent more money than I thought possible on the garden. We love it here, its not the village and I’m sure it’s not every ones idea of heaven. We have a view of the petrol station on Markhouse road from our upstairs landing window, and sometimes have to keep watch and scramble to get the car back in it’s space outside.
Next door we have an elderly Jamaican lady called Lyn, she still thinks that my other half Eddie is called Gerry but we don’t have the heart to tell her otherwise. We shop for her in the winter and she offers us a tot of rum if we help her out with something. The other side we have a Polish family who bought us round food and beer when we were in the middle of rebuilding hell which at the time was the nicest thing anyone could have done for us. Their little boy loves to sing Elvis songs in a mix of Polish and English. We often bump in to the next door but ones after nights out and swap ice cube trays at midnight, their little girl was one yesterday and they put some excellent bunting in their garden to celebrate.
We know most of our neighbours now and the few we don’t we have made up names and back stories for, this often gets us in trouble as sometimes we still call the neighbours by their made up names and not their real ones
When I come home from work and turn on turn on to our a little road I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders.
Near the Lighthouse, between Marsh and Markhouse, on Springfield Road is our little bit of Walthamstow.