The day before exchange (only 3 people in the chain) the sale fell through. Our buyers' buyers changed their minds! Why the day before???? Can't remember all the emotions. Definitely gutted. I'd packed the entire house. The boys had said goodbye to schools and nurseries. I'd cried a lot about leaving. We'd taken Pickle to see his new school. We'd spent quite a lot of money on surveys, legal fees... For the next few days, we hoped it might all come back together but no such luck.
We'd rented a house in the area back in January to ensure we could enrol the boys in schools but had given notice on the property once the sale looked like it was going through. That property was re-let the day the sale fell through!!!
The upside? We hadn't been able to get both boys into the same school and I'd had no idea how we were going to manage that. And we were buying a bungalow with the intention of making it two storey on a very limited budget. Both things had been making me feel a bit sick.
So, after a lot of reflection, we decided to stay where we were, at least for the time being. I was happy. Pickle was very happy. After the Easter holidays, I was going to phone Pickle's old school and ask if they would be happy to have him back.
So, we packed to go away on holiday, stopping in at our in-laws for 2 days on the way. They live close to the rental house and husband went over to rescue his scooter which had been parked there. He checked for post whilst he was there. Amongst the parish council mags and solar energy flyers was a letter from the school we had really wanted Pickle to go to offering him a place after Easter.
If we were even going to move to this area, having the boys at the same school would be a big bonus. But we'd told Pickle we weren't moving (albeit temporarily) and we had nowehere to live. The offer of the school place was on the proviso that we lived at the rental property and I am, apparently, too honest for my own good so felt uncomfortable about living somewhere further away from the school and accepting the place.
That said, we decided we were going to try to find another property (hopefully closer to the school) and accept the offer. So, the day before our holiday we drove home and collected Pickle's school shoes, grey trousers and husband's suits. Worst case scenario we would stay with family until we found somewhere to live.
We went on holiday and had daily ups and downs as we tried to find a house. Finally our letting agent took pity on us and let us have the rental house back (sorry other people who had thought it would be theirs). I broke the news to Pickle knowing he'd be upset but also knowing he was having a fabulous holiday and that would get him through.
We left holiday to take up home in the rental property and Pickle cried a lot saying he wanted to go home to his house and to his school. I comforted him but every inch of me was crying out "me too, me too".
Week one was very tough. Day one, Pickle visited his school and we bought the uniform. Day two, he started. He was fab and, as expected, has settled well. I cried A LOT. Missing home, work, friends, some time alone, routine, a sense of purpose...
Husband was worried that he'd persuaded me to do something I didn't want to do and even though I was being reasonably irrational, I knew that wasn't true. I think the ambiguity of the situation was making me unhappy. If we'd sold the house, I'd have no option to return there. I'm reasonably good at dealing with things and moving on when needs be but ambiguity isn't really my strongpoint. I like certainty. And I need a home.
And now? I have a home (in fact, you could argue I have two!). It's where we all are. It's a well designed 2 bed semi. It's small (smaller heating bills and less cleaning - yay) and homely.
We'll be okay. Broke, but okay. Let's hope we don't have to pay rent and a mortgage for too long...