When my husband asked me to move in with him 10 years ago I doubt I had any idea of what that actually meant. Initially unmarried and living in a rented cottage, life wasn’t that much different than when I had been living in my own flat. I had swapped my lovely flatmate, for a smelly boy who could, at the very least, iron. Anyway, 10 years later and we have just moved into our 8th house together. The difference this time – it is actually ours.
Talking with my military friends, it’s all very surreal. There are no magnolia walls, no blue carpets, we can put up as many pictures as we like, it’s even got patterned wallpaper! My ‘civilian’ friends will no longer comment that it looks just like our last house, even though it is on another land mass. However, there is also the scary side of things too – a much larger mortgage to pay, no Carillion/Amey/Babcock/Serco to phone up when the boiler packs in and the constant anxiety of spilling something on the very neutral and unforgiving carpet.
“So is this it, is it your forever home?”. Forever is a long time and given that my husband is still in the army it is hard to say. Knowing that, as soon as you bank on the army to post you somewhere, you definitely won’t go there, the chance that we might have to move again is always there. But, having never lived in a house longer than 2 years, this one definitely feels more permanent. For the next few years at least; we won’t be borrowing our house, we don’t have to go on any waiting list for swimming lessons (only to move when we reach the top) and we can plant the plants that we have been moving around in pots for the last 10 years. We, like them, will be putting down roots. Even the girls, when asked the awkward army child question of “where are you from?” can give a specific answer, rather than replying “what do you mean by that…do you mean where I was born or where I live now, or have lived?”. It should also ease the dreaded question, on any form, asking for your addresses in the last 5 years.
We have cheated slightly in that we’ve moved into a house in a military village. Hopefully we’ll have the best of both worlds. No need for countless change of address phone calls, but still some awesome events to attend, lots of interesting people to meet and of course cheap gin and tonic in the mess – we’re not quite ready to let go yet!