Friday, 3 July 2015

Finding a home for Lucious Lashes

The last 5+ months have seen me searching for a country home/getaway. I need a project. I love a project. A project stresses me out but reminds me that I'm alive! And I love to 'play in the dollies corner' - i.e. I love 'fluffing' up houses. Since selling my short stay rental property - Bowen Cottage - in January of this year I have been trying to find a property where I can 'do it all again'. There's no rest for the wicked. And being 'retired' is not life enhancing for me.
Sold to the highest bidder - farewell Bowen Cottage
About 2 months into my search I was buying fresh produce from a shed on a property down near the seaside. And there was Lucious Lashes! I just had to have her. She became my talisman as I promised her I would find her a home in the country! And she has continued to remind me daily whilst 'camping' on the landing at the top of my stairs!
Lucious Lashes - awaiting her new country home
With a self-imposed limited budget it has been extremely challenging but sometimes 'cutting my cloth' to fit my finances is not a bad thing. I'm not good at it but... And with low interest rates and the recent property feeding frenzy I couldn't have chosen a better/worse time to look. My criteria has included the fact that it must be within 1.5 hours of Melbourne - and if possible on a railway line (well not actually on the line - but you've got my drift!) Being a commutable distance from the city has certainly made life harder for me. But then I love a challenge.

During my country home search I was reminded often of a quote from the author Anita Desai:
Isn't it strange how life won't flow, like a river, but moves in jumps, as if it were held back by locks that are opened now and then to let it jump forwards in a kind of flood?

The most interesting thing I have learned is that real estate agents in the country are a law unto themselves. Underquoting is rife (even worse than in the city), follow-up is pathetic, working for the vendor seems to be their catchcry and yet I missed two houses where I would have offered more than the selling price if they had bothered to come back to me, a work ethic which sometimes left me gasping  and included: "I'm too busy to show you through, I have a function to go to" and "There's no one in the office available - next week would be better". "I don't work on Monday and Tuesday" (no offer of someone from the office being available!) I even had "My father died" (although I tended to believe that one!) It has been astounding. 

After many knockbacks, I finally found a lovely piece of land just one hour from Melbourne (nearish to a railway line - we oldies are learning to travel this way!) but for various reasons even that offer fell through. I was going to move a house onto it. What a project that would have been! It had views to Mt Macedon and was within a 10 minute drive of 3 'hot' country towns (2 with railway stations!)
Magnificent Mt Macedon in the far distance

I wailed (silently), gritted my teeth and continued my search. And then it happened! I was showing a friend the 'lost' land and by chance the new house next door was 'Open for Inspection'. We walked in and both burst into tears! (spontaneous joyful wailing!) New, perfect and all that was on my list. And more! I had to have it - right then and there! And here it is! (the publicity photos don't do it justice but...) Of course it was over the top of my budget but bread and dripping and water daily will be a joy! I'll just have to rent it more often for short stays when I'm not in situ! - more on that later!
I'll need to get stuck into the (non) garden - there's a gorgeous hawthorn hedge at the front - see top right!
Dream, dream, dream
I've spoken to Lucious Lashes and she says she will be very happy on the far wall!
Having a purpose to find Lucious Lashes (and me!) a country home/weekender has certainly kept me on track. I have driven for miles. I have had highs. And lows. But now we can both move forward! I'll keep you posted on my plans for the next stage of the journey. So 'It's in for a penny, in for a pound' which sounds so much better than 'In for a cent, in for a dollar' (lots of them!) don't you think?! Moo.

If there's a single lesson that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so.
Lev Grossman

No comments:

Post a Comment