Read this in a high, squeaky voice that conveys breathless excitement, disbelief, anxiety that it might not all come off, and a heavy layer of extreme tiredness, and you'll have struck the authentic note for where I'm at today.
My house has been sold - or as sold as it gets before surveys and contracts and all that stuff - to the tall, dark, handsome young doctor-in-a-hurry.
I have bought - or as bought as it gets, etc (as above) - a house in a Somerset village. (Clutch your chest and breathe raggedly at this point as the simply-hugeness of this statement penetrates.) A house with a front lawn, a drive, a quiet winding street in front, and a garden with a huge, beautiful, copper beech tree, and a small river (more like a brook) behind, between the garden and the playing fields beyond. Here's a winter snapshot from the agent's brochure, showing the lower section of garden:
An airy comfortable house, quite liveable as it stands, but with potential to make my own by means of a few changes here and there and a lot of paint. A garden that will take some work to make pretty, but nothing of the major earthworks variety. Tenants with a 2-month notice period.
I went down there yesterday on the 7.30 a.m. flight to Bristol with my friend Lynn, who generously did all the hired-car driving, and prompted me regularly to ask intelligent questions of the estate agents, and we met up with Lizzie, who had already devoted far too much time and care than I deserved to industrial espionage and clandestine photography of the three properties I had planned to view, and who fed us and directed us to beautiful areas. It was so good to meet her at last. Between the two of them I was able to withstand the feelings I always risk of being overwhelmed and just wanting to give up, and we stayed on task for the day, catching the 9 p.m. flight home to sleep on it all.
This morning I woke up, certain and confident, to a round of decision-making that hopefully will bring the life-changing moves I've planned for so long. You may uncross your fingers a little, stretch them, check for webbing between them, then cross them lightly again till that all-important moment when Contracts Are Exchanged. Then stand by to give gardening advice!
I need to go and lie down in a quiet darkened room now. All that excitement, you know....