Monday, September 29, 2008

The hunt is on

Have no fear, Gareth, you just so happen to be going out with the queen of house hunting, I assured him. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, I’ll do all the hunting, with pleasure.

And so began my hunt. By flat two, I was bored, frustrated and not at all enjoying myself as much as I had expected. How confusing. I’d done so much house hunting in my time, I was sure I loved it. I thought back… and back came the memories. Oh yes. House hunting with Mum is fun. House hunting with friends is fun. House hunting with Gareth might have been fun if I hadn’t relinquished him of his duties. Alone, it was boring, time consuming and uneventful.

With each new house, I tried desperately to imagine Gareth and I enjoying ourselves there. ‘It’s nice, but the kitchen is a bit tiny,’ I’d complain in my reports to Gareth. He didn’t really care. ‘As long as you’re happy,’ he said. Great. More pressure. He’ll happily move in somewhere rubbish as long as I tell him I’m happy, then I won’t be happy, then it’ll be all my fault for forcing an image of happiness upon myself and settling for a rubbish flat.

And so the hunt continued.

Then, late one evening, Gareth and I trudged through another estate agent’s website. Me, disgruntled and frustrated, him, keen and eager. Oh look, Gareth says, that’s an amazing flat. A converted chapel, and well below our price range.It’s a bit out of town, but let’s see it anyway, he suggests. So, we booked in for the next day and together – the first and only flat Gareth saw – we drove half way to Bath.

Oh. My. God. We found the one. Immediately in love with it before we’d even set foot inside just because the car parking spaces had head stones, I was jumping up and down in excitement as we waited for the agent. It just got better. The flat was beautiful. No, beautiful doesn’t do it justice. Charismatic, unusual, eccentric, each room is on a different floor, there is a walk-in wardrobe, there are beams (beams! I love beams!). There’s history. There’s huge church windows. There’s an immaculate kitchen and a bottle of champagne waiting for the winners. It’s the kind of flat that initiates conversation. The kind of flat we can show off. The kind of flat that featured in none other than Country Life. And anyone’s who’s anyone knows Country Life don’t feature anything but the most eccentric of abodes.

Gareth plays it cool, moseying from room to room and asking professional questions. Who cares about council tax, GIVE ME THIS FLAT! I want to hug the agent. We have found the flat. The One. I have never been so excited in all my life.

I’ve never wanted to live with a boyfriend before. I came close once, with my longest term boyfriend, Lewis. He wanted to within about a week of the relationship, or course, for I am a wonderful cook. But something held me back. ‘We’ll get a red colander,’ he promised. It wasn’t enough. I promised myself I wouldn’t live with just any old boyfriend, only a very special one. Only the One.

I’ve changed my stance now. I’ve realised you just don’t know who the One is. But I do know that Gareth is without a doubt the One Right Now (a less well known search) and that he’s going to be really fun to live with. Just as long as my moving-in present isn’t a red colander.


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