Over a year ago, I had a plan. The plan was quite simple: move to Northern Ireland with Vic; get a job; get a house. It has proven trickier than I would have liked.
We sold my flat and left Glasgow on the fifteenth of December last. We came to Northern Ireland, put most of our stuff in storage, and moved in with Vic's mother and sister and Vic's sister's boyfriend and daughter for "a couple of months". So far, so easy. And, after that, it really all went tits-up.
The idea was to live rent-free for a little while, thus making lots of money and getting rid of most of our debt. However, I remained unemployed for nearly six months. I am highly skilled at all sorts of things, including a specialist area that virtually no-one else is skilled in, but that got me precisely nowhere. I finally got a job about two weeks before the government stopped paying me dole money a near thing. Vic got a job more quickly, but it was very badly paid. So we remained in a very small bedroom in someone else's house for a year, building up extra debt for most of that time and paying to keep our beloved possessions in a big box where we couldn't ever see them.
As if that wasn't enough, God decided to make it a thoroughly shit year for us in all sorts of other ways, into which I shall not go, as I have better things to do than beg for pity. It's been bad. And the plan was so good.
Today, we got our new house. Finally. I will eventually write about the hassle we had with bad lawyers (not ours he's brilliant) and a bad bank, which resulted in one house purchase falling through in spectacularly stupid fashion and this one very nearly being scuppered. But we prevailed, and we've got a house. It's got both rising and penetrating damp, the rendering and the roof need work, we'll have to knock down a wall and move two radiators to fit our sofa in, the central heating doesn't extend to the top floor, the hot water tank is leaking, and we're already skint: the place is probably going to bankrupt us. But it is worth it. It's ours.
I spent this evening adjusting the toilet's flushing mechanism and ripping big polystyrene tiles off the ceiling and bad paper off the walls of the room that will one day be our bedroom. These are crappy tasks, as eny fule kno, but I haven't been so happy in a long, long time.
The front room is currently painted mauve and a shade of green that I can't even think of a name for, other than "vile".