It has happened before and you can bet your bottom dollar it will happen again. It certainly isn’t rational and is perhaps the kind of thing you shouldn’t admit to but once in a while I fall a little bit in like with a man and head over heels in love with his house.
The first time it happened, I fell in love with a roll top bath. It was gorgeous. Original to the house and sitting in a huge room I had in my mind’s eye, already re-painted. Mr Bangers and Mash (remember him??) and I spent a huge amount of time in his house because Andy was registered blind and thus negotiating the dark corners and steep stairwells of my little cottage was somewhat of a challenge- and so, it quickly came to pass that every time I popped over for tea and cake I fell a little bit more in love. With his cat. And his log fire. And the Victorian cornice so gorgeous I wanted to climb a ladder and lick it.
And we were terribly happy in our mutual admiration of his interiors and all was well, and cosy and he was lovely and I was content and then God spoke him on the 8.45 train and told him I was leading him down an immoral path (!) and must be quickly disposed of and so he showed me a relevant passage in the Bible that explained why he had to trust his feelings and not feel obliged to explain himself to me, then promptly disposed of me over takeout pizza, neatly and rather shockingly avoiding feeling obliged to tell me that he would from then on be showing his best friends girlfriend the delights of his roll top bath.
Fancy getting God to do your dirty work! I was outraged and thus should have learned my lesson, but sadly being dumped by God didn’t stop me falling for the delights of another mans house…
Jonathan, yes, let’s call him Jonathan for want of the truth, invited me over and feeling a tiny bit enthralled by both the muscles in his arms and his charming take on all things Alison, I agreed to provide red wine and a song and duly set out to travel into the middle of nowhere to go a calling.
And a calling I a went. At the most perfect double fronted rose sprinkled cottage I have ever seen. And there he was all enthusiasm, chilled Rose, and warnings to be careful in the loo because the flush wasn’t working properly. And there was me positively giggly with house lust, parading around the cottage in a business like manner as if I had called around to assess it’s potential with a view to buy. And he was saying oh what lovely eyes you have and I was thinking that fireplace must be two hundred years old and he was saying I can’t stop thinking about you and I was thinking Must go to the toilet so I can see if the bedrooms are beamed, and before I know it I have broken the flush and I am stood in the bathroom wailing for him to come up stairs and inspect the damage.
And then the pair of us are bent over the toilet. And he is so close I can see the fillings in his teeth. And he is muttering about a broken chain and hooking a finger through my necklace and planting a kiss on my surprised lips.
“Jonathan!”, I say, in mock horror.
“Alison?”, he says, all comic raised eyebrows.
“You have your hand in the toilet!!” I screech.
And he says “Oops so I have!” and duly takes it out and plants it on my bum.
And it is a kiss and half and before I know it he is in the kitchen doing something with chocolate pudding and I have accepted his invitation to go look at the gardens and have a peek in the orchard, and in my mind we are walking down the aisle, because here is a man who knows how to kiss (albeit with his hand in the cistern) and owns all the acres the eye can see, an orchard full of damson, quince and apple trees and oh be still my beating heart, a dilapidated shed full of the kind of architectural salvage grown men sell their Mothers for.
Life doesn’t get any better and so I am adjusting my rose tinted glasses and turning on the charm in bucket loads when I turn the corner and there he is, leaning over a set of manky cages with two ferrets nipping in and out of his jumper.
In my book a deal breaker if ever there was one.
Back to the drawing board Sweetie, and next time do hold out for a man of no fixed abode won’t you?
One mustn’t make the kind of compromises that make our skin crawl.
Even God would agree with me there.