We were impatient to find this place.
We knew what we wanted. Space for all the books and records, a secure stairway, a kitchen where we could eat. But it just didn't seem to be out there. We looked every day, multiple times a day, and when this flat popped up on gumtree, and when it looked like the flat we had been imagining we tried to not pin all of our hopes on it, we tried not to jinx it.
We got the flat, you know that part, and it is, happily and clearly, the best of all our flats. We're on number seven. There are niggles, there always are, those jaggy nails in the floorboards that just keep catching our socks no matter how many times Chris hammers them back into place, the odd draughty spot in the wall by the kitchen table, the sink in its own little room off the kitchen. But we knew what we wanted to achieve with this flat, something we had missed in London, the time to make dinner and a space where we could sit and eat at a table together. There are nights when we just want to curl up on the sofa but now it is a choice and mostly we are at the table, we chat, we listen to the radio, we missed this.
Last night I halved a butternut squash, scooped out the seeds, and roasted it with some butter, garlic, salt and pepper. When it was soft I scooped out the flesh and mashed it in a bowl with some fried bacon, gruyere and spring onion. I dolloped the mixture back into the squash shells and baked them for another 15 minutes. We ate them with baby spinach and listened to Radcliffe and Maconie on BBC Radio 2.
This place feels like home.