Sound the klaxon! It’s another house snoop! (Find previous one here)
I have been horrendously busy looking after my own children these last few weeks: no wonder parents hate teachers. Teachers are bloody lazy good for nothings who slope off for 2849 weeks of the year and make us parent our own bloody kids! Outrageous!
Because of this incredible inconvenience, I needed a quick post for all of my adoring fans and I realised my favourite posts of all posts are house snoops so here’s one for you.
I have been wanting to do another one for a while but as soon as I tidy it’s a shit heap again so tough tits and enjoy the mess.
Treat it like Spot the Difference/ Treasure Hunt.
Can you spot:
-abandoned car seat
Garden room (sounds a bit stately but can’t think what else to call it)
Other shot of garden room
Kids’ Playroom– my favourite room to not go in
Utility Bloody love this room and good thing too as spend a lot of time in here folding pants etc
Boys’ bog- didn’t really want to photograph bedrooms because boys asleep and ours is a mess. So here’s a treat instead
Spare bedroom and en suite- one of the nicest rooms in the house so come stay!
But here are my favourites.
So so so nice. Like being in a swanky hotel. Love it.
The larder/booze stash
You’ll find me here pouring gins and stress-snacking
Disclaimer- we didn’t do any of the decorating or designing. That was done by the clever previous owners. We’ve barely even got around to hanging any of our thousand paintings or shelved even a fifth of our billion books so may share some ‘after’ shots later.
Having children boasts a far-reaching number of benefits-stretch marks, Raa Raa and Wotsits in car seats- but it will also help you see your home in a new light. Areas you used to take for granted and nooks you’ve never noticed before will have new light shed on them.
You used to bound up them for a cheeky afternoon romp. You used to balance your work shoes on the bottom step. Not now. Now you have learnt to have a poo in under a minute all that spare sitting time is now spent on the stairs whilst you SuperNanny your child’s bedtime. Or sit and read the internet whilst you keep an ear out for your convulsive fevered child. Or sit and have a little cry because you’ve just finished reading Danny the Champion of the World and you remember your dad reading it to you and it’s made you feel sad. Or you just sit and gather strength before going in to Stage Two of an evening: meal prep and lesson planning.
It used to just host well-intentioned books you’ll never read and an alarm clock set to 7.30. Now it’s got Calpol, a half drunk beaker of milk, breast pump, teething gel, Olbas oil and a half-eaten Organix bar. I do still have an alarm clock set to 7.30 though and this is how I know I’m an optimist.
New mothers everywhere: try this test. The next time you’re feeding the baby at 3am, compare your bedside table to your partners’. If, like mine, they have nothing but a radio alarm clock and an untouched copy of a Booker Prize winner then you have my full permission to slip teething gel in their pyjama bottoms.
You probably haven’t given this a second’s thought since you picked out laminate in the heady days of new home owning. Here’s hoping you chose something that wipes clean and is easy on the knees because you’ll be spending some time down there. Perching next to the bath whilst you admire the sinewy body of your bubble-covered five year old. Crouching whilst you whoop and encourage a poo from your potty training young ‘un. Mopping vomit when you’ve not been able to move fast enough to get them to a bowl. Get comfy-you’re going to see a lot of that floor.
Anywhere a child could hide a house phone or lose a Lego piece or slip a bank card in to. You’ll know all the regular hidey holes.
Pre-kids, your most unhealthy relationship was probably with food or a nobby ex. Now it’ll be with time. The joy it brings when you realise you’ve had three straight hours of sleep. The despair when you realise it’s two more hours until bedtime. The exact tick that marks the last possible second you can leave before being last through the school gates. The clock will be your mistress, master and best frenemy.
Other places of sudden and profound interest include: coffee jar and granule levels, snack drawer for 5am sugar hits, front door where you’ll linger for up to 30m a day, microwave where you’ll hover watching milk spin for up to a year of your life and the underside of the kitchen table where you’ll be scrabbling around sweeping up rejected meals.
Thanks to Ideal Home magazine and Kirsty Allsop for sponsoring this post. If you’re reading this and are interested in an interiors collab, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is my last day as an Unny Mummy. For those who don’t know Norwich, Unthank Road is the Mayfair of the Norfolk monopoly board thankyouverymuch. When we were house hunting, we were scathing about people who wanted to live on Unthank Road: ‘stuck up snobs!’, ‘aspirational middle classes!’, ‘you’re paying for the postcode!’ And yet we became what we judged.
Here are the things I’m going to miss most Being Able To Get Workmen
‘I was hoping to get a quote for some building work’
‘We’re busy until May but what’s the address?’
‘We can be there in an hour’ Popping Over for Drinks
We have some downright fabulous neighbours and they have downright immaculate homes and downright excellent g&t making skills. They are also often brave enough to invite the Oliver brood over for late afternoon drinks. This gives us a chance to close the door on our revolting messy house and go and feel grown up for a few hours. Love it. Popping Over for a Meal
Our next door neighbour makes the hands-down best roast ever eaten. We often schlep over the hedge and spend a few blissful hours gorging while the kids run amok in their eight-times-the-size-of-ours garden. We once lost Alex in it and found him under the hedge digging his way home. Popping Over for Drinks and a Meal
When William was a few months old I ordered prints of my birth and baby pics. The postman took them to the wrong house. The woman who opened them had a bit of a fright. She had also just had a baby and just ordered prints but it was a case of ‘that placenta’s not mine, its blood is too clotty’ and so she popped them down to me. Since she’d already seen quite a lot of me by then, we had no choice but to become great friends. We go for supper at each other’s houses and the children all sleep upstairs. Late at night, we carry our bleary-eyed babes back down the road and tipple them back in to bed. Those midnight walks down Unthank road with our sleepy children in our arms are what I will really really miss.
Popping up One Stop
Frigging love popping up One Stop. It’s about 300 yards up the road but you’ll see everyone you know on the way. One of my oldest friends used to live right next door to it so if I was quick, I could pop in for a chat and still claim that I’d only just gone for a milk run. Also, during pregnancy my bladder was so weak I would have to stop at hers for a wee when I went for the Sunday papers. The Beehive
Two words: real ale
I won’t miss the traffic, trying to reverse out of my driveway but no one letting me out (I PAY COUNCIL TAX ON THIS ROAD, YOU RATRUN BASTARDS!), our tiny garden or our freezing cold house but my-oh-my will I miss our neighbours.
Edit: just had to say goodbye to the postman and it sent me over the edge. I was a snivelling mess. I am pathetic. I am a disgrace to this road- they’re better off without me!
For 16 years this city has been home. It’s my longest relationship and one of my deepest loves.
I free-wheeled home from the pub the other night, squiffy on cocktails and friendship, and the streets were empty and the fog was fizzing in the lamplight and each street and landmark held a memory. House shares, parties, and first dates from my university years. House viewings, play dates and dinner parties from my adulthood.
This city is a map of my life and it guided me from teenager to mother of two. It’s the funkiest nerdy place I’ve ever known and the cosiest city imaginable. I feel this place in my bones and being and I’m going to miss being part of its gang. Us Olivers are on the move, but I’m leaving a bit of my heart behind.
We’ve been fannying about deciding whether to move or not for about a year. We’ve viewed some beauts, some beasts and some that William let rip howling farts in during an awkwardly formal viewing by the owner.
This week, with the help of my marvellous mother, we got our arses in gear, hired a skip (heaven!), and got sorting.
Of course, now the house looks gorgeous and we don’t want to move. #calledourownbluff #wronggenerationforhashtags