Happy new year! New starts! New you! And for me and my beloved- a new house.
Some of you may know that my mother is planning to give up work and move to Cumbria to look after my grandparents. The house she bought in 1999 is a two storey Victorian terrace and I basically grew up here. She's always seen it as my inheritance, and so decided that if we were to sell the money would go to me and Daniel.
But that's both too simple and too difficult. Even if we had a hefty deposit, we'd be paying masses for a mortage (and who says a bank would bet on two recent freelance graduates?) and we'd probably have to buy somewhere run down. So change of plan, my mother is going to give us the house. We'll essentially be her lodgers but when the mortage is paid- the house is ours. And until then (sometime around 2040) it'll be our house to do as we wish and raise our family and buy curtains and...gosh.
So this year is going to be difficult. I have to find a job, I gave mine up when I started University, the hours could never have been forgiving enough for me to have not gone mental. And my beloved works for the council, which is being squeezed and squeezed. And we have to get the house in running order, my mam's a tough bean, she doesn't mind the cold, the drafts, the boiler sometimes not working, etc etc. We kind of do.
But all that we're doing is very delicate, because although we sat down with my mother and decided what we could and couldn't do, there's still a chance we could massively offend my mother by repainting a door she's always loved or throwing out an ashtray or something. It's still very much her house, and all that we do offends her, no matter how many times I say 'It's not criticism, we just want it to be our house' she can only hear us tearing down the house she's built.
The upshot is that instead of kilns and terracotta being on my mind sanding, plastering and other such delights will be on the agenda. Last month we put in new windows. the electricity is basically shot too so we need to rewire, the bathroom is a sort of aubergine type-suite with no shower and some of the carpets were seemingly bought from offices by the last tenants so, lots to do. And a dissertation. And a degree show. Who's stressed? Not me, no way.
Usually this blog is about why I make work, as of now, the why is 'because otherwise I'll be homeless' hopefully I'll still be inspired and still be able to make ceramics but there may be some DIY here too. Especially when we build my studio in the back yard (I cannot wait for this, I have such high-felluting ideas about my pottery shack it's unreal).
Right now I have a dissertation to re-write.