The heart is a lonely hunter.

I’ve already ‘fessed up to a certain…uhm …restlessness I am afflicted by.  A tendency to the flibbertigibbet. So then, a confession.  I have been having a dalliance with another house.  Except not so much another house exactly, as other houses.  But even that is too definite.  The idea of other houses.

It began when this bit of lovely came onto the market, just down the road from The Regency Wreck.  It’s part of a terrace that I’ve been stalking past, rapt, for some considerable time.  I didn’t believe these houses would be coming up for sale.  I had factored them out of the equation.

Truth is, this house lacks many of The RW’s charms.  It has no sandstone floors or walls.  No shutters.  No servants’ bells.  But it is spacious and it offers privacy, front and rear.  And, what’s more, it has a garden.  You know, for the frolicking of dogs and the growing of vegetables.  Even though my tomatoes, Mr Pimp sanguinely pointed out,  would be covered with dust from the bridge, fumes from the cars and who knows what from the dogs.

But that aside, there is also a certain view as you come out of the front door.  And though I’m not big on views, I do consider the Opera House to be one of the Seven Wonders of the world. I do. Have you seen those fishtail scales up close?  I mean, lawdy.

Not that I would  swap this particular house for the RW, I hasten to add.  But its sudden availability has set that wayward restlessness  awhispering in me.  What if a certain other house in the terrace  were also to come up?  Maybe next week! In a month!  Because I would sell my extended family to live in that certain other house. Maybe.

All this has all brought on not inconsiderable guilt.  And because I am tiresomely imbued with the ways of analytic introspection, I have, of course, run the whole affair under the jolly old microscope.  But since the modality of blogland doesn’t appear to be confessional (shame! I say, bring out yer dirties!),  I shan’t pin all my drawers on a public noticeboard.  Let’s just say say that the comings and goings around here recently – Mr Pimp to the salt mines, Ms Pimp from the cold climes – are proving to be very disruptive emotionally.  Not to mention the small additional bagatelle of a certain dog (Miss Elsie) who has become increasingly neurotic  in the absence of her person and has taken to barking the household awake at 5 every morning and chewing her tail, so that the walls around here resemble a scene from Miami Vice. So anyway,  that’s my official mitigation.  Another, more troubling possibility is that the recovering adrenaline junkie in me is craving house purchases like some might crave new Maud Frizons.  I hope not, or I shall soon be blogging from the commodious accommodations of the Debtors’ Gaol.

So in an attempt to tether my roving heart,  I visited the RW the other night.  It was Saturday.  There was live music in one of the pubs, people on the street, traffic. It was inner city noisy.  I feared the worst.  I feared the magic might have gone. But actually, it was like stepping into a calm and endlessly patient embrace.  Street light came in through the windows and fell gently over the floor in yellow pools.  The city sounds were muffled, as if by a velvet cloak. I went up to the bedroom and watched a boat, decked in lights, move slowly across the harbour.  Below me, the trees were wearing their new green fuzz of Spring and a couple, thinking the house empty, peered into the basement windows and then kissed. It was all very still and protected somehow.    And so my fervour was soothed.  For now.

12 Responses to “The heart is a lonely hunter.”

  1. Beautifully written my dear. I add to Mr Pimp’s list the noise from the trains. Bit concerned about Miss Elsie not being happy. Perhaps she yearns for a spell in the country. Anyway all else aside, you got the house you were meant to get. So forward sister, just keep a smile on your face.

    • Well I have to admit it wasn’t there (smile on face) until I read your message, and lo! one appeared. You do have me intrigued, btw. You’ve obviously been through at least one tricky renovation yourself, and you also evidence a quite intimate familiarity with the area…. Whatever and whichever, I enjoy your comments. So thank you. And in fact Remington, Miss E and I are all headed up to the country today for a few days R&R (and hopefully sleep).

  2. If it is confessional you want…I often am tempted by other homes. My eyes dart the real estate pages like a man surveying the latest Ralph magazine. I know definitely our little piggy would be on the market if a certain mid-century home in our area was available. As fond as I am of our home now, it is not the enduring love of my life. xx

    • Ah, thank you for that – that’s like balm to my tortured conscience! It’s so good to know I’m not the only one. I hope that the certain mid-century house comes onto the market at a time when you’re perfectly ready for it. You do hear of it happening, quite often in fact, so maybe…

  3. My name is Jo and I am a house whore. My addiction started many years ago and despite detox and extensive and multiple rehabs I relapse with monotonous regularity. That’s why I have a blog. Room porn. My dirty little secret.

    My suggestion is to admit to your weaknesses, embrace your capricious and wanton ways and have a good story to placate the RW with every time you walk through the door after flirting with the local real estate. “RW I am a wicked wanton woman. Mea culpa maxima. It’s always all you. Always.” Either that or valium to help with the withdrawals while going cold turkey. Is there an ICD10 code for polyhouse abuse?

    • I’m not sure how to break this to you gently Ms Jo, so I’ll just give it to you straight. The blog which is your dirty little secret? Nosso very much secret! Can you cope with that? You can, in fact, because I move that an HouseAnon group be formed. There’s enough for a quorum, at least!

      And I rather fancy every homecoming beginning with bursting through the front door and a full-bodied admission of wantonness. The house as confessor. Discuss.

  4. oh my…. yes sireee bob, that house is lovely! lovely as a peach but…. where to start?

    1) what you describe is a sickness! as a fellow sufferer i know that the only cure is ‘la dinde froide’. be strong and turn that computer off right now and step away from those property websites.

    2) that bridge is a no no no! what can you be thinking dear? never never never and i mean NEVER live near trains, historic landmarks, major roadways, flightpaths, subways, tramlines and/or powerlines and that goes double for bridges that contain any of these items! the toilet will shake, rattle and roll first thing in the morning, the windows will never be opened, small children will cry because they can’t sleep and the hounds! those puppies will be permanently anxious.

    3) a view is a view is a view. tempting as it may be – unless you can be sure as dammit that no-one will come along and build a multiplex cinema, shopping centre and luxury partyments between you and it – then they’re best left well alone

    4) speaking personally i agree with susanne above… you have the house that was meant for you, in fact the RW probably chose you as much as you chose it. actually i know that sounds weird but i feel it in my waters. so! head down, shoulders back, roll up those sleeves and feel the love

    • Oh those partyments – they do have a habit of popping up everywhere. Naughty thingses.

      Much sense you do talk. Not weird at all. Always trust your waters. I think the house chose me too. I walked in that front door the first time and felt sick with the having-to-haves. I announced the very same to the estate agent and a month later, on the night of the auction, he too felt it in his waters.

      Hello to Ralph, btw.

      • ahh bless ya. The Ralphs sends his regards to La famille P and the danes aussi . After a brief pause to ponder your plight he then returned to chewing the newly reinstated skirting boards and architraves to his ‘room’ ….. it’s a good omen to be sure

      • Oo, ain’t ee ever so ‘andsome, Ethel? Gorgeous boy. He looks as if he could be Remington’s younger brother, but his very neat pedicure puts my boy’s talons to shame. I do love the way Danes drape their copious jowls so carefully over their paws. Not so much the way they chew. We were a window frame down when he came from the pound, but newly instated skirtings (even if in his room)…I’d be purple!

  5. I know what you mean about seeing the Opera House. It is a building of such magical perfection sitting on the harbour’s edge, and LFS is the perfect place from which to view it. When you are living in the no-longer Wreck, it is likely to be seen regularly when venturing outside. Similarly glimpses of the harbour, the bridge, the Walsh Bay wharves, and sounds of ships as they pass beneath the bridge will become part of your wider neighbourhood.

    And the other fabulous houses closer to home, the ones you might be tempted to swap for the RW, these are the ones that are going to attract adventurous and interesting people, who in turn will transform the houses and become your neighbours. So maybe your restlessness can become looking forward to seeing who takes on these houses and how they change them. Indeed we feel similarly about other houses in the neighbourhood and what might have been. So following your tales of progress and setbacks gives us both hope and pleasure as we imagine experiences shared and distant outcomes kept in view.

    Today is M’s birthday. My card to her featured the Titanic (expressing a sentiment you might relate to). But it has been a good day in the neighbourhood – tracking down the fabulous florist in Phillip Street, M’s sister arriving with more flowers, all of us walking to lunch at belmondo, buying some food ready for the weekend celebrations, and reading the latest post on your blog. Thank you for this last one.

    • Everyone’s talking such good sense. You are right, of course. I shall return to these messages when the sickness flares up again. Talk some sense into myself. And that image of the ships going underneath the bridge sounds so wonderful. I imagine fog and horns and shadows that loom in the gloom.

      And HAPPY BIRTHDAY M! I always like to hear of your adventures around the neighbourhood – I’m dying to find this fabulous florist in Phillip Street (whom I’d never heard of until now). Have a wonderful floriferous weekend. I imagine your beautiful place drifting in a sea of scent.

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