Shabby Chic

(John) Rent or buy, looking for that perfect place is a headache of mammoth proportions. We wanted to rent, which had its own set of issues. Landlords with strange demands, houses with bullet holes in them, or a troll living in the cellar! All that time spent looking for properties online – I finally found Zoopla to be the most beneficial- they group all the big lettings- and estate-agents on one site and all you need to do is specify what type of property you’re looking for, where, and for how much.

Anyway, we’re not here to review websites.  Well, this post isn’t anyway.  We’re here to talk about our new rented home in California.  Oh yes.

Majestic view, isn’t it? Unfortunately, not our California. We’re English, alright.  The best looking feature in our California is this:

 
St Luke’s- a beautiful 150-year-old High church, just a few footsteps away.
 
And the house we finally found? It’s a mid-Victorian terrace, so as you might expect it’s a little bigger than most terraced houses and, naturally, has a cellar.  Don’t get too excited though.  The cellar isn’t quite ready for stocking up with fine wines and old vampires – well, perhaps the vampires may actually feel at home.  We’ve a long narrow hallway and every room has a fireplace.  Okay, maybe not a working fireplace, but certainly a chimney breast with lots of places to hide in!  The garden/yard? Well…
 
 
 
(Suravi) So we left behind our city centre apartment in the pursuit of a fulfilling & beautiful life. Yet living on a student budget is neither fulfilling nor beautiful. We thus have settled in a house where I am this close to demanding rent from the spiders! There are a few butterflies that love frequenting this 150-year-old place, and our study desk overlooks giant trees through which twinkles the English summer sunshine. It has enough room for our little piano, mountains of books, many potted herbs, and John’s favourite…a big bathtub! However the carpets are old enough to remember when the Earl of Derby was the Prime Minister of England (I am not joking!). Wall plasters love to come crashing down right in the middle of washing up, and like everything that ages with neglect, the house has a stubborn smell. But we are on a journey that is very important to us, and this shabby old place will be our home for a while now.

(John) It’s chic, très chic!

Okay, perhaps not now. Brush past those cobwebs and I see touches of elegance that’s been papered over. There’s true classical style beneath the rushed paint jobs.  And down those stairs, in that once-used coal cellar you may only be able to see toppled junkyard furniture, but I see the artisan’s workshop – a room with a view of inspiration (certainly not of the outside world as there’s no window). {Sings Pure Imagination}

Come with me
And you’ll be
In a world of
Pure imagination
Take a look
And you’ll see
Into your imagination…
…If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanta change the world?
There’s nothing 
To it
There is no
Life I know
To compare with
Pure imagination
Living there
You’ll be free
If you truly wish to be…
….what IS that smell?

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