Column: Darryl Morris - Moving house
Darryl Morris talks about buying a house with his girlfriend
It is Thursday and I am going through the finer details of my recent house purchase.
My girlfriend and I have made the ultimate show of love and commitment and agreed to own some bricks together.
No more renting. No more get-out clauses. I have learned to live with her hair clogging up the plugs, she has come to terms with the fact that my boxers will forever end up on the floor by the wash bin – and we’re in it for the long haul.
There are many minefields through which to navigate: Finding the perfect place. Negotiating the best mortgage. Pretending to know what your solicitor is talking about. And then, just when you think you’re ready to settle into domestic bliss and a life of hair-clogged plugholes, you are faced with the stark reality of fittings and fixtures.
As you advance from furnished apartments, you are suddenly without the safety net of a landlord and now you have to actually buy things like wood and plants.
Buying wood is something that happens to other men. Namely men who know what to do with wood.
I, on the other hand, am from a breed of gentlemen for whom a door simply appears. They just exist in the gap between rooms – and we think nothing more of it.
Tables. Tables have just been there. I would simply reach out, place down my coffee and a trusty piece of prearranged MDF would catch it.
And flooring. Apparently, I need to consider what goes on the floor in my recently purchased house. And there are options. Laminate. Tile. Stone. Gone are the days where I would simply walk into a room and the floor would be there under my feet.
It was a golden age of innocence – and now it is to be completely shattered by a trip to B&Q.
I am also blessed by a garden at the back of my new purchase.
And when I say blessed, I mean horrifically cursed. Because gardens, much like doors and floors and tables, don’t simply appear. You need to plant them. And then when you’ve planted them, you need to nurture them like the children you’ve been putting off for the sake of your career. Your garden cares not for your career, or your social life or your bank balance.
Your garden needs you to buy things. Like seeds and hanging baskets and excrement for fertilisation – which you must get from a garden centre, despite producing it yourself, because apparently using your own isn’t socially acceptable.
Then it needs cultivating. Sunday afternoons knelt in mud – and when you haven’t managed to finish the job off on Sunday afternoon, you must spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening in the dirt as well.
‘What do you get in return for this great and virtuous sacrifice?’ you’re thinking. Well, you get to look at them. You stare at them and they stare back at you.
And then, a few months later, at the turn of the season, they die and wilt away. Leaving you nothing but a patch to fill.
This is just the beginning. I’ve merely scratched the surface of perplexing obstacles in the maze of owning a house.
Where does the water go when it finally makes it through the hair filled plughole? Pipes.
They run all through the house and they need to be maintained. Google tells me Borrowers aren’t real and it really is your responsibility to keep them clear.
That little box in the door that your letters come through? Apparently, the Post Office don’t install them as a courtesy.
You know that guy you call when the microwave blows a fuse? That’s you now. You’re the guy.
It’s on you to pretend to know what a fuse is and to fit a new one.
I think I’m going to pull out.