Wednesday 24 August 2011

A decade in Swanston

Ten years ago this evening, Sharon and I were sitting in a mess of couches and boxes and beds and crates, having just moved into Swanston Terrace. Sometimes as I look about the house after the boys have gone to bed, it doesn't look much different from how it did then - cushions scattered everywhere, books strewn across floors, toys here and there and clothes piled in all corners and hanging off chairs and banisters.

We've done a bit to the house in those ten years. The single bedroom became a nursery with a fondly-remembered tree painted on one wall and, then, had a couple of occupants in Sean and Finn. The dining room was at the front of the house but we relocated it to the conservatory as Sean grew out of the nursery. With Rowan due to put in an appearance, we went for the attic conversion, losing some of the square hall and the nursery, which became the hub from where Sharon has grown her Pampered Chef empire, but acquiring two bedrooms and a shower-room as well as a flight of stairs. The spare bedroom became a playroom and the nursery moved to the front of the house. Now, with Angus having outgrown the cot, he and Rowan are upstairs in their room and Sean and Finn are well established in the back upstairs bedroom.

We've made some recent changes to the garden, gradually removing the many shrubs and conifers at the front and rear. Sadly, the rowans either side of the entrance to the drive had to go as one was diseased and the other was starting to overgrow on to the road. They were a feature I'd like to re-establish and are one of my first memories of viewing this house.

What next? We'd love to extend at the back and relocate the kitchen to give us more of a family room, especially as that family will likely feature four lanky lads in a few years' time. But the current economy and uncertainty means we have little desire to borrow more so for now we'll continue to sketch and dream and look at the occasional bigger property with envious eyes. Sharon always said that this was the house for her, that she never wanted to move again and we are happy here - but an extra metre or two on every room would be nice!

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