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I recently had to move house. This is huge. Because I hate moving, unlike everyone else in the world who totally loves it. Last time we moved was 4 years ago, when we bought a weird old house and spent weeks renovating it and that’s when I discovered I also hate renovating. If I have to paint another ceiling, I will die. Like Michaelangelo did. Except that he was TRYING to paint pictures on his ceiling, and I was TRYING to remove hideous pictures from mine because what the hell were the previous owners thinking? Ceilings should be WHITE. Four coats of white later, hand-painted by brush because the ceiling was ornate and a roller wouldn’t cut it, you can still see the dark blue gloss underneath.

After that I promised my husband that we would never move again, unless we somehow got wealthy enough to be able to discard all our old belongings and buy everything new to be delivered to the new house, so I wouldn’t have to move it. Also, the new house would not need a single stroke of paint or a carpet to be removed. It would be perfect.

You know what? The one we already renovated … that one’s perfect. Let’s stay there forever, until it’s falling down around us and developers are kicking us out.

My husband nodded politely.

He gets that look sometimes when I say things.

Also – he ruined all my plans to never ever move. He assures me that he ran off the road and hit that tree head-first specifically with the thought in mind that, if he was wheelchair-bound, I would have no choice but to move house while renovating the perfect one for accessibility.

Incidentally, he also assures me that he broke his spine because our son was getting older and heavier and, having taught the kid how much fun it is for daddy to throw him up in the air, he decided to sit down for the rest of his parenting career and let me take over the toddler-throwing games.

I’m never sure what to believe, you know.

Anyway, we have to renovate our house. Seriously. Because it isn’t wheelchair-accessible and suddenly that’s our number one priority. But that will take for-fucking-ever because that’s what it’s like to renovate a house. We’ll be doing it for the rest of our lives. We didn’t even finish the last renovations because our painter (me) quit after doing that ceiling. And in the meantime we have moved into transitional accommodation, which is, in short, a rented house that’s a lot more wheelchair-friendly than ours, and which the owner plans to knock down next year so he’s happy enough for us to mess with it to make it work. Things like removing the shower screen and adding air conditioning. He was all, sure, as long as I don’t have to lift a finger, go for your life.

Note the conditional: “As long as I don’t have to lift a finger”. It seemed reasonable when I was signing the tenancy agreement. Now I’ve realised it means a lot more than I expected. That part about the landlord and real estate agent never having to lift a finger applies to things like broken doors, faulty wiring, rodent infestations, and providing me with rent receipts. I’m beginning to regret my choice to rent a house rather than just book us into a 5 star hotel for 6 months. It would have been so much less stressful. Right up until we ran out of money a month in and went bankrupt trying to pay our room service bills. But whatever.

I have learned my lesson. Renting sucks. The real estate agents already hate me, because of my incessant and unreasonable requests for receipts, and my ability to read my contract and point out the relevant clauses in it that state they have to give me those damned receipts, and the way I ignore their pointed sighs and threaten to stop paying rent if they don’t give me my receipts right away. It’s only been 3 weeks. I am in for a really long 6 months. I suspect they are thinking the same.

Future Gen will never rent a house again. Future Gen will move back into the perfect (read: not so perfect) house we own and delight in the fact that I have to do all the work, but at least I won’t have to get anyone’s permission but mine to do it. Except maybe Brad’s, but I’m not sure there. He was unclear on whether he planned to sit out the rest of his decision-making career.