A Year In My Own House
Posted on October 29, 2010
A year has past since I moved in to this house, sometimes it feels like it has gone quickly, then it seems quite slow. I have enjoyed being here though, it is nice and quiet and my neighbours are pleasant and friendly from a distance, which suits me just fine, though one of them asked me for game of golf a few times but eventually gave up being rejected. I am a bloke living on my own and as nice as he probably is, I don’t want to get in to all this can I borrow a cup of sugar nonsense, it only leads to dinner parties featuring long and embarrassing pauses as you discover you have little in common with people that you are now going to not only have to invite back to your house out of politeness, but also spend every other day making conversation with. A nightmare.
So what have I learnt? I think the main thing is how hard it is to keep a house tidy, it seems that I am always cleaning something to stay on top of it all. It’s like painting the Forth Bridge, as soon as you think it is all done, it’s time to start all over again. I have also learnt that washing lines are magnificent things from April to September, but useless from October onwards. It’s amazing that even on a dry day your washing will just stay wet in October if you put it on the line. I have also failed to find a cure for lost sock syndrome, does any one out there know how to deal with it? I have so many individual socks it is uncanny, where the hell do they go? I also must take a trip to the clothes bank to get rid of stuff I never use. I hoard clothes that I won’t wear again, a habit that needs kicking.
Cooking has been suprisingly easy, I knew straight away that I had to avoid the couple of pints after work followed by take away syndrome that so many single blokes suffer from, so I decided from the off to get some cook books and cook for myself, and though I am a bit limited to casseroles, chillies and shepherds pies in winter, and salads in Summer, I do try other stuff as well, and I eat healthily with a contribution from Diane a couple of times a week to help me on my way. Eating well is critical to the survival of a single bloke, I can’t emphasise enough how much better I feel after a good healthy meal, with modern eqipment and all the easy recipes around, there is no excuse to do otherwise, there really isn’t.
I guess in many ways I am pretty lucky that because I have my lads 3-4 times a week and I see Diane on the other days I haven’t really got the time to get bored, which can result in bad eating and drinking habits. I can see how easy it is to save washing up by eating take aways, but there is only one result if you get in to that habit. A heart attack. It is really important for blokes living alone to find hobbies to keep them away from a slovenly life style that involves going to the pub and falling asleep in front of the TV with a half eaten vindaloo on their lap. I have seen it happen so often, and if I was single now without children, I don’t know how I would get on, I am just glad I have responsibilities to keep me in check.
My next mission is to get to know my garden as it is a really sweet little plot, but I have neglected it by not knowing what any of the plants are that were left behind by the old owner who was a keen gardener. In April it bloomed in to life but died in the dry months that followed in May and June. It was like there had been a mini nuclear holocaust, it looked sad and neglected and wasn’t as nice to sit in as it should have been. Apart from cutting the grass, I know nothing about gardening, I know what daffodils and tulips are and that is it, the rest is a mystery if I am honest.
So overall my first year has not been too bad. If I have any advice to someone in the same boat as me it is, buy good furniture, bedding, crockery and kitchen equipment, it just makes life easier. Buying cheap shit get’s you nowhere, you just end up replacing it. If you are like me and money is tight, just wait and buy good things when you can afford them rather than crap things that break. It is also worth joining a Gym or something similar and getting good books to read to avoid the boredom of being in a house alone, which fortunately is not that often for me.
Their is a bit of a stigma attached to blokes iving alone being saddos who live in a hovel and have an unhealthy semi drunken lifestyle. This need not be the case, men should stand proud and not let women think that survival is impossible without them. I am leaner and healthier than I have been for years, partly because I am alway running around after kids etc and partly because I made a huge effort not to become what some people thought I would. I will admit that having input from my girlfriend (the furniture advice was excellent) has made it a bit easier at times, and her comittment to helping me out where she can is not to be under estimated.