I have resisted posting this and have had it stashed away for a few days now.
I have been hesitant, mostly because my blog posts are primarily upbeat, happy and lighthearted and I don't want to put all my laundry out there, but I think that I need to tell you this story and it's currently eating at me inside.
As many of you know, we rent our house here and our "real" home, our beautiful, special, family home that we all chose together two years ago, is being rented out.
We have rented our home out before.
We had another home, one where the boys were born, but it grew too small for us. However, we rented it for nearly seven years.
In that time, we lost 6K on a tenant who eventually went bankrupt. We felt sorry for him in the early days and gave him a chance to pay his rent...he didn't.
We allowed a tenant to have a "cat" only for the cat to actually be of a canine variety who proceeded to piss all up the walls and on a carpet destroying it...and then move out *sigh* leaving us with little deposit left for repairs.
We have known friends who have rented their homes out to professional couples who have punched holes in the walls and had animals chew the carpets despite tenancy agreements saying "no pets".
Yet oddly enough, we look after our rented house here.
We care for it and tend it, we mend the things that get scratched, we clean it every week and ensure that our pet doesn't trash (sticking to our tenancy agreement too). We pay our rent on time, pay for any breakages that we cause, inform our landlord if things go wrong such as heat or electrics and allow access for people to come and mend.
Why is it then, that others do not seem to care in the same way.
I deliberately use the word "home" for our home in Oxfordshire because it is that entirely. We are not millionaires with pads dotted here and there around the world, we are not business people who have properties for commerical reasons. This home, that someone else is living in, someone else who is currently not paying the rent, not looking after it as we would, is ours and we love it.
We don't want to come back to something that is destroyed, or worse still, as is currently filling my nightmares, that still has a tenant in it when we have served her notice correctly and given her ample time to move.
I am saddened that people do not have respect for things that they are guardians of.
I know, you're all shrieking - get a grip, it's just a bloody house, just bricks and mortar, which, yes, truly at the moment, it is.
It's not seen the births of any of my babies, it's not heard any of our children's laughter or tears, it's not seen birthdays or Christmases with us either, but...we have not lived in our own home for TEN years and this is so incredibly special for us. There are indeed "far worse things that happen at sea" and I know that families have lost their homes in terrible floods and earthquakes here and abroad this year, but, selfishly, there is a burning desire for me, so deep when you've been travelling for a while, to put down roots and develop a sense of community and I have such strong hopes that this will be "our spot".
I just hope we can get past this rather dubious wavering fence at the moment.
So can you send us some positive vibes please that, for the next few months, things will go smoothly with the move. That our tenant will not have left us a terrible mess, or, worse still, that she'll still be there.