- About the Author
- On Active Service
I remember waking that first morning. Anthony had gone to the dentist and I had an hour to get ready for my Wednesday exercise class. Everything was still in boxes and I knelt on the floor amongst the towering stacks to do my make-up, my eyes drawn every so often to the garden outside. Early morning mist hung over the trees. The grass was heavy with dew. Birdsong filled the air. Woodland birdsong is quite different from meadow birdsong, the echoing from the trees gives it a deeper resonance. I felt at home. Tired and aching from the exertions the day before, daunted at the thought of the work ahead, but at home and happy.
You may know from my previous blogs that our journey to this apartment has been long and arduous. Having completed on our house sale in December after three years on the market, our tenant here refused to move out so we had to rent another property while we went through the legal process of removing her. Four months later we are finally here.
We bought the apartment two years ago, having just accepted an offer on our house. That offer, and two subsequent ones, fell through, so while we waited to sell the house we decided to rent out the apartment.
When we bought it we knew we would like a new bathroom and kitchen fitted and Plan A was to have both done before we moved in and after the tenant had left but we had waited so long to move in that we decided to do it while we were here. Subsequently, although we have been here for over a month, little is actually unpacked and most is in the wrong place. There was no point in putting food and crockery into the kitchen only to have to take it all out again and for weeks every meal I cooked began with a rummage in cardboard boxes for the necessary ingredients!
Slowly, however, things are improving. The kitchen is complete, except for a few missing tiles on the floor and behind the sink, which are expected “any day now” from the suppliers and work on the bathroom is starting this week, which has meant moving everything out of there and into the second bedroom. This room, eventually to become our “study”, is at present our “dumping ground”. It is, however, logically the first room to be re-carpeted as we are having fitted office furniture made. So once the bathroom is done we will have to move everything out of there and into the living area ready for the carpenter to make the desk units, then we can move it all back and start on the sitting room!
After three years in a four-bedroom Georgian Manor House, the lack of space, coupled with the chaos of home improvements has meant we are a long way from feeling “settled in”.
Bethany Askew is the author of seven novels:
The Time Before, The World Within, Out of Step, Counting the Days, Poppy’s Seed, Three Extraordinary Years and The Two Saras.
She has also written a short story, The Night of the Storm, and she writes poetry.
Two more women’s fiction books have been accepted for publication in 2020 and 2021 respectively and she is currently working on a new novel.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, music, theatre, walking, Pilates, dancing and voluntary work.
Bethany is married and lives in Somerset.