Country mouse moves house

We’re moving again-our third time in two years. However, this time, it is to a house that we will actually own, a Grade II-listed barn. The cunning plan to sell in October 2010, move into rented accommodation and be ready, poised like a coiled spring, to seize a house as soon as it came on the market, failed.

Renting is fine, but it got on my nerves after the first year. It is just not the same thing as owning. You can’t love the garden because you know you’ll be leaving it, and although getting all sorts of bits of maintenance done at someone else’s expense has its attractions, it’s all a bit phony. I remember buying my first house in Newmarket and going round it touching the walls in wonder that I had made such a momentous step. I want to do that again.

If the plan failed, what we have become good at is the actual act of moving. Each time we have shed 10% of our clutter, and we will now need one less lorry than we did two years ago. Our rule that if it hasn’t been used, worn or seen in the past year, it’s not coming with us, has worked wonders.

* Subscribe to Country Life and save over £50 a year