Country mouse on moving into a new house

Most of the cardboard boxes have now been unpacked, including a few that were never opened after our last move 10 years ago. Getting to know a new house takes time, but it’s fun exploring and trying to work out what all the oddly placed switches are for.

The hot-water system is rather old and wheezy, providing only the odd inch of water for a bath, but the Aga is thankfully unfussy and already part of the family. We even have a milkman who delivers, albeit at 4.30am, while doing an impression of the fastest milkman in the West, leaving in a spray of gravel that wakes the entire house.

The garden is full of old yews and scattered apple trees, including one that has a rose tree grafted onto it about 3ft up the trunk. Is this unusual? I haven’t come across it before, but they seem to have been flourishing together for many years. I look forward to seeing the pair in their pomp next summer.

With vast expanses of grass surrounding the house, I will have to drive the lawnmower like the milkman. There’s lots to look forward to, and little by little our new house is becoming a home.