Seminal Weekend

By Alison October 12, 2015 22 Comments 2 Min Read

Influential weekend decisions

And so it seems that when big influential decisions are made, they are made quite suddenly. In this case, the weekend. In the ordinary process of conversation. When someone says something, (a nothing, a meandering idea) and something simply clicks in your brain. Change happens in the float of a thought.
This weekend I made a decision bigger than any I have made in the past decade. Though it is an idea that has been wafting around my brain for a long time now, I have chosen to ignore it. To put it to the back of my mind and pretend that it could not be the very solution to so many of the niggles interfering with my life.
I am going to sell the house.
My teeny tiny little house. The first house I bought. The one I brought my baby home to. The one in which my Mum sat and hugged me. The house I built BrocanteHome in. The house I cannot live in now because the walls are papered in yesterday and each and every room feels claustraphobic.
I could not have done it before today. My Mum would have panicked about jeopardising my security. After Richard, I desperately needed to provide Finley with the certainty of home. And above all else I needed time to recover from the trauma of the last few years in the safety of a place I knew.
But it is time. Ste and I need a place we can call our own. I want a garden. To be able to wander away from the family and sit somewhere quietly by myself instead of all finding ourselves within constant spitting distant of each other. I want to live in a house where my I can keep my dog without bothering my neighbours and where I can park the car without worrying that it will get bashed by a lorry speeding down this very long lane on the way to the motorway. I want Mark to be free of the mortgage his name is still on and I want Finley and Stevie to be able to co-exist without driving each other up the wall.
We have spent the weekend talking it round and round in circles. Sitting up late at night, looking at money and weighing up the pro’s and con’s of freedom from a house that has become so very confining. And ultimately I have come to the conclusion that this is the right way to re-direct the trajectory of our lives. That it is in fact the only way I will ever grow. The only way we can be a family.
This is huge for me. Though I know other people change houses as often as they change handbags, my house has become an extension of myself I simply could not imagine shaking off. And now it is time to grow up and to recognise that a house is not a home. And a home is not a self. That where ever we go, there we are and that with the right intentions we can re-create home in a heartbeat.
I guess then it is about taking a leap of faith. And so here I am: about to call the estate agents and ask them to come value the house.
Consider me a-leaping.


  1. Laura_Elsewhere says:

    Oh Alison… I cannot tell you how delighted I am to read this news!
    Well done, well done, well done…. such a huge leap, yes – but I know *from experience* how liberating it can be to cut the old bonds and walk forward into a new life.
    One thing I learnt that is crucial: to truly walk into a new shared life, you do it side-by-side, holding hands and walking forward together. Not one person leading the other(s), not one trailing behind the other(s), but together, side-by-side.
    As you all are about to do. Don’t worry if the path looks too narrow and steep – I promise you, keep holding each other’s hands, keep walking forward side-by-side and that path will be wide enough. Always wide enough.
    With very very very great love to you, my dear brave Alison

  2. Helena says:

    Wow, that’s huge! Best of luck with this new adventure. Over the years I’ve been reading, I’ve always thought your house sounded delightful, so hopefully you’ll find a buyer quickly. It is funny how such big decisions can sometimes be made so quickly, isn’t it? I’m usually such a ditherer over smaller things, but sometimes with the big stuff I have to just do it or I never will, if that makes sense.
    Two pieces of advice, from our house-hunting adventures a couple years ago (when we sold our first home, where we’d lived for nine years–the one we brought our babies home to and where we had our wedding reception…I still feel a twinge of sadness about it now and then)–keep looking until you find the right place, don’t settle on something just because you’re tired of looking. And I don’t know if they do these in the UK like they do here, but whatever type of home inspection you have, find somebody thorough. We’re still dealing with issues that are unpleasant surprises (is plumbing ever pleasant? I think not…), but if our home inspector had been more thorough at least they would have been on our radar.

  3. Paige Belt says:

    ‍”Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.” Jim Rohn
    I can’t wait to hear about your going forward and hear about your new house as you make it a home.

  4. angel jem says:

    The right house is waiting for you, so go and look. Your beautiful little place should sell well, and then you can make a new home with your new site, new life, new man!!!! The old place is always a part of you, but you don’t need to own it to have the memories, and that’s what makes a home. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited!!

  5. jeanette says:

    I think this is the best decision for you! I am smiling because we had just done this very thing! We sold our house very quickly and I had wanted to rent so that we could take our time finding the right home. 9 months later our perfect home came on the market! We snatched it up! Taking our time ( and realizing that there is no perfect house) we were able to find a house that we loved, in the right price, with enough money to add on to it to fit the needs of our every growing family (pregnant with our 6th)! What a huge blessing! This will be so good for you!!!

  6. Averil Pickering says:

    Your opportunity to put the Brocante stamp on a new home!

  7. Brunette says:

    I’m so excited for you, Alison!
    I don’t know what all is involved in the UK when you’re buying a house together with someone else, but do be sure to consult a lawyer who has *your* interests firmly in mind.
    Have a lovely time house-hunting!
    P.S. Now I can’t stop thinking about the house hunt in Miss Buncle Married. 😀

  8. mimi says:

    I think when the big decisions come, they come from the heart in the quiet. After all the build up, they are there. Someone will absolutely snap up your lovely home, and you will find somewhere with space to grow your dreams and family. Brocante is within you and will be where you plant the seeds of it. Sending you much love xx

  9. Chrissie says:

    I have lived in 25 homes, go for it !

  10. dawn gilmore says:

    Good for you, Alison! You are embarking on a new adventure and starting a new chapter in your life.

  11. redheart says:

    The start of a wonderful journey – Go for it!

  12. While you have it staged, if it’s not too too much of an imposition, would you maybe post a few photos of your little cottage? I have always imagined it to be very warm and charming from the bits you’ve shown… 🙂

    1. Helena says:

      Oooh, that’s such a good idea. Alison, would you be willing to let us see what the current Chez Brocante looks like before you leave it? 🙂

  13. Sasha Toby says:

    I am so glad to hear such positive and exciting news Alison! In a way I feel your little home has become an extension of the website and we will miss it too! However, as a frustrated interior designer and real life renovation survivor and home-maker I’m excited to see what the future holds and how you will put your Brocante stamp on a new place! Best of luck with the process to you all xxx

  14. marymahoney says:

    So scary!!! And yet so exciting!!!! Just imagine how you will work your magic on every part of your new house. It will be your new ‘family home’ before you know it. Xxx

  15. Annie says:

    Sounds like a fabulous idea! Well done!

  16. Esther says:

    Happy happy happy for you!
    How lovely, a new beginning,just what the doctor ordered ?
    Best of luck with finding your new Brocante Home

  17. Debbi Greenlee says:

    I looked this up for you: A quote from a blog . . . moving . . . “was scary and hard and I lost a lot of sleep during that time. But I got through it by reminding myself of one of my favorite movie quotes ever, from You’ve Got Mail.
    When Meg Ryan’s character announces that she’s going to close her bookstore . . . her friend Birdie tells her that closing the store is the brave thing to do. And when Meg Ryan agues that it isn’t, Birdie tells her this:
    ‘You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life.’ ”
    In and out of context, I think it fits you beautifully. ♡ Debbi

  18. Violet says:

    My first home was repossessed in 2009. I thought it would be impossible to walk away from the place I held so many memories. Yet life provided a new flat that I made homely. Then I made the decision to move again of my own free will. Each move has been an opportunity to discover my style and make a home for my son. You really are on an exciting brink. But do consider ways to honour/ keep good memories of a place. I painted a picture of my old home before I left. It was like a goodbye love letter…
    You WILL have so much joy in a new project. Best wishes xxx

  19. Jane says:

    Good luck Alison. You have been in my life, so to speak, for many years now and I know that you will embrace this new chapter in your life now you have decided upon it. Anything new is always scary but you have a lovely family to support you through it all. Having just moved after fifteen years in a house we built ourselves and where we brought up our three children I know how stressful it can be as well as upsetting. However, home is made of layers of family, friends and memories made over time encased in the comfort of our surroundings which we can create ourselves – the house is just the shell of it really….happy house hunting and never under-estimate the importance of that first “feeling” you get when you walk in a house!

  20. Fabulous news! I could not be more thrilled for you Alison! what an exciting new chapter for you! xx

  21. Karla says:

    What a brave and wonderful opportunity! I am delighted to see how it all unfolds! Lovely home hunting to you all!

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