a stone's throw from Ian's house.
Something has been going on in the quiet background of my life. Our son, Ian is twenty three this summer. How long was he going to live with us? Till twenty five? Twenty eight? We had the wherewithal and the opportunity to say to him - look son, we will help you to buy a house - if you want it. You could buy a big rucksack and bobby off to Australia or you could begin your own business in men's fashions or you could have your own house courtesy of a bank or building society. He chose the house option.
Ian got the keys to his house on May 31st. Our bid of £130,000 was acceptable. The house is very close to Sheffield United's Bramall Lane football ground in a relatively deprived part of the city, just fifteen minutes walk from his workplace in town.
The house has three good-sized bedrooms and a little garden at the back. For the past three weeks we have been working on it, painting, repairing, furnishing, laying a laminate floor, sorting out the little garden and the outhouse that was once the only lavatory for early residents between 1905 when the house was built and the early nineteen fifties. My wallet has felt like a sieve. Today we bought him a fridge freezer and a washer and yesterday I was bombing around Sheffield in a hired Ford Transit picking up this and that and moving furniture. It was nice to look down on other road users and blast the ocean liner horn on the steering wheel - "Get out of my way you moron!"
It's all coming together now. He has one tenant already - Maso - who moved in today but Ian will also need another tenant for the attic bedroom if this home buying project is going to be viable or we will end up subbing him month by month and we want his position to be really settled before Frances, our daughter, goes to university in the autumn. What can you do eh? You never think of these things when you are in the delivery room cradling a helpless infant. We just thought - act now or it may never happen - and in spite of the worry, it feels good to express our love for Ian in this fundamental way. To get him on the housing ladder which for many British people is the stuff of wild imaginings.