Thursday, 7 January 2010

I am a believer.

"If I count how many steps it would take to climb this mountain I would go no further: I would sit down and cry. But I have decided to be a believer."

I have not blogged for a good while. And I am sorry for that but let me tell you something of why. We had this dream, this plan. It started off as a plan to put work and home together, to simplify our lives so we did not spend 2 hours and 20 miles a day in a car taking children to school and us to work. We wanted a more sustainable lifestyle. But then we looked around some houses homes, premises – all kinds of things, all over the north of England and Wales. Mind you, there seemed to be a theme, as our favourites tended to be old doctors surgeries.

And so another dream began to emerge. “What a lovely big room” we thought. “It could work for classes, courses, training etc. And look at this room! This would be so fab as a therapy room.” Basically, we realised that we might be able to have an office, a pool storage and a Birth Resource Centre. That phrase was given us by a doula moving down from Edinbugh who had worked with Nadine Edward’s set up. She gave me the concept I was looking for: A resource to parents, midwives practitioners for maternity birth and beyond. A place to be informed, nurtured and massaged as well. A network hub for birth.

That was the dream. Now the reality. A large family a small income, a small but expanding business, a credit crunch. After 18 months of arguing with banks (No, the Royal Bank of Scotland does not lend to small businesses any more) and vendors (What? You want to knock another £10 thousand off for the tree in the cellar?”), we finally purchased 89 Bradford Road, known to the children as 89 Zoo Lane ( Do you remember ’64 Zoo Lane' on TV?) and to David as Gormanghast.

Our new home is a gargantuan Victorian edifice with no central heating system. After the TV programme ‘Victorian Farm’, we’re going for the spin off: ‘Victorian House’ complete with real TB. Spread over four floors there is ample opportunity to lose children, ladders, staircases and whole rooms. Visitors and workman have been known to appear in doorways looking puzzled and nonplussed asking “Where have the stairs gone?” “I thought they were around here somewhere”. And so our enchanted house casts its spell.

We got the keys to the focus of our dreams on 30th November. On 1st December the builders moved in to remove the tree from the basement wall, put the stairs back where they need to be for health and safety reasons as well as reaching the fourth floor, and to make other basic repairs – such as restoring the roof and chimney etc.

It was an exciting week when we moved in – and yes it took a week to move the Weston tribe with their goods and chattels plus expanding business into one set of premises – (and yes we do now have a tradesman’s entrance!). Unfortunately as we moved in, the central heating boiler moved out into the skip and we had the white Christmas we would never have contemplated otherwise. Ah the twists and turns of fate! Our children have now learnt that getting ready for bed means putting your pyjamas on top of your day clothes. And no one is allowed out with less than five layers of clothes. Tom says he prefers ‘windy Walney’ (our holiday home) with outside loo because it is warmer there. And it is.

The Scott of the Antarctic Memorial Society are holding their annual re-enactment at 89 Zoo Lane to which all who have the appropriate clothing are invited. Bring a penguin. Placement students from the British Antarctic Survey are also welcome. (None of this is true but its sounds good! - ed)

And so here I sit with large jumper retrieved from case of clothes from my student days and woolley hat (I may look silly but I feel warm!) writing my blog. IN four weeks time I want the embryo Birth Reosurce Centre to be ready for birth – I suspect, like every mother, I will have to learn the art of contented waiting. In the mean time there are boxes to empty, furniture to arrange, walls to paint, workmen to find and organise. And at the same time, meals to cook ( where is that pan it can’t be in a box), washing to do, children to take (or not) to school, customers to deal with, bills to pay.

If I count how many steps it would take to climb this mountain I would go no further: I would sit down and cry. But I have decided to be a believer. So instead I count the steps I have made and look back at how far I have travelled. With the courage this gives me I can turn my face forward.

I know that in three years time we will hardly believe the distance we have covered. I am a believer.


your sister-in-birth said...

Good luck with your new venture Ruth. What a fantastic idea. I am sure that good vibes are following you.
Best wishes

Muddling Along Mummy said...

Congratulations ! I can't wait to hear how it all goes, it sounds like you're on such an incredible journey

And in respect of the cold, my parents house barely had heating - we'd have one room with a fire in and then have to wear layers upon layers to keep warm.