I have just returned from house hunting. This is house hunting to rent  not to buy. If you are buying a house, they give you room sizes and a list of what is in the kitchen. When you are looking to rent they tell you how many bedrooms there are, but no pets or smokers. They don’t measure anything but take cash off you to secure your interest.

I have looked at small houses, large houses, houses that need the blinds down all day because  the passing traffic, of which there is lots, can see straight into your ground floor bedroom, houses with wardrobes in the kitchen, houses down a steep incline where all you can hear is the noise of the traffic combined with the roar of the train.

Sometimes, all that is needed is to find one which is quiet, reasonable and if it needs a move around of the kitchen units to make sense, then why not? It’s like the story of the man who went to the rabbi and complained that his wife and seven kids were too noisy for him, he couldn’t cope. What should he do? Take in your wife’s parents, said the rabbi. The man came back and complained that his in-laws were making it worse, arguing with his wife how to bring up the kids. Take in your parents, said the rabbi. Oy, this was worse, said the man. Take in your animals said the rabbi. I can’t hear myself breathe, let alone think, the man said. So now, send them all home said the rabbi. Just have the house with you , your wife and seven kids. What a miracle, said the man. It’s heaven there’s so little noise!

So it’s time to clear out twenty years of clutter and find a new space to breathe, to find the new stories that are waiting.