My dad is getting ready to move house! He and his wife have been living in their current house since forever. But it is huge, with three storeys, and a garden both in the front and the back, and this is starting to get a bit much. Soon my dad will be 85. And they realise that themselves as well of course, but they like the current house so much they didn't want to trade it in for anything inferior. And nothing they liked came up. Until it did!
One village further to the southwest there used to be a psychiatric hospital. It is quite famous in the area! Many a disrespectful remark has been made about it. But the situation changed and the building became available for different purposes. And a decision was made to turn it into apartments. My dad and his wife were interested! Of course there is scope for jokes here. I'll leave that to the reader.
Living in an old psychiatric hospital turned out to be very popular! All apartments were sold so quickly my dad didn't get a look-in. But the hospital had a lot of grounds, and more apartments would be built on these. Brand-new ones! And my dad and his wife decided to buy one of those. This decision had been made quite a long time ago. I had been worried about it a bit. Since when do building projects get finished on time? How long will this take? But everything was on schedule. And when my dad phoned me for my birthday he could already tell me he had got the key. Exciting stuff!
I would go and visit my dad when I was in the Netherlands, and we would go and have a look at the new house. And so it happened! When I got there I was first served lunch. I thought that after that, we would go to the new house, but my dad said bad weather was expected and he suggested we go out for a very short walk, and otherwise just stay put. That was okay with me too. I seized the opportunity of getting completely thwacked in a game of Scrabble.
I could only whisper, and my father’s hearing has never been particularly good, and my stepmum needs a hearing aid, so it wasn't overly easy to communicate. But I think we sort of managed!
I went to bed early in the hope that the next day I would be able to speak. And would be less dependent on my handkerchief. I did feel better the next day, but my voice was still gone!
The next morning after breakfast we went to the new house. It is doable on foot, but the weather wasn't inviting, and we were also expected reasonably early at my sisters place. So we went by car instead.
Their new house is still on a bit of a building site. It is clearly a case of final touches, but they are still unfinished bits, and fences keeping you away from them. We quickly went inside. It is only the essence of a house; walls, ceilings, doors and windows. The floors haven’t been put in yet, and the walls have not been painted. There is plumbing, though! And it has a heat pump, so there also already is heating.
The idea was that we would have coffee there. There already was a little fold about-out table and some fold-out chairs. It was nice to have a first coffee in what would one day be the living room! And after we had had two coffees, they showed me the rest of the house.
|Coffee in the new house!|
They also had asked me to hang up some light fittings. That wouldn't be the definitive ones, but then at least there would be light! That comes in handy. Of course I was happy to comply.
We then also combined our forces to hang up a big heavy plank high up in the storage unit. That really needed a fair number of hands! And we put some stuff in the storage unit that they had already brought in the car.
When that was done we walked a little bit around on the terrain. It looks lovely! I already knew what the old buildings look like, but now I could see how they had blended in the new-build. I think they did a great job in making them blend in. And I could imagine that once all these houses are inhabited, you get a nice little community! I could see why this house had finally managed to lure them out of their previous house.
|The old buildings|
We also went for a tiny walk in a nearby copse. It was beautiful! But the weather wasn't, so we didn't go far. And then we went back home. It was time to have lunch and then head for my sister together! Stage 2 of my visit done…