LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fond Memories of the HDB Flat

The Study

The Master Bedroom

The Living Room


The Dining Room


The Guest Bathroom



It's funny how the human heart forms attachments. Till today, I regret the sale of my HDB flat. Me... the Petunia who thinks herself hard-headed and unemotional and rational about financial investing.

As a young couple, we bought a 7-room HDB because we thought it would maintain its value better even as flats become ever smaller. We hadn't much money to furnish it, so we put in cheap iron grilles that flaked rust after some months, until we learnt how to apply rust conversion primer. The floor was covered with vinyl sheets. Some years later, with savings in the bank, we overlaid wood laminate on it to create a woody, rustic feel. And we kept furniture to a minimum so that we would have less to clean, and one could simply drag a mop up and down the room without meeting any furniture. The children learnt to walk on a soft and bouncy vinyl floor. And when we laid wood laminate on it, it was yet another low cost and low maintenance option to renovating.

But till today I think of that flat with an ache in my heart because it no longer is mine. I sold it for mercenary profit and it still feels like I had sold a piece of my soul.

You see, it was a really nice place. All the rooms were large and well-ventilated. Every room had generous windows and the monsoons breezed through it at all times of the year. I had a corridor along which I could grow a small herb garden and dry my clothes on days where it rained nonstop.

It was a nice place to stay. It really was.

But that's not all, I guess. There really is something unexplainable about how the human heart forms attachments. The Husband has given me many gifts throughout the years. There have been expensive watches, and handbags, and diamonds. Yet, the thing that I took care to wrap in layers of tissue and masking tape (personally, not trusting the packers and movers to do it for me) ... was a shiny seashell he had picked up on a beach on one of his trips overseas 10 years into our marriage. It was such a pretty shell that it shone resplendent on the sand, and made him think how I would thrill at its beauty the way he did. And he brought it home across half the world - for me. He brought home other gifts too, but I forget what they are. I think I like this shell so much because it represents a moment shared in spirit even though we were half a world apart. I was pleased that after 10 years of marriage, he found a shell and thought immediately of me.

And maybe I like that HDB flat so much because we shared so many joys there. The birth of our children... their toddlerhood... the many little joys that make up life and living.








15 comments:

Blur Ting said...

That's a cowry shell! So romantic ;-)

That house is HUGE! I bet there aren't many of these around. I would love to live in one like that, if someone else is doing the housework.

petunialee said...

Ting - Oh! So THAT is a cowry shell? I didn't know. People used it as money in the past so I guess it isn't JUST a shell huh? It wasn't difficult to clean that house. There was so little furniture for so many years that it was just a matter of running up and down the rooms dragging a mop.

Open Kitchen Concept said...

That's really sweet of the Husband.. and of you. Wow. I didn't know there was a thing called a 7 room HDB flat. LOL. Thought it was a typo in your last post

petunialee said...

OKC - :-) I guess the 7-roomers in far off corners of Singapore was one of Singapore's well kept secrets.

Rene said...

Hi, I had exactly the same feelings when I sold my HDB. Like you, it was our first home when we got married and had to furnished it on tight budget. =)

Malar said...

You have such a romantic husband! So sweet of you to keep it so nicely!
7 rooms? That's a lot of space!

Ivana said...

I remember thinking, "what? Another room? And another?" as you took me on a tour. It was a lovely set up. But you have built another lovely home that you will build more memories in. Take heart Petunia.

petunialee said...

Ivana - The Husband will be happy to read your comment. He told me curtly a couple of nights ago to stop complaining.

petunialee said...

Malar - Thank you!! It was a nice and large place indeed.

Wen-ai said...

Your husband is soooo romantic! That was a really very sweet gesture.
I'm currently also staying in a 7-roomer, hrm, but I only have 2 bedrooms now. 1 big master bedroom for myself, and a spare room for Beanie. Guess I can only have 1 child huh? Or else the kids will have to share 1 bedroom!

petunialee said...

Wen-Ai: Wow! Your rooms must be really LARGE!!

Karl said...

Hardly remember HDB ever built a 7-room flat/house? unless it is like one of my friends who broke down the wall of two side by side units...

Karl.

petunialee said...

Karl - These were 3 room and 4 room flats that were built in an era where they built before they sold. The blocks stood tall and empty for some years before they were converted into 7-roomers by HDB. We bought ours direct from HDB already converted. If you don't mind living in an ulu location these flats are good value for money.

My SINFONIA said...

My hub says women form attachments to their houses. But i think it is what has happened in the house that women are attached to. :)

petunialee said...

Sinfonia - I think you're right!!