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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Getting Used to a Big House

It seemed like a good idea to get a big house, with spacious rooms and generous windows. When I awoke after the first night and opened my eyes a slit, I noted that the other wall was perhaps a mile off, and the ceiling had disappeared into the clouds. I felt like Garfield in the Tale of 2 Kitties, waking up to stare upwards at the canopy of drapes that hung over his bed.

But we're a family so used to getting in each other's way that it feels oddly lonely and impersonal to have so much space to myself. The children are in their rooms. The Husband is making eyes at his computer and I sit alone in a huge room contemplating the mile off wall and the ceiling lost in clouds. And so it is that I trot across the landing to The Daughter's room and sit on her bed to feel the cosiness of her rather smaller room... of a somewhat more manageable size. And then I went to persuade The Husband bring his laptop over to come sit by me in companionable silence, on our bamboo day bed. And then I offered to Little Boy my wide expanse of bedroom floor to conduct his chemistry experiments.

There are insects too. The patch of jungle about 500m away was an attractive green lung. It really is nice to see greenery out the windows. But this little patch of green sends out armies of mosquitoes. Many are the deadly Aedes mosquitoes which bite at dawn and at dusk. I sustained 9 itchy welts which I scratched into open wounds on the first night we sat out at the patio to play Uno Stacko. Mosquito coils are now lit at 6pm and placed at the main entrances to the house. Mosquito coils are very effective but they represent an extra daily chore. Bees and wasps fly in and out of the house. We leave them alone because there is so much air space that they don't bother us.

And then of course, I've had to crack my head to reduce the helper's workload... make cleaning more efficient... automate some chores... and nag at everyone to be less piggy in their daily habits. It is rather a good thing that the children are grown and don't make as much of a mess as toddlers do.

Still, I am rather ambivalent about this house. I'm proud that I've actually built it (and it has proven to be a worthwhile investment already) but I still think my old 7-room HDB flat was a nice, manageable and spacious dwelling. I didn't quite like the penthouse as much because it really had less liveable space than the jumbo HDB... and now, in this house, I kinda have too much liveable space.

I guess I will get used to it in time to come. I'm just old and resistant to change.

12 comments:

My SINFONIA said...

Hey! You have moved in! Aren't you glad the building is over? Congrats on thd new house. How are the kids liking it?

Chawanmushi said...

Hiya Pet
Glad to hear that U have moved to your dream house. I suppose in any changes that happen in our lives you will need time to adjust and after that when you get use to your dream house and fill it with your treasures you may wonder what happened to all that space you had ... :-)

petunialee said...

Sinfonia - Thanks!! The kids love this house... and I am VERY glad the building is over!!

petunialee said...

Chawanmushi - Yup! I guess I need time to adjust...

Blur Ting said...

I long for that kind of space Petunia! Have more dogs, maybe?

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

more pets! hehehe.....

rear some chickens? they're good at pecking off the centipedes + millipedes + loads of yuckies. and u'll have eggs daily too! fresh + organic. hehehehe.....

Open Kitchen Concept said...

wow.. too much space.. I wonder if I'd ever complain abt that... :) I'm so curious to see your HDB flat because I thought your penthouse was HUGE!

petunialee said...

Ting - But you do! Your parents' farm house is HUGE!! I modelled my house partly after that. Big windows and large rooms.

petunialee said...

Fry - Hi hi! Milo would be chasing the chicky chicks all over the house. And I would be able to start a feather duster factory.

petunialee said...

OKC - My penthouse SEEMED huge but the actual liveable space was about 1500 sq ft versus my HDB flat's 2000 sq ft. I actually threw away furniture to accommodate the penthouse's smaller space.

Our Living Spaces said...

Hi Petunia,
Hope you have gotten used to your bigger house already.

I too moved from a small flat to my bigger house and can relate to what you shared. For the first few house, I felt that it was such a long walk to get to the toilet from my bed and to get to the kitchen from the main door. When I told my friends about this, I got a feeling that they think I am boasting about the size of my house when it is actually genuine adaptation problem.

Glad I adapted and am enjoying my house now. Nonetheless, I do agree that there are more things to keep me busy in a bigger house.

petunialee said...

Yup... I've gotten used to my house. It no longer seems big. In contrast, I found the show flats I visited yesterday very tiny. The bedrooms feel like closets. It's funny how the human brain works.