Week 5: Husband

Husband and bread oven

Husband inspecting bread oven of Sensible House

I really wasn’t expecting what came next. It came via the medium of a phone call from Herr Sensible to Husband, our agent having given him the number. We are currently on holiday in Italy, celebrating our wedding anniversary. So it happened that we were emerging from the ancient painted Etruscan tombs of Tarquinia, which are so beautiful and touching that they make your heart ache, while also being in places slightly reminiscent of 1950s wallpaper, when Herr Sensible rang. Husband took shelter from the rain to take the call, while I went to buy postcards.

It turned out that the owners of the Sensible House had wanted to speak to us directly in order to let us know, unequivocally, that the additional land, some 2,600 square metres, was included in the sale, even though it was not in the estate agent’s details, and that it made no difference to the asking price.

I was incredulous at first, but Husband confirmed. They want to tell us much more about the house, too, which they would like to do face to face, and was there any chance we would be in the Algarve again soon? We don’t need much encouragement. We booked flights and accommodation straight away.

Hochzeitsturm, Darmstadt, Germany, on our wedding day

Hochzeitsturm, Darmstadt, Germany, on our wedding day

Why Portugal?

Italy is where we spent our first ever holiday together, and also our honeymoon (that’s our wedding on the right), not to mention a good many other holidays, which raises the question, why didn’t we want to move to Italy? I hope to be able to explain this one day, but for now, in answer to, ‘Why Portugal?’, I can only say:

It just is.

It feels right.

It might be that the same centrifugal force that sends me to the edge of the room at parties is also spinning me to the outer reaches of the continent.

But for no one does it feel more right than for Husband. Never have I seen him so happy and so relaxed, and so sure of what we are doing. On the day he handed in his resignation, he told me he experienced a feeling like stepping out into a void. That was short-lived. As soon as the resignation was accepted, he began to relax. He’s like something squashed that slowly regains its shape. He has not a moment of doubt, and I’m glad, because I sometimes do. For now, however, everything seems to be falling into place. We have agreed a sum with the owners of the Sensible House that is slightly below their original asking price, and leaves us with enough spare to do the things we need to do, such as putting in a satellite internet connection, and maybe turning the annexe into a bakehouse.


  1. Sue Forde

    Oh, what amazingly fantastic news. It does seem as I though the stars are lining up for you to go. Thank you for sharing the wedding picture. It is so joyous and I love the colours.

  2. Clare

    Growing up and going to school in Rome meant that learning about the kings and queens of England had little relevance. Instead, we learnt about the Etruscans and our field trips were often to Etruscan sites. Thank you for resurrecting that memory.

  3. Jenny

    Great news, glad things are falling into place, always looking forward to Wednesdays for the updates !
    Ooh and Happy Anniversary to you both. Hugs

  4. Kate (Kelly-Tanguay)

    I missed last Wednesday so am only now catching up…I just love your description of your husband as though something squashed slowly regaining its shape..and so delighted for you that the sensible house is edging closer to being your’s.
    How lovely to deal with such honourable sounding people.
    ‘1950’s wall paper’…I can’t believe anyone else will have ever made the connection!

  5. Ange

    I’m all for putting the satellite internet connection up there as a top priority investment. Otherwise how else shall we be able to read about The Sensible House, The Reinvigorated Husband, and The Brave Author?


  6. fatma

    Hooray, The Sensible Man came through and transformed into The Honourable Man! Congratulations. Very pleased for you and ‘Husband’. Onward and Upward. And a trip for me to the Etruscan tombs of Tarquinia one day, thanks to you.


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