House for Sale

I live in one of the most beautiful parts of Huddersfield.  Of course that’s a personal and subjective view; yet within seconds I can cross the road and be walking in the countryside. And what a countryside it is.

I live ‘up’ the Colne Valley (we rarely say ‘in’ the Colne Valley), which still bears much evidence of its historical role in the wealth of Great Britain. The A62 trunk road from Huddersfield to Manchester runs along the valley, formerly one of the great Trans-Pennine arteries, often closed in winter, but now superseded by the M62 some miles to the north west. Following the same route from Yorkshire to Lancashire are the twin industrial revolution lifelines, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Trans-Pennine railway with two stations, at Slaithwaite and Marsden, serving the valley itself.

The Colne Valley is where Thomas Armstrong chose to set his fictional family history, The Crowthers of Bankdam, which detailed the explosion of industrial change in the Yorkshire woollen district: Huddersfield and Ramsfield are hardly distinguishable from each other. Even Kit Ormerod, in Armstrong’s powerful King Cotton, paid a visit.

So, given the cracking location – why can’t I sell my house?

It’s been for sale since Easter now and we’ve had just two viewings. The estate agents say it’s not the price and although they suggest that the market is slow, they cannot fathom why we’re getting so few visits. I know also that many people are worried about next week’s spending review and how that will affect their jobs but my work is already affected (i.e. I have very little) and a four bedroomed house is getting a bit too big for just two of us.

House for sale.

Estate Agent.

Rant over 🙂


Moving house

I used to tell my students to never let themselves age. I advised them to retain their enthusiasm and to always remain young at heart.  To be adventurous, to be safe but overall to consider others. I thought that that was good advice – I still do.

Our brains don’t really get old but illnesses apart [e.g.] they do mature. My own brain thinks that I am every age I’ve ever been and at heart, I’m still a young, enthusiastic, adventurous man. My body though, has a mind of its own. I suspect that this is natural; minds and bodies rarely understand each other. And, we rarely talk about it.

I touched on this briefly before [] but recent weeks have been a real reminder that I am not in my mid twenties, which my brain is apt to believe, but further away from the wrong side of 50 than I’d care to admit. I’ve spent quite some time these last few weeks packing up my ‘office’ stuff (ready to convert the room back into a bedroom) and my elbows have told me, repeatedly, that I should stop. My brain reasons that ‘it’s only a few boxes – don’t worry’.

Sharon and Gail have packed up quite a bit more of the house and today [I drafted this a couple of weeks ago] has been the day to remove this clutter (where does it all come from?) to storage, in preparation for staging the house for sale. John Rousell kindly offered to help and we managed the task reasonably simply this morning.

But despite having help and despite it only being ‘clutter’ (John and I have always helped each other – and others – to move house) my joints are taking great pains (literally) to remind me that I am not the twenty one year old my brain insists that I am.

Yet, despite these signs of age, I can think more clearly than I ever could; I believe that I am able to reason, teach, train, address and debate better than I ever could.  How does that happen? Why must our bodies have (ha ha) minds of their own? ;-(