I have been in my perfect cottage for almost 2 years now. I am still slowly getting things how I want them which is unusual for me. In the past, everything would have been unpacked and put away before bed the first night and I would have half-killed myself doing it. I put my mattress on the sitting room floor and slept there for about a month, surrounded by boxes, because I had no furniture. I sold everything apart from my very expensive mattress, my electric piano, an Ikea chair, a side table – the first piece of furniture I ever brought aged 17, and a folding table that would fit anywhere. The cottage is so small that none of my old furniture would fit in it. Everything in the cottage has to be flat-packed and built in the room (including the sofa!) so I needed to take some time to find furniture that would fit in the house, literally and aesthetically.

One of the things ME has given me is unlimited patience (for most things). Before ME, if I wanted it, I wanted it now. I couldn’t hold on for anything. Everything that needed to be done was done immediately and fully – no waiting and certainly no resting until the job was done.

I am pretty sure I have written this in a previous post but I clearly remember the day that changed my life. I was already very ill and had been in bed for a few weeks. One morning the sun was shining and it showed that the house was really dusty and dirty. I decided that I was going to clean it. My routine before I became ill had been to start at the top and work down. Every Friday I would clean windows, skirting boards, under everything, change beds, hoover, dust, tidy as I went and I could get the whole house immaculate in four hours. I wouldn’t be able to stop until it was perfect. So on this day, I stripped the bed, which at this point was not being done on a weekly basis, and went down to get some clean sheets. Because I knew that going up and down stairs was one of the things that took the most energy from me I decided to bring the hoover upstairs with the sheets to save me another trip downstairs. I got back into the bedroom (I’m on the top floor of a three storey house), left the hoover in the middle of the room, put the sheets on the window sill, looked at my bed, climbed into it with no sheets, duvet cover or pillowcases and that is where I stayed for the next three days. Literally only getting out to crawl to the en-suite loo and once a day to go downstairs to the kitchen for a drink or a piece of bread. On the first day I would wake and look at the hoover and feel really irritated that it was in the middle of the room and needed moving back to its home. On the second day I was thinking it won’t kill me to have it there one more day and by the third day I didn’t care if it stayed there forever. I realised that it wasn’t hurting me there and that it really did not matter where it was. Those three days not only changed but probably saved my life. I no longer feel compelled to do anything. I am not obliged to kill myself to achieve something that no one else would even notice. I no longer need to be perfect in everything I do! It makes life SO much easier, and happier!

Sooooo, I live down a footpath in a little jumble of cottages and gardens. I have a really pretty front garden and behind me, out of my back windows, I can see someone elses really pretty garden. I have furniture and last winter had a cabin (which my kind and lovely youngest son made possible) built in my garden (it’s been insulated and plastered inside and has an electric light and sockets (Christmas present from my fab brother) which will be my spare room and music/craft room. It is full of things (cr*p) from the old house which were stored in a lockup waiting for me to eBay and car boot and which I have promised myself will be taken to the dump/charity shop if I haven’t managed to unload them by the end of May 2018. I fully intend to have a summer house, come spare room, come music/craft room this summer. The piano has just been moved out of my tiny sitting room and I love how much bigger the room now seems.

Not the prettiest picture but this is my new ‘shed’.