My husband and I sold our semi detached house in Dagenham, in 2013 where we lived for nearly 40 years, and brought up 4 children 3 boys and a girl. I was the one with green fingers, our gardens looked beautiful, when the children were tiny we planted two cherry blossom trees, one round the side of the house and the other bang in the middle of the front garden, when the trees grew to their full capacity, their branches met and from a distance, looked like a arch of blossom, and I had rose hedges all round one side of the house, on the other side where we had the drive-in and out driveway with block paving, behind the wall, I had a half moon shape, where I had lots of maintenance plants, and rose bushes, the back garden had red and yellow patio slabs, then stepped up to the path with lawn either side, at the back of garden we had a shed built the whole width of the garden, it looked like summer house, my husband painted it cream, our house was south facing so we had the sun all year round. We agreed a sale price, we chose a home that was suitable for my husband and I, as our children had all moved out with families of their own, but something went wrong soon after we signed the contracts, which I wont go into detail, we were both working at the time, I remember, I finished work at 5pm on Friday 24th May 2013, I got to our house and the new owners were there, I had to collect my cat and handover a spare key, my husband met me there, with our two little dogs, Jack Russell's. I took my cat and I never looked back when we drove off, I could not hold back the tears, We couldn't move into our new house, while I was at work, my husband put all our furniture in storage, but kept all our important paper work to hand. Then it hit me that we were homeless. we lived with one of our sons for a couple of weeks, we both continued to go to work, but I was not handling the situation very well, and had a nervous break down, my husband took me to see our GP, he confirmed that I was not fit enough to return to work, and put me on antidepressants, after a couple of weeks, my husband had to take me back to the GP, as he thought I was getting worse, I was also suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, I couldn't eat, and went down to 7stone, half the time I did not know what was happening around me, and to be truthful I didn't care. As my condition was getting worse, my husband had to pack up work to look after me, he hired a caravan for around three weeks, we moved from site to site living in caravans and chalet's, then back to living for a couple of weeks back with one of our other sons, a few months went by my husband found a nice 2 bedroom house to rent, the kitchen was really big, the back garden was a like a football pitch, both bedrooms had walk-in wardrobes, with had a separate bathroom and toilet. 6 months had gone past and I was still off work, my husband had found work local to home with an agency, my head of service contacted me, and made an appointment for me to see their occupational health, they signed me off for another 3 months, after the three months, my manger agreed for me to faze back into work gradually, it took me another 3 three months before I was back in work full time, and during all that time I was longing to be back at our house that we sold, I would go to sleep at night, hoping to wake up in the mornings, and this would have been just a bad dream. Then just after we had celebrated my 60th birthday, I had received letter informing me that I had paid into two pension schemes, and that now I was at the age of 60years I would receive a lump sum, plus a monthly income, well we could not believe it, I had forgotten about the pension I had paid in all those years before, and it could not of come at a better time, so I decided to use the money to buy this two bedroom semi detached house in Clacton-on-sea, we moved in 1/9/2017, we managed to get a small mortgage, because I wanted to use some of the money on the house, the front and back garden needed work done, we needed new windows, the kitchen is not as big as I am used too, but its big enough for the two of us, attached to the kitchen from the back of the house, we had a small outhouse, and attached to that was a little shed, so because the kitchen did not have space for all my kitchen appliances, I suggested to my husband to change the two outer buildings to a utility room, we still had a shed at the back of the garden, with electrics, so that's what we done, we had to replace the back boiler which was in the lounge, to a combi boiler, then had the kitchen gutted as it was a old looking kitchen with a free standing cooker, then I arranged for half of the back garden to be landscaped, well if you can call it landscaped, we had to call the builders back twice, as the bricks were lifting, and I had tripped over twice, in the end my husband had to finish the garden off himself, it was like a forest out there, my husband and I done most of the work ourselves we cut all the trees and bushes back, we didn't realise that we a small patio area at the back of the garden, the other half of the garden nearer to the kitchen is crazy paving, its not very nice, and looks untidy, there are big gaps between the paving, I would like to replace the crazy paving with patio slabs, and an area for a Barbeque, the fence at the back needs replacing, as well as the shed, the small fence to the right is rotting which is not ours, but we have our wiring on that little right hand fence, which leads from the utility room to the shed at the end of the garden, and I have had to block the gaps with big bolder rocks so our dogs are safe, we need a new fence all the way round the back garden, the left side of the garden is not very private, there is just a wired fence, the front end of the back garden, has a tall hedge, which leads down the side of the house to the front, the front garden we have managed to take away the shingles, and replace them with grey paving slabs, and put maintenance plants behind the wall, and added an additional side gate. My husband and I are still working, we have to work as we still have a small mortgage, but I do spend a lot of time in the garden when I can, but now my hands are hurting me so I can't do a lot, I do the best I can, I just want my little haven back, and somewhere decent for the grandchildren to play, we take our dogs out for daily walks, but would like a separate part of the garden for our dogs to do their business. My husband has retired, but still works part-time, we have decided that this is the house for us, and my husband will carry on working until I retire in 2 years time, but we both want the house and especially the garden looking nice before then. The last 5 years has been really stressful, for us both, the children have been great helping out when they can, putting a roof over our heads, helping us move, they have been a rock, but most of all my husband has been a rock to me, I was not an easy person to live with, my family know how much my garden means to me, if I am not well, suffering from a migran, or just what to be on my own, I like to sit at the back of the garden, even now I still think of my garden back in Dagenham, but my garden at the moment is not inviting, its missing something. maybe you can help.
Mrs Annette Edmead
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