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Upstairs, Downstairs

Upstairs, Downstairs

It’s nine years this month since we upped sticks and moved into our bungalow.

‘Upped sticks’ is probably slightly over-egging things as we only crossed the road to the other side of the village.

It was a monumental effort though as we packed up and sold our cute, beloved, three-bed end terrace in about eight weeks – pretty impressive eh?

I say we, but mummy did most of the hard work, boxing all our worldly goods while on her first bout of maternity leave.

Boy 1 was just six-months-old on moving day – a suicide mission if ever there was one.

It was a beautiful May morning, the sun was shining and the removal men were sweating even before their first cuppa - a weekend I will never forget.

Admittedly, it did take me a while to get used to the general idea of moving. I was perfectly happy in our child unfriendly, newlywed haven.

I didn’t need the stress or the hassle, and certainly didn’t relish the thought of doing it with baby on board.

When mummy gets a bee in her bonnet however, it’s unlikely ever to make it back to the hive – so with reluctance I gradually came round to the idea.

Call it fate or (more realistically) an inconvenient coincidence, but she had a ‘wonderful’ dream about a bungalow that had caught her eye on the ‘quiet side’ of the village.

Before we knew it, the dream had become reality and after a few dozen viewings and trips to the mortgage advisor with youngster in tow, we were all systems go.

The main reason for this upheaval was to secure a little more space for our growing family, plus it was not overlooked and we wanted something with potential to utilise in the future.

Built circa late 60s/early 70s our new one level wonder had been recently ‘done up’ so was extremely liveable and much more child friendly than the previous pad.

With a good-sized garden and gigantic (to us) master bedroom, it was somewhere we could see us taking root in for the foreseeable.

We were without doubt the youngest in the road for a good many years.

A fact that I’m certain rang many an alarm bell with the retired couples we adjacented, especially when they clocked half of Mothercare being unloaded onto the driveway on moving in day.

All in all, we seem to have fitted in quite well and even with the advent of Boy 2, no neighbouring for sale signs were brandished in protest.

And even though at least one other ‘younger couple’ have joined us in recent years, we rather like being the sore thumbs in the road and enjoy good relations with the surrounding natives who’ve always made us feel nothing but welcome.

There’s just one slight problem with our dream bungalow and it’s the downright, blooming obvious - it doesn’t have any stairs.

A problem I might add that is of no concern to mummy and daddy.

The boys however have rather different ambitions, with my eldest often passionately vociferous in his longing to climb to a different level.

No stairwell or upper landing is safe from the Dynamic Duo who constantly seek out structures to conquer in a bid to satisfy their cruel deprivation.

This often leads to much bum bouncing or rail holding whenever a flight is tackled head on – unpractised legs suddenly bemuse their baffled owners, resulting in head first dives or comic pratfalls akin to something out of an old black and white movie.

Charlie Chaplin has nothing on these two.

‘Stairgate’, if you’ll pardon the pun, is a family scandal that I’m sure will rumble on for many a year.

Until they realise one fine day, that climbing the apples and pears is not the be-all and end-all it appears to be.

A distinct lack of wooden hill is a godsend to new mummies and daddies, who don’t have to stealthily scale a creaking Mount Everest – heaven forbid waking sleeping baby upstairs.

A quick check in the next room is all that’s required if you’re a Bungalow Bill – so you can stick your stairs and clamber on!

We’ll keep our feet firmly on the ground even though our heads are usually up where they belong – in the clouds dreaming of the next hilarious adventure.


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