Home is where you make it, and other life lessons

Phew, we’ll it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster couple of weeks for Archie and me.

At the beginning of this week my flat in London was sold, and I was in the process of buying Archie’s dream house – a little cottage in Musselburgh, just outside Edinburgh, with a huge, dog-friendly front and back garden. It looked directly onto the famous racecourse, perfect dog-walking (and Ashleigh running) on non-race days, and minutes’ walk from woods, a lake and a seaside trail. I was picturing our perfect life, researching paint colours, imagining summer evenings drinking wine on the patio, and planning our early morning walking routes.

By the end of the week my buyer in London, who’d been messing me about since I first accepted her offer, pulled out of the purchase and I had to withdraw my offer in Musselburgh. My dream of a lovely new home, and garden for Archie to explore to his heart’s content, was shattered.


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So excited about his new home


So, the flat is back on the market and I have to start the whole process of finding a buyer and hopefully this time exchanging on a sale, all over again. I am gutted. But this time I’m changing my attitude, and refuse to obsess over waiting for a buyer, and dreaming of a new life so much that I forget to live the one I have now.

Since moving to Edinburgh I’ve refused to settle in Tollcross because I’ve been determined that we’d only be here for a short time, but on reflection I think that’s been a missed opportunity. Instead, for as long as we’re here, I’m going to embrace the things the area has to offer, and make more effort to make connections. So I’m starting a Jog Scotland group on Tuesday to hopefully meet some new running buddies, and get some running practice in ahead of starting running together last in the year. I’m also very excited about getting our first ever car. I had been waiting to get a new home first, but since that might be some way off now, a little car will mean that we can finally start exploring the beautiful Scottish countryside, hills and beaches that I know we’re both going to love.

The whole sorry episode has also helped to crystallise what I really want from our new home, and while the Musselburgh cottage would certainly have been Archie’s dream, in retrospect I’m  not sure it was mine. On reflection I probably do need a bit more of the shops, cafes and restaurants that urban life has to offer. The one non-negotiable is a private garden, but I’m sure I can live without private parking.

In the meantime Archie is making such an effort to embrace his existing home, even if it’s far from his ideal. He is doing super well on his walks – I (inadvertently) took him to the busy Meadow’s festival and he didn’t bark at a single person, despite lots of unfamiliar smells, noises and sights.

Who are all these people and what are they doing in my park?

His separation issues also seem to be totally fixed, which is amazing. I really can’t convey what a relief it is to know I can go out for a few hours and leave him home alone and content. As long as I leave calmly and quietly he just shrugs and slips off to my room to sleep under the bed. Can’t wait to see his trainer Linnea on Wednesday and show her how much progress he’s made.

Oh, and of course we took our #dogsatpollingstations photo. Archie was less keen on heading to a busy primary school than I was, but I convinced myself it was good training for him…

Doing his #dogsatpollingstations pose

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