Islamic symbols, Reales Alcázares de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain.
So there are choices, many choices, for which I should be grateful. But how do we choose among such a variety of abodes, each with its own particular benefits, as well as imperfections??!!
It may surprise you to know I've never owned a house! As a journalist, all my adult life has been nomadic, moving from city to city; from country to country. So our current quest for a permanent home in the Netherlands is proving an emotional minefield, as I try to come to terms with the idea of stability (!); of finally unpacking all that baggage, real and imagined.
Am trying to trust my instincts. But just when we think we've found the right place, unexpected problems are revealed: a leak that needs repair; a window that requires attention. A 1920s ground-floor apartment with original stained-glass windows seems too small and narrow. A beautiful 1934 bungalow is located on a busy city street. A charming 1930s maisonette is close to a train station, with an enthusiastic noise level to match.
A light-filled mansion is located in a nondescript neighbourhood, with sweeping views of - other houses! A gorgeous house is amiss in a modern, Stepford-like bedroom community, devoid of character. A place near our current maisonette that ticks most of the boxes is jaw-droppingly expensive. A spacious three-storey house has a tiny, closet-like kitchen. A former schoolhouse converted to a loft has light and space to spare, but would need major renovation and euros to burn.
We've viewed about two dozen places in different cities and neighbourhoods - as well as probably 100 online listings - and it seems our search isn't finished. Meanwhile, we edge a week closer to a late January move date, with no set destination. Perhaps we'll be traveling without reservations?