I think I’ve watched enough episodes of ‘Location, Location, Location’ to know that house hunting is not for the faint-hearted. Hard work, if you do it properly, and even then often calling for shed loads of compromise. In other words finding your dream home is quite often just that, a dream.

Having said that, it still doesn’t stop you starting out with your dream home firmly in mind. For us, or perhaps I should say, for me, that dream home was ‘Ivy Cottage’, but even that required lots of compromise.

As you know things didn’t work out at ‘Ivy Cottage’, and so some serious house hunting is being done. I shudder to think how many houses we have viewed on-line in the last 6 months, it must run in to 1000’s and yet we still haven’t found the right one.

Interestingly, or possibly alarmingly, every house we have been serious about has been owned by a pensioner couple, selling due to poor health. I’m sure this is telling us something, but I don’t want to dwell too long on what that might be!!

What do we want? Detached, preferably old with character; 2/3 bedrooms; 2 toilets; decent sized garden; private but not remote; preferably with a garage and workshop/greenhouse; safe for Leonard.

So this begs the question, ‘Are we being too picky?’, truthful answer, ‘Probably’, but at the end of the day, we’ve worked for 40 years to get where we are now and to aim for anything less than the perfect place in which spend our retirement seems like a bit of a waste.

Is it wrong to want a garage that you can actually put your car in and get out of at least one of it’s doors? Or a room that is big enough to put at least some furniture in? (Peter’s sofa.) Or to be detached and more than 4″ from your next door neighbour? (Slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.)

Estate agents seem to occupy some parallel universe to the rest of us.

‘Deceptively spacious accommodation.’ = Small.

‘Occupying larger than average plot’ = Garden the size of 2 pocket handkerchiefs.

‘Close to popular local amenities’ = Opposite the pub.

‘Conveniently situated close to local amenities. = Opposite the public toilets.

Right house, wrong place. Right place, wrong house. Too big, too small. No garden, huge garden. Too near a road, too far down unmade track. Too near neighbours, too remote. Needs too much work, had too much (bad) work done.

Somewhere there must be a house that is ‘just right’ for us. I’m beginning to know what Goldilocks felt like! The search goes on.