Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Guest Post - Anna Mansell take a Chance! - Chances Fortnight

I’ve talked about my house on the dairy before, so apologies if you’re over it, but the thing is, I wouldn’t be sat here in my dining room, by the back window, watching the calves spring lamb their way across the paddock, were it not for utter chance.

We’d been searching for a house down Kernow for months. In truth, I’d been searching for years, but as ‘dirty’ bankrupts with a house repossession behind us, it was a pipe dream until very recently. I knew the housing market inside and out. I knew what had bought and sold and for how much, pretty much across the entire length and breadth of the St Ives, Carbis Bay area. So I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that our budget would not easily stretch to the three or four bedroomed house, with garden, and parking that we craved. Nope. Not remotely. Because you know, second home haven etcetera. In truth, my husband and I were at our lowest ebb. Renting is tough down here, high prices, few opportunities, in the previous eight years we’d moved five times. We had a roof over our heads, sure, but we just weren’t as settled as we wanted. As I needed. And we were beginning to realise (what really, I already knew!): what we wanted, we couldn’t afford, and what we needed (the real need, not the one I made up in my head) - had been and gone; overlooked because it wasn’t perfection... I’ve watched years of Kirsty and Phil, I should TOTALLY have known better, and yet.

‘We have to buy something and soon,’ my husband said, carefully, aware that to me, home is everything; a story for another time. ‘If we wait too many more years, I’m going to be working until my 80’s to pay the mortgage off.’

I grumbled. I cried. I behaved like a spoilt child. A child I can now, looking back, forgive. She needed some certainty, she needed security. Rightly, or wrongly, it was a big deal to her. What is bricks and mortar to some, is the air that we breathe to her.

Through tired eyes, knowing EVERY house on the market, knowing there was NOTHING suitable for us. I searched again, forgetting to put in my own criteria, as I had each day for eight years.  

And there it was!

My perfect home. Our perfect home. A place we would NEVER have found because it was not remotely what we were looking for. And yet in that instant, due to a chance accident, a chancident if you will, we both knew it was EVERYthing we were looking for… if not more!

I dialled the estate agent, fingers twitching with nerves and excitement. We made the appointment to view. And that afternoon, as we stepped in to the garden, our bellies fizzed and our hearts exploded. A rambling rose, in full bloom, crept up around the front. The birds sang. Cows in the fields surrounding us chewed happily on lush green grass. It was home. It was too small, it was further out of town than we wanted, it was nothing like what we thought we could get, or would get. But it was home, and everything in between.

We offered the asking price, the offer was accepted and within eight weeks, our lowest ebb became our happiest day.

Reading back, perhaps this sounds privileged. To buy anywhere is no longer our right, to buy at all is luck not just judgement. Perhaps it’s because we’d lost what we had before, through fault of our own, through circumstance. My mother lived in our family home for almost forty years, my children thought regular house moves were par for the course. We felt like we’d let them down. It’s hard to explain in a blog post, what this house means to us. Or why. Maybe one day I’ll write a book about it. Maybe not. But let’s just say that we’d had a rough ride, from the day the bankruptcy order was signed, to the morning before we found this home. As we opened the front door, the turn of that key was the moment our rollercoaster, finally, slowed to a stop. And it was all because of that thing called chance.

Thank you so much for taking part Anna, and for sharing your chance with us.

BIOG: Anna had a brush with 'fame' as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role, vowing to channel the trauma in to something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYs the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. How To Mend a Broken Heart was her first novel and her life was not on the line in order to write it. Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog. Her second novel, published by Bookouture, is released in August.

A compelling, heartbreaking tale that will make you laugh, cry and believe in the kindness of strangers. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Dillon and Miranda Dickinson.

When Rhys is called to the hospital to meet Susan, a woman he barely knows, he is compelled to help her. Still grieving the loss of his brother months earlier, Rhys knows all too well the feeling of loneliness.

There are years between them, but Rhys is the only person Susan will respond to, and when she asks him to bring her her most treasured possession, a book of fairytales, he is intrigued.

Hidden in the book is a clue to Susan’s past, and the painful regrets she carries with her. And as Rhys starts to unearth Susan’s secrets, he finds that his own grief begins to heal too…

Together, Susan and Rhys must learn to live again. Can they help each other to find happiness and finally mend their broken hearts?

How to Mend a Broken Heart is a heart-wrenching and absorbing story about second chances, forgiveness, and making every second count.

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