Monday, 31 July 2017

First impressions of a home town and house

The day I first saw the town I live in, Northwich, it was a sunny summer's day and I was on my way to a family wedding. The sky was blue with puffy white clouds and the grand entrance to my future was also bright blue, a bridge over a river where herons stood sentry and bicycles streamed along the river path, happy families and barking dogs pulling on leads. Every so often a canal boat gently chugged past and this low humming was only broken by rowers in unison of intense synchronicity, slicing through glinting water. Once out of sight, only a quack could be heard. Exploring further through the town, noting grand old houses and red brick terraces, black and white timbers by a boat marina where colourful pleasure craft bobbed about, a merry dance of a little market town, I made a collective first impression. One that lingered and several years later when a move was required, fell like a pinball rolling, sending off glowing light bulbs of knowing where I had to look to live. And here I am, nearly 15 years later, it's my home and I consider myself a proper local.
Sunnyside Up Boat Cheshire

First impressions can be everything, whether it is the first time you meet somebody or at the reception desk of a company. In a few snapshots you take in your surroundings and the demeanour of a person and piece it all together. In the first half hour in my town it had had an effect upon me, a positive one of boats and bikes, of slightly alternative people, live music and happiness of ordinary folk. A community feeling that enveloped me and set my mind for what I wanted. 

That same warm fuzziness grabbed me the moment I stepped into my current house. A cold February afternoon, snow was gently falling and as soon as I saw the front with its Victorian features I knew it had to be mine. Within ten minutes I had told the estate agent that I would have it. The power of those first impressions. Of course all was not completely rosy (like the cat mess in the bedroom!) but how we can be guided by our first thoughts and feelings on something or someone. 
Northwich marina sunset

Perhaps I am rather impulsive but I find my first impressions are often the right ones, a gut instinct. Often I know when I meet somebody that we will be friends or if we will be avoiding each other. For my home town, I still have that glow about the place and a sense of pride when I show people where I live. The boats still often warrant a detour on my way home to take a few photos of the marina as dusk falls and when I see my blue bridge I know that I am back where I belong, by the river and its swans by the rowing club. The friendly people that say hello, the homely market and its curious mix of industrial history and havens for wildlife in the nature reserves that skirt the town.

Likewise with my home, the stairs to the loft room still give the pleasure of looking out across town, over rooftops and seeing the river in the distance as I first discovered on that very first impression I had. The garden which although at that time was sparse of plants, had the potential for being my piece of heaven and the little side passageway onto a row of cottages felt like a link to a tucked away backwater of people that would grow sweetpeas in summer and fetch your bin in for you. 

Even some imperfections can add to a first impression still remaining positive, they keep it real and I suppose I'm like that with people, too perfect and I'm suspicious but both good and bad feel like the real thing. So I'm glad that I rely on my first impressions and if you have a bad one, it can be so hard to change and remove those thoughts from your head. Something to remember as we go about our day-to-day business but back to my home and hence why you'll always find flowers adorning the front door and a dragon guarding the entrance :)

Weaver Navigation

*Collaborative post


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