Grey Foxes, by Malcolm Duffey, October 23, 2015

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Upsizing or downsizing are the current words for the move that happens for most of us at some time in our lives – a growing family, or children grown and left home; retiring with more time for a larger garden, or needing a smaller house and garden that need less energy and upkeep; sometimes a move can be due to the need for space to work from home, or to accommodate an elderly relative.

Downsizing is not the easiest decision and one that posed me quite a problem when I was asked to sell a lovely cottage, but on the understanding that the goat called Bluebell was also included in the sale!

The owners were moving and couldn’t take her with them, but didn’t want her to have to leave her home. Luckily some purchasers were found who loved her just as much.

Chickens, goats, even a pig have been involved in house sales but these always seem to have been easier transactions than the arguments over fixtures and fittings.

Visiting another house with a large garden and a small woodland area I noticed a small headstone and, on enquiring, the owners said not to worry. Although they were moving to a smaller garden, they were digging up the remains of their pet and the headstone to take with them.

Coming back to England from many years living in France one family packed the removal van not only with their furniture but boxes of tomatoes and vegetables from the garden, as grown in the French sunshine they tasted so much better and they couldn’t bear to leave them behind.

It’s always difficult to downsize as we all collect so much over the years and find that our furniture and collections won’t fit – but what do you part with? At one house the owner was worried what to do with their eleven sofas! Many years after we moved in to our cottage the previous owners turned up on the doorstep one day – we just hoped they didn’t notice that we still had the lampshade that they left behind – they obviously didn’t like it as much as we did!

However, on Upsizing another purchaser wanted no less than four garages for all the cars they now owned!

Those who enjoyed the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, may remember the couple looking at a retirement bungalow and the wife in desperation saying she doesn’t want to end up as a beige person in a beige bungalow.

A group of people from different lives are all attracted to the advertisement for luxury living in an Indian hotel and an exciting new life, and although it doesn’t turn out quite as they expected we all want to find our ideal home and new opportunities.