Waking this morning was no different to any other morning.
Harry has started waking at around 6.15 am, with cries of "Mamma I need ____" and insert anything other than that which I can easily reach from bed.
Unusually for me, this morning when I heard that familiar cry, I felt quite awake. Don't get me wrong. I was still stiff and sore but I was out of bed fairly quickly and switching the kettle on was still the first thing I did. It just didn't take me 30 minutes to walk the 10 meters!
For the first time in a long time, I felt optimistic, excited even, about the day ahead. I was unnerved by this. It is one thing to try and see the best in your life, quite another to actually feel excited about it. But I did.
By the time D had left to take Harry to nursery, I had put a load of washing on, cleaned our toilet and I got Harry ready for nursery. All before 8.30am. Anyone who knows me knows this alone is a huge achievement for me!
About 15 minutes after the husband came back from taking Harry to nursery, he asked me to check on our bidding status. In Bristol, when you are on the Council housing list you are given a Band. From 1 - 5 with 1 being the highest. As far as we knew we were on Band 4. EVERYONE who applies for a council house gets Band 5. Even homeowners can apply and therefore be Band 5. Our chances weren't great. Bands 1-2 are for those that have left care, require extra support extra etc so for most people, Band 3 is for those that are homeless unintentionally, Band 4 have made themselves homeless and Band 5 have a home of some sort.
I had checked our status the previous day. We were somewhere along the mid-teens in terms of priority ranking for all the properties we had bid on. Only the top 10 are considered for applications. Any hope of being considered for our own place had gone.
Yet the husband asked me to have a look again today. He wanted, apparently, to see how much further down we had fallen.
I checked the account.
We were number 1 on one flat. Number 2 on another flat. And number 3 on the third option.
Stunned, I turned the laptop around to him and I then went to the office. I told the member of staff how yesterday we clearly weren't in with a chance yet this morning we are suddenly top of the list. What's happened and how DARE they get us excited?
"Er, well actually, you know today I am doing a room inspection?" she asked "Yes?" I answered "Well I wanted to surprise you. The council have overturned their decision to declare you intentionally homeless and you've been moved up to the top band!".
I burst into tears. I shook. I went pale.
Somehow I made it back to our room and when the husband saw my face he feared the worse. That there had been a mistake and we needed to leave.
Somehow I told him that actually one day soon we might get our own place. That the independent review had overturned the original decision.
Soon, we will have our home. More than likely it will be small. It may well be in an area considered rough. But all I want right now is a home for me and my family.