In which our bikes – and us – find a new home

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Ever since we came back from our Awfully Big Adventure last year, S and I have been feeling that the time has come to move house. While we absolutely love our little two bed Victorian, and it fits the majority of our needs, we have been thinking that just a bit more space would be appreciated, mostly to accommodate the bikes. Add my new one to the collection, and that’s four bikes in total now all jostling for space in the spare room, the hall and the garden.

We therefore started looking earlier this year, y’know, nice and casual like. It was so long ago, in fact, that there was snow on the ground for one of our viewings! Because we’re not in any rush and have quite specific requirements, we wanted to take our time and wait until the ideal house came up.

Well, there’s no such thing as the perfect house when you have a limited funds (my ideal house is a three storey Victorian townhouse with separate garage and garden – dream on with our budget!), and there’s always going to be an element of compromise, but four weeks ago we did find one that ticked every single box. So we made an offer, which wasn’t accepted, so we went back with another, which was – so we’ve bought a new house!

Our new place is a ten minute walk from our current house and just over the border in the next area of Bristol. It’s a 1930s end of terrace house; a style I never thought I’d end up living in but have warmed to during our quest. It’s got the magic three bedrooms, a cellar for the bikes, and what sold it to S, a garage that he can use as a workshop. What sold it to me are the stunning views – because it’s on a very steep hill, the dining room and kitchen look out at tree top level over a vista of the whole of South Bristol and beyond. There is a gated lane at the bottom of the 90 feet (!) garden, backing onto allotments, the space and greenery of which I know Olivia is going to adore, and as soon as I opened the front door I felt very at home.

The couple who lived there before were there for 55 years, so I’m glad we can continue its use as a family home. It needs a lot of work – heating, new wiring, some walls knocking through and general cosmetic work – but I’m confident that between the two of us and some professional builders we can make it look amazing.  And this time around we have the whole of Pinterest for décor inspiration, plus ideas I’ve gleaned from working for a craft magazine. If we need more space in the future we can go up into the loft and also extend out the back, so I think we could well be there for a good few years to come.

The only downside to all this is having to leave our current house. We never thought we’d be here for seven years, but time flies when you’re doing DIY and making things nice. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved; considering neither of us had any experience when we started, to end up with a house that looks the way it does now is pretty good. Yes, we made some mistakes and there are some choices we took that I wouldn’t now, and we can definitely learn from these in the new house. But there’s also a lot I’m going to miss: our Victorian cast iron fireplace, the freestanding bath in a massive bathroom, our gorgeous wooden newel post and banisters, stained glass door, and more. Still, onwards and upwards – it’s exciting to be taking on a new challenge and starting the next chapter of our lives.

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3 responses »

  1. How exciting!! Tom and I are also going to be moving soon. I hope we’ll be able to buy but may end up renting for a bit. I’m excited about upgrading…in our case it will be going from one bedroom to two :D Pics when you move?! Good luck with it all! x

  2. Helen – congrats on your new house; that’s so exciting! I love those old 3 bed 30s houses. Like you, we just purchased an interwar home, a 2 bed 20′s semi with a garage and a big long garden, which was in probate and had been owned for 46 years. Our reno list is: rewire, block up an archway and restore an original doorway, install a kitchen (had only a sink when we moved in), restore the chimney breast and add a woodstove, strip back wallpaper throughout and repaint and recarpet. We’ll need to extend at some point if we end up staying for a while. Good luck with your move and renovation and I can’t wait to hear all about it.

    Also congrats on 10 years with S – that is a very sweet photo. :-)

    P.S. Sorry I don’t comment much anymore. I can’t make it work on my phone and most blog reading is done one-handed with the baby in the other. I’m still reading and love to hear how things are going for you. And someday, I’d still like to meet up when I’m in the Bristol area. We’ve spent surprising little time up there since we moved to the UK! :-)

    • Absolutely no worries, I can imagine how it must be with a baba! (Who, by the way, looks super cute). I’m also the same – I read mostly on my phone which makes commenting tricky, especially since I can’t seem to sign into WordPress through it to authorise any comments.

      I’d love to meet up if you’re in the area so give me a shout when you are!

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