Leaving the City… 2 years on

We spent yesterday in Bristol, taking in the buzz of the Harbourside Festival and catching up with friends. It made me think about how things have changed for us in the time since we left our city centre flat, 2 years ago this summer.

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City   ❤

The decision to move to countryside suburbia was not an easy one. We were 25 and 27 at the time – it seemed like ‘settling down’, which I felt we were too young to be doing!

I thought I’d reflect on how we came to the decision….

THE PROS

Affordability

Turns out EVERYONE wants a quirky period terrace within walking distance of the city centre. No matter that most are poky, prone to damp, have tiny paved backyards and are squashed onto narrow streets with no parking – they are fashionable. After being outbid on several properties (at least once by cash buyers intending to renovate and sell on for even more crazy ££££), we had to admit defeat.

Out here, we can afford a proper grown-up house with a garden and a driveway. Call me old but having my own parking space (we have ONE EACH!!) is a DREAM COME TRUE. Never again will I arrive home at 10pm, spend 20 mins looking for a space, find a space, try to squeeze into it, realise it is way too small even for a KA, probably dent mine/neighbour’s car, almost cry with frustration, end up parking streets away and have to carry up a ridiculous amount of stuff up 4 flights of stairs.

Greenery

As well as having a cute little garden to call our own, we are on the edge of the Cotswolds. We can head out on our bikes and be surrounded by beautiful quiet countryside within minutes.

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Countryside   ❤

Travelling

We are now just a 25 min country road drive from work. No more selfish rush-hour drivers cutting us up on roundabouts or hours spent helplessly queuing behind a motorway pile up. Now we just get caught behind the odd tractor!

Also (and I realise I sound like an estate agent here) – we are so close to the M4/M5 that popping over to Wales for the day or zipping down to London by car has never been so easy.

THE CONS

Travelling (again!)

We’ve become more reliant on our cars. If I want to visit friends by train, I’m dependent on Boy being available to ferry me to/from the station.

If we want to go out drinking in Bristol (as we did yesterday), it’s an hour-plus bus journey. Or crash at a friend’s house and persuade them to drive us home in the morning 😎

Fewer activities (for younger people)

When we lived in the centre I used to go to various dance classes. No pole dancing on offer in suburbia – it’s line dancing or Zumba, where I’m not exactly expecting to meet potential friends at the same stage of life as me! Classes in Bath or Bristol are only a 30-40min drive, but on a week night I’m not sure I want the hassle.

Generic 90s house

After 2 years spent in a drafty, leaky (but beautiful) period flat, I should have known better – but I had my heart set on a period terrace. Victorian fireplace, lovely sash windows, lots of character… but also needing LOTS of maintenance. With our sensible heads on, we had to admit that some of the houses we loved were potential money pits.

Out here, we don’t have the choice. I can only dream of the period cottages or converted barns nearby. So, soulless housing estate here we are! But, #first world problems. We’re not just fortunate to have a roof over our heads – as young people in the UK, I know we’re very lucky to be able to buy our own place at all.

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Garden   ❤

It feels like we were a bit ahead of the game – more and more friends are buying houses and moving to areas which are closer to good schools than good bars! I love our house and the little town that we’ve moved into – it suits our lifestyle perfectly. I wouldn’t rule out a move back towards Bristol, but for now I’m glad we made the jump out here 🙂

H x

Black Bags and Big Decisions

It’s been a pretty busy few days over Easter, split between Bristol and Wales visiting the family. It was straight back to the early starts this morning and ended up being a 9 hour day 😦 As we were back late from work, my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to a cheap and cheerful dinner at Pizza Express down the road (not very exciting or original I know but the menu never disappoints me).

I looked like a scruff but was too hungry to change, so in an attempt to smarten up I grabbed two favourites: my pink coat and trusty black leather bag. I love the effect of a beautiful handbag. This one always makes me feel a little bit more classy, and, when I’m walking down the street on a nice sunny day, like I’m in an episode of Sex and the City! It’s by John Rocha and I bought it as a ‘necessity’ for an interview last year (Read: I wanted it because it looks a bit like the Mulberry Bayswater I will never own).

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(I was too lazy to change my Converse!)

Another excuse for having dinner out was the need for a Discussion. Here’s the dilemma: My boyfriend’s parents have offered for us to move in with them for a few months while we save up to buy a house.

It will obviously save us money – we have the deposit now but it seems to be unbelievably expensive just to move, let alone to buy the property! My boyfriend’s parents are lovely and I get on well with them but I don’t want to lose my personal space – I’m a very independent person and enjoy time on my own in the evenings. I worry that it could get awkward with the differences between  cooking and day-to-day habits. They also live outside of Bristol and moving out of the centre would be quite a big change for me.

My boyfriend says it will be a ‘short term pain for long term gain’ but I can’t bring myself to agree to it yet. Does anybody have experience of moving in with a partner’s family?

H x