Five loves ~ January

Since I decided to take my blog back to its original purpose, I have been thinking about features I can have regularly here. So here is my first one: five loves. Once a month, on the last day, I will write about five things I loved about the month just ending. It will help me focus on the good things in life – and good things do happen!

January can be a dreary month, with long nights and all the sparkly Christmas lights gone. For us, it was a return to normality after a completely out of ordinary December. A month to relax, enjoy being a family, rest. We didn’t go look at any houses at all (though I am keeping my eye on rightmove and zoopla). As I look back to the month just finishing, these were five of my favourite things *sang to the tune of Julie Andrews 😀 *:

1. Going back to normality

Well, I know I have already mentioned it, but it’s good to go back to some sort of routine. L is back at Brownies – I am not yet, but I will be soon! – and gymnastics, the husband is enjoying the much shorter commute and taking the monster to school every morning and I am getting into the swing of writing and watching BBC 1 all day looking for jobs. We are not there yet – L is missing her music and martial arts, I am missing girl guiding and yoga, I don’t husband is missing anything yet – but it almost feels normal now.

2. Our local beach

We knew the beach. We had been there before. But knowing that we can drive 5 minutes (or walk, in summer, as now the path on the field is not really walkable) and be in the most beautiful place is amazing. I drove down there one morning earlier this month, totally intending to put my feet on the Bristol channel, but it was so windy I couldn’t even get close to the sea. It was still wonderful though. And also had to leave my car at the garage last week for its MOT and I took the bus back and – OMG – what a bus ride! I think I will take the bus more often.

3. Sodastream!

I’ve been saying for ages that I wanted one. I saw one on offer at The Range a while ago and told husband I would buy one. He didn’t seem bothered either way – other than offering the odd anecdote about when they had one in the 80s -, but I love fizzy water and felt horribly guilty about buying yet another plastic bottle. Then a couple of weeks ago, Sodastream had an offer on their website, trying to promote the fact that you would be saving thousands of bottles by getting one, so I got sucked into buying one. It looks ages to arrive, as I think the offer was way more successful than anticipated: according to an email I got apologising for the delay in the delivery, apparently 10,000 people bought one. So far, all I have to say is that it was £20 well spent. I got a couple of extra bottles and some syrups as well, so we’ve been enjoying loads of fizzy water and soft drinks. I fully expect that making lemonade will lose its novelty at some point, but right now, I am really liking the availability of sparkling water in my life.

4. Family <3

I know this was part of the point of moving, but I am finding it wonderful to have family nearby. My own family is very close to us via Skype and we talk all the time, but we met my sister-in-law more times in the past month than the whole of the previous year. It’s such a nice thing to be able to just ring them up and say I am cooking something for lunch tomorrow, would they like to come over – no need to plan weeks in advance, travel two hours etc etc. I am really loving it all.

5. iCarly

I know, I know. I really shouldn’t, but L is really into Netflix and Amazon Prime shows, and she found the Nickelodeon stuff. I couldn’t stand Victorious or Sam and Cat – sorry to all Ariana Grande fans out there but annoying! -, but I got really into iCarly. It was very puerile in bits, but it is a show for (older) children, after all. We adopted random dancing for life – even the husband will break out in dance if someone says random dancing! If it’s good enough for Michelle Obama, it’s good enough for us. 😉

Many other lovely things happened, like my ring story – I told it on instagram – but here is my pick. Hoping February will bring many more joyful things!

Back to basics

RESET! And breathe…

Ok, so let’s start all over again (how many time have I written this again?). When I started this blog, I wanted it to be an account of our move: why we wanted to move, the steps we were going to make it happen, tips and inspiration on house hunting, house decor. Instead, it became a dumping ground for all my frustration, with posts so long not even my mother would read if she could read English. So, let’s start again: hi, I am Ana and this is my blog about our house moving adventure.

While I have no intention of re-writing what has already been written – read at your own risk! -, I will focus on writing shorter, more frequent posts about our lives since we have made the move. I will also go back in time occasionally, and talk planning, regrets, things we wish we had known.

Come and join me for this ride – and let me know, is there any thing you would like to know about escaping to the country (#cliché)?

A situation misjudged

I have been watching the house market for about 3 years now – though it might be 4. So when we decided to up sticks, we made a decision based on the fact that houses where we live don’t tend to hand around for long, they seem to sell in about 10 days. Or rather seemed. Since the beginning of this year, houses seem to drag themselves. Some have been on the market for months now. I haven’t even had the estate agents in yet and I am already preparing myself to be on the market for years. In my slightly crazy head, daughter will go to university and we will still be on the market.

The thing is, the prices are not coming down. I don’t know what the justification is for the whole thing, I always read that if a house is not selling, the price is wrong – but maybe they are not in a hurry? It must be hard for people relocating within the same area, as prices around here are crazy and only seem to go up. We are lucky in that sense, as we are moving to Wales, we have more room for negotiation, I feel.

All that being said, one of the houses on the estate went up for sale last week and has already sold, so maybe it’s starting to pick up again? And since that one went, another one has gone as well, though this one had been on the market since January – both with the same estate agent, so maybe it’s a good sign. I am swinging between being really hopeful and really scared.

Looking back, maybe we should have sold last year, with all the decorating bits missing, but we can’t go back on the decisions we made based on previous years’ sales, so after reading and reading and researching and working like crazy, we have decided the house is going on the market right after the general election. It’s a daunting prospect, but we are hoping to be celebrating Christmas in our new house. Fingers crossed for us!

Hello world! (reloaded)

So, I am back. One year 11 months, 21 days later. What happened?, you ask. Well, Brexit happened. And even though it has nothing to do with me, I hit me like a brick wall. I am not going into that now, because this is not meant to be political. It’s just self-justification.

A little update of what has gone on in the past year: we are still in Berkshire, painfully slowly getting the house ready to go on the market. If you look through the Instagram posts on the bottom of the page, you might spot some of my home improvements there – and hopefully, when everything is picture perfect, I might post the finished rooms here. Right now, I want to try and get back in the swing of writing every day (or at least most days). Let’s see how that goes.

Hello world!

Well, guess what? I am keeping WordPress’s title. Hello world. Though I am not sure I am writing for the world. This blog is meant as a diary of the days after we decided to leave our fast-paced life in Berkshire and move to Wales. We have strong illusions that life moves slower and people enjoy themselves more when they live close to the sea. Does that make any sense? I don’t know, but we’re going to try and find out.