The New House – The Kitchen

Wowzers, today marks four whole weeks of living in our new house, and boy, have we been efficient with the decorating and tarting up of the new place!

We have finished decorating our bedroom, Robs office and the hallway and landing! And once we have worked our way through the snag list of finishing touches, I will share the updated rooms on here. That is after I have shown the before state of the bathroom and the spare bedroom …and once I have learnt to take some better photos that do the finished rooms justice!

Anyway back to now, here are yet more unprofessional photos of our kitchen taken with my mobile (sorry, its quicker and easier for me to blog this way ATM, I promise I will harder soon!) just to give you a feel of the room.

Here is a snap from the day we moved in.
IMG_2377And here is a snap taken today with my obligatory washing up included. Plus added bonus paint brushes and rollers drying on the window sill! That’s some nice styling touches there Helen!!!imageThis kitchen is larger than my Kent kitchen and is really nice to cook in. It was installed in 2012, so all the appliances etc are the same age as the ones we left behind in our last kitchen. I was a little concerned that the ceramic hob would not be as good as my induction hob that I left behind, and the same goes for the oven (first world problems alert!) but they are just as good, if not better than my last set. (I think that’s because we bought the cheapest induction hob on the market from Ikea, and these are decent mid range Howdens appliances!)

The kitchen is nearly new and decorated nicely. It is not 100% to my taste and I would not have chosen the cupboards and finishings myself, as I prefer cleaner lines and more modernist touches, but I am not worried about changing this room. It will more than do!

Its funny, but I am kind of over having a dream kitchen. Its no longer a goal of mine. It was in my twenties, I guess because I was a little influenced by all the home improvement shows and magazines! But now I am older and wiser, I think there are more important things in life than having an immaculate, massive kitchen with a huge range cooker in it. Perfect kitchens will not make you happy – your health, friends and family do.
imageBefore we moved in, we thought about changing the tiles. But that is such a big, messy job and once you do that, you might as well change the cupboard door fronts, then the worktops and then you have ended up putting in a whole new blooming kitchen! So they are staying. They are not bad tiles and we will decorate around them. What we will do is change the flooring and repaint the walls in time.

Unfortunately I have not got a clue what colour to paint the walls though! The vibe I want to create in this room is a kind of 60’s/70’s look, influenced by my Hornsea plant pots, my avocado coloured Cathrineholm kettle and my Briarwood Pyrex pieces. Which means that I am going to slowly replace my pink nik-naks in the kitchen and go for more multi coloured accents.

I played around in my head with the idea of olive coloured walls, or mustard, or even orange for a 60’s/70’s retro look. But instead we might play it safe and go for a light grey colour to compliment the tiles. Or maybe we will go really daring and paint it a dark grey, blue or black colour*!

It is a big room with plenty of light, so I think it could take dark walls if we switch the flooring for a lighter one? Any ideas, anyone? I have no idea what colour to use!IMG_2380I think Poppy has left us a little present in her litter tray in the below shot!imageThe most exciting thing in this room and another thing that sold this house to me was the pantry cupboards! Yes I know, I am really showing my age now – what a saddo!

But how exciting are the hoarding opportunities with a pantry! Think how many cans of tomatoes I can stash in here for any upcoming apocalypse!

Rob is looking forward to the woodwork project of shelving these cupboards for me and I am looking forward to organising them better, so its all good! Win win!imageimage* My current leaning is to paint the room in a very dark greeny-black colour. But my secondary school uniform was bottle green so I am scarred for life when it comes to dark greens! Does anyone else never wear clothes in the the colour of their school uniform? Thank god I never wore black to school as I would have nothing to wear!

Lately #18

Its time for a quick catch up about the regular mundane happenings in our lives ATM…..

    • I found a job! Its only a part time temporary summer job in the village, but right now, that suits me fine and hopefully I will be able to go back to what I used to do (aka the easiest job that I have ever had) in the winter…. if the job becomes available.
    • I apologise to those who already know this from Instagram, but last month for my birthday Rob and I went to Lynmouth and Lynton. It pissed down with rain, but we had a nice lunch in one of the many touristy cafes, ate some fudge bought from one of the many touristy fudge shops, and rode the touristy cliff railway. I recommend a day trip to these towns if you are on holiday in this neck of the woods. Just eat and drink your way around the town. That’s what we did!IMG_2423IMG_2425
    • We also drove around the beautiful valley of the rocks in nearby Exmoor. We took the picturesque toll road, with its steep climbs and hairpin corners. It got a bit scary at times in the van, as after all, it is an older vehicle with a 30+ year old engine! Our breaks were squeaking, overheating and the back of the van had a trail of steam behind it going through all the puddles in the rain! Eek!
    • We went camping on the May bank holiday weekend. Only for one night because of the cat, but we met up with some friends from Kent, met their friends from Devon(!) and had a nice pub meal.

  • Family and friends have been asking how the cat is adapting to her new environment. And lets be honest, we are all crazy cat people here on the internet, so Im going to talk about my bae for a bit.
    She is Ok. She settled into the new house within a week, i.e she stopped walking around crying and whinging all the time. Then after two weeks we decided to let her out on her own (there will be more on this further down). In between, we have been showing her around the garden on a lead, much to the amusement of our new neighbours! Its my fault that she has this lead, as I was getting all neurotic saying “what about my poor baby if we break down on our way to Devon? She will be trapped in her carrier for hours, the poor thing! I had better get a lead just in case she needs a drink and to stretch her legs!” I mean, this is a bloody cat that we are talking about here, not a dog FFS!
  • Anyway needless to say she hates her lead, but Rob and I think its hilarious taking her for a walk! Poor Poppy!IMG_2368
  • Back to the first time that she went outside on her own – Its funny, I had been saying to people that I had not seen a lot of cats in our new area, and that she would be much happier here, as there were loads of cats back where we used to live and she was always getting into fights.
    Famous last words, me thinks! On her first venture out Rob said that it was the first time that he had ever heard some cats fighting around here, and sure enough Poppy comes back home with her collar missing, limping and bleeding! Bloody cat! She is a true Medway girl (born and bred in Chatham!) and she always goes around being a little gobshite and starting fights! But really she is a big chicken, she is just all mouth!
  • We also need to sort out a cat flap for her and then we can finally lose her litter tray once and for all. Hurrah! And after that I need to convince one of our new friendly neighbours to pop in and feed her (or we can unsettle her once again by putting her in a cattery) so that we can go to the Isle of Wight to visit my family! Yey!
  • And finally, I am sure that you all know by now that I like my cycling and I like to shout from the rooftops how awesome the women’s cycling scene is and that it needs more recognition etc. If you have the time, here are two great cycling related links for you to read. The first is an interview in the Guardian with Juliana Buhring. Now if you haven’t heard of her before don’t worry. All you need to know is that she is an endurance cyclist who has a new book out (added to my wishlist) and she has lead quite the life. Seriously, its the kind of life that needs a film made out of it – a crazy, unbelievable, tragic, dramatic life that has overcome many set backs. And also, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who talks about road kill when cycling! The second link is quite a, erm, delicate subject, but still one that needs to be talked about. Have a gander if you like to talk about yeast infections, pubes, periods, moon cups, sore lady parts and cycling. This is stuff that needs to be said.

The New House – The Hallway And Landing

Warning – If I were you I would crank up the brightness on your computer/phone to its fullest for this post, as here are yet more dark and uninspiring photos showing more of our new house. Or rather our new-ish house, as we have now lived here for three weeks! Time flies, eh!

This area is another WIP, as we are currently painting this area white. Rob really hates me right now because he detests painting walls white, its the hardest colour to paint walls with apparently! And next week the upstairs landing and stairs will be re-carpeted, as the carpet that was left behind was a little threadbare.

My plans are to paint the walls and the stair boards (I think that’s what they are called? – we have no banisters here) white, then to fill the walls with our colourful prints and to buy some nicer curtains for the big window at the top of the stairs. That’s pretty much the same plan that I have for all of the house, but hey ho!

In other exciting news, I managed to find two yellow coloured knock off Verner Panton flower pot lampshades online for a tenner each for the hallway and landing! Unfortunately, when they arrived they were a tad more towards the lemon coloured end of the spectrum, rather than the bright primary yellow colour that I was hoping for. But for a tenner, I can hardly complain!

Watch this space for the big reveal!imageimageIMG_3132imageIMG_2376image

The New House – The Main Bedroom

So when I said that this house doesn’t need any work done to it and that we could move straight into it, I was telling the truth.

Except with us being us, we like to create extra work for ourselves and to complicate things!

Within a few days of living in our new house, we had changed our plans from just moving in and giving the place a quick lick of paint at some point, to completely redecorating the whole place!

Luckily, the difference with this house and our last Kent house is that this house just needs* the wall colours, light fittings, curtains and flooring changed. Rather than having to strip it back to its bare bones, replacing woodwork, plastering walls, replacing the kitchen and bathroom and totally renovating the whole house, with this house we can just decorate/de-magnoliaify the whole place and turn it into the stylish modern-retro influenced pad of my dreams.

Phew, well I hope so anyway!

We have also given ourselves the deadline of the end of 2016 to get this house shipshape and how we want it. We are not going to procrastinate and take six years to (almost) finish decorating a house like last time. It scares me how expensive this year will be, but once its done, its done. Then we can relax and enjoy ourselves – I hope!

Anyway, as per usual, the main bedroom has turned into a PITA to decorate! We are currently camped out in the second bedroom living out of boxes while we decorate it and we should be in there by mid June, fingers crossed.

When we moved in the room was done well, with decent laminate flooring and some very nice built in fitted wardrobes that the previous owner had left behind.

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20160513_18114720160513_181154Any normal sane person would have been very happy with the room, but you know me, I am a fussy so and so, and I much preferred my own wardrobes and I wanted to have them in the room instead!

Luckily Rob was on board with me, plus he wanted carpet in the room, so we set about changing things up!IMG_2428

We were going to sell the existing bedroom furniture, but I wanted to offer them to our friends FOC first, and we managed to find a taker who was very happy with them.IMG_2427IMG_2426

Unfortunately when the furniture was removed, behind them was a huge crack in the wall, a dodgy plug, no skirting board and many different shades of wall paint, so the redecorating has taken a little longer and gotten a bit more complicated than we had hoped for!IMG_2433IMG_2431IMG_2441IMG_2440IMG_2439IMG_2430

But this kind of thing is no sweat for Rob, as he is very handy and has dealt with it all before. The new carpet is being fitted on Saturday and some new vertical blinds are on order (which were not as expensive as I thought they would be!)

If you can imagine it, my plans for this room are to recreate my last dining room! I know that sounds weird, but I want the same white walls, the same yellow accessories, the same prints hung on the walls and the same Sanderson Dandelion Clocks curtains (that is when they finally come back into stock on the John Lewis website and I can order them!)

I said to Rob, that if I am losing my dining room, I want to recreate it in one of the bedrooms! He muttered something about that blue lady painting being a bit too freaky for the bedroom, but tough luck mate, you have no choice on this one! And frankly, those curtains are far too pretty (and too flipping expensive!) to be wasted in the guest bedroom!

Once this room is finished, I will share the outcome on here. And hopefully by then, I will be able to upload some slightly better quality images!!! BTW We have already finished decorating the smallest bedroom/home office and the update will be shared on here at some point soon!

*Well it doesn’t really need changing, we just want to do it!

The New House – The lounge

Today I am going to share one of the more exciting rooms in our new house – the lounge/diner.

You know that book that the internet loves so much? Well, Marie Kondo would be very proud of me because I have shed a whole room from my life!

We have no dining room in this house. But you know what? I am not bothered because although the dining room was my favourite room in the old house decor wise, we hardly ever used it. We were naughty because we used to eat our dinner on our laps in front of the telly instead of sitting at the dining table!

Well, there will be no excuses for doing that in this house, as we can now sit at the table and watch the box. Especially when my new sofa is delivered in 15 weeks time!

One of the biggest selling points for me with the new house was its large windows, and our new lounge has the biggest window in the house.

And when I say big, I mean big!

Part of me knows that its going to be hard to decorate around, will cost a small fortune in window cleaners each month, will be a nightmare trying to find some new curtains for and the room will probably be freezing in the winter because of it, but who cares!

With these windows I can pretend that I live in a mid century modernist architecturally designed dreamy crib or something instead of a pretty ordinary 1969 house built on an ordinary housing estate! We also have great views here, but Im sorry, I have closed the blinds in my photos for privacy and security reasons.

Unfortunately our furniture just doesn’t really work in this room. I had high hopes that that I could use my sideboard as a TV unit where ever we moved to. But I have to admit that it just doesn’t work. Its too big for the room and dominates it for all the wrong reasons. So its going to have to be sold and replaced with something smaller (but still retro and cute I hope). Plus the Gplan coffee table is going (again, its too big for the room), so is the dining table (Robs restoration attempt ruined it many years ago), the dining chairs (they were once white, but have now discoloured into a yucky creamy/nicotine off yellow colour) and I also need a bigger shelving unit for my growing MCM book collection, so the Gplan unit is going as well.

Plus the carpet, light fitting, fire, mantle piece and curtains will all be changed, and the room will be repainted more to our taste when funds allow.

Phew, so pretty much everything that you see in this room will be different at some point in the future!

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Rob is currently working from the dining table until his office is sorted!

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Fear not, the pictures and clocks are not staying where they are. Rob just hung them on some random picture hooks left behind by the previous owner.

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Sorry for the darkness of this photo, but it gives an idea of the current layout of the room.

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The New House – The Small Bedroom

Right, its time to start showing you all around the new gaff! I am afraid that I am going to start the tour with probably the least interesting room in the house – the smallest bedroom!

I must also apologise for the quality of my photos. The reason why my photos have not been so great lately* is because my computer set up has changed recently (Rob sold his spare Mac), and as I am lazy, I have been using my mobile for the photos on here because I CBA to upload photos from the DSLR onto my little cheapo Chromebook. Blogging so much easier on a Mac! Plus I cannot edit my photos any more because you have to pay to use Picmonkey now. Boo!

Anyway, thats my excuses for my shoddy blogging over and done with! Let me show you around the room and talk about our plans for it.This room will be Robs home office, that is until funds allow us to buy him a fancy pants garden office in a few years time (fingers crossed!) The furniture is on order from Ikea, and at the moment, the room is just a jumble of cables and IT equipment. imageThe stairs come out into this room, and the previous owner of the house cleverly built a raised platform over them with storage underneath it. We are keeping this and the flooring in here, and plan to paint the room in a light grey colour, put some frosted film on the bottom half of the window (to give Rob a little privacy) and maybe change the curtains for a blind.

Once we have made these changes I will post a full room tour and do a proper before and after. In the mean time I will show more rooms in their current “just moved into state” and keep you all updated in our goings on as we settle into our new house and the new period of our lives in Devon.

*TBH has anyone noticed?

You Couldn’t Make It Up If You Tried!

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post1-v2Yep, this really did happen. The wheel fell off our removal lorry last Friday (the 13th) and shut the M4!! You really couldn’t make it up if you tried!

Laughing and joking aside, thankfully no one was hurt and it didn’t cause a pile up on the motorway. It was just a very long and tiring day for our poor removal guys and will be a good story for Rob and I to tell down the pub in the future!

It was a pretty easy journey to Devon for Rob and I in the van though. We left at 7.30 am with the cat in her carrier tucked between the two front seats (it was like a proper family road trip – very sweet!) During the journey I had a call from the solicitors to say that the money had been transferred and our house was sold. Then towards the end of the journey, I rang the estate agents who we were buying our new house from to check if the keys were ready, and we only had to wait fifteen minutes before picking them up. Oh, and I also had a phone call from the removal company to say that they were running a couple of hours behind (little did we know!) It was like everything was going to plan and seemed almost too good to be true!

A photo posted by @helshelshels on


We got into our new house at 2.30 pm and after texting our friends and family the good news, one of our friends phoned Rob up saying that he had seen on Twitter that a removal lorry on its way to Devon had lost its wheel and shut the M4 and was it ours by any chance?

We got him to send us the link, and yep, it was ours alright!

Of course we found it funny – what else can you do but laugh! And we gave the rest of our friends a laugh about it via social media! I still cannot believe that our house move managed to shut the blooming M4! Talk about letting the west country know that we are on our way and causing carnage!!!!

Once again, thankfully no harm was done (except for thousands of delayed journeys!) It turned out that although the removal lorry had just recently passed its MOT, one of its tires blew out and caused another wheel to fall off. The removal guys only noticed it rolling down the motorway in front of them in a perfect straight line, because the driver of the car in front of them did the sensible thing by flashing its hazzard lights and slowing down gradually so that they could safely stop.

The British transport police had to shut the motorway because the lorry was too large to tow away for its repairs (we had a full size lorry towing a blooming trailer with the Beetle in it!) Eventually they made it to us at around 7.30 pm and with Robs help they finished unloading the lorry at 11.30 pm. The poor guys, they left at 6.00 am! I just sat in the smallest bedroom with the cat going apes**t watching them, being helpful as ever, me!!!bug goes to Devon

Some More Moving Talk! I Promise This Will Be The Last Post!

We have exchanged contracts and we are now officially moving to North Devon! Whoop!

So when are you moving? I hear you ask. Welp, we are moving only blooming moving on Friday the 13th of May!!

Due to work commitments, that was the best date for us. Unfortunately it buggers up my plans to visit my family on the Isle of Wight the following week for my birthday – because we cannot leave the cat on her own in a strange house with just a litter tray for company! But right now, I am just grateful that we finally have a date.

And no, I do not think that moving on Friday the 13th is unlucky. Its an old wives tale and I am not superstitious at all….Nope, not at all!*

Anyway, I thought I would waffle on a bit more about why we are moving and talk about the new house and I promise that this will be my last post about moving. Honest!

Its funny really, this time last year we were pretty settled in our house and we were still making future plans around it. But then, life has a funny way of  proving you wrong!

After our holiday last August we fell hook line and sinker for North Devon and the lifestyle it offered. Ok, we were on holiday, so of course we felt more relaxed. But all the while we were away, a fair degree of normal life went on because we still had to work (Rob is self employed and runs a business, so he has to be available 24/7 and I had to do a few things online), do food shops, cook and exercise etc. But what a place to do it all in! North Devon is a beaut, offering acres of National Trust protected land, stunning beaches and plenty of outdoor pursuits. We just couldn’t get the area out of our heads!

In January this year, spurred on by the families decision to move away, we decided to just go for it. Our decision to move is probably the most impulsive thing that we have ever done, but it just feels like the right thing to do at this stage of our lives. We have been back to the area a few times since last August and have researched the hell out of it online (Rob was #obsessed at one point!) so we will not be going in completely blind. Slightly blind, but not completely blind!!!

One of our biggest goals from this move was to release some of the equity from our house, buying a cheaper place (downsizing a little) in order to purchase one of those fancy garden offices for Rob. After 10 years of him working from home, its now time for a better work/life balance and to separate work from home. Sometimes Rob does not leave the house for days, so just stepping out of the back door into the garden would make a huge difference. Plus he needs to be able to switch off at the end of the day.

We did indeed find a house at the right price, in our preferred location that met our requirements (i.e it was nice and within our budget – we are not that fussy TBH!) The house needed a new kitchen, bathroom and decorating through out, but we were expecting that with our budget and were prepared to do it all over again. Plus it had solar panels! The inner hippie in me was so excited about having solar panels and lower energy bills!! But unfortunately, after accepting our offer, a few weeks later the home owners took their house off the market and we had to find another place.

I know and fully understand their reasons for doing so and its not my place to discuss why on here. Needless to say we were a bit gutted that we had lost that house and had to find another.

So we rushed back down to Devon to find another place, as we were really worried about losing our buyers, and we ended up having a second viewing of a house that we had previously dismissed as it was at the top of our price range. On the second viewing we knew that it was the one. Its a three bedroom house with a garage and in a nice part of the village we wanted. The house doesn’t have solar panels, nor will we have any money freed up to buy a garden office, so Rob will continue working from a bedroom. But it doesn’t need any work done to it.

And I cannot tell you enough how pleased I am that it doesn’t need any work done to it!!

It is not 100% to our taste, but we can live with it. In time we will make subtle changes like changing wall colours and the tiles in the kitchen etc. But for now, we can just move straight in and get on with things. It is such a relief being able to move to a new area and to concentrate on settling in, making new friends (I hope!) and getting on with our lives.

Rob is brilliant at DIY and we have done a good job fixing up this house (if I say so myself!) but our current house has been such a chore to fix up. Its so hard to find the energy and enthusiasm to decorate when we work long hours. In our first house we enjoyed doing the decorating, going to Ikea and feeling like grown ups in DIY stores, but the novelty soon wore off for our second house! These days we want to spend our money and precious spare time doing more fun things like surfing, cycling and camping trips, not decorating!

The new house is smaller than our current house, but we are not bothered about that. Plus we have managed to transfer our current mortgage over, so we haven’t had to borrow any more money for it!** It is a 1960’s/1970’s house on a small estate, with nice big windows (which was on my wish list as I wanted a nice light and airy place), lots of storage, a smaller garden and IT DOESN’T NEED ANY WORK!!!!

In a few weeks I will share some photos and our future plans for it. I also hope to do lots of posts about exploring our new area. But who knows though as photography is not my forte and I am a lazy blogger!

Gah its so photogenic here #pleasecanimovehere

A photo posted by @helshelshels on


*TBH I have never had anything bad happen on a Friday the 13th. So I do not give a **** about the date! What’s the worst that could happen? We break down on route and the cat pees herself in her carrier in the car? Been there done that! It happened last time we moved, no biggie!

**A life goal of ours is to pay off the mortgage early. I don’t know if we will be able to, but not increasing it and keeping our monthly outgoings the same is a step in the right direction. And blimey, Am I adulting hard lately talking about this kind of stuff on my blog or what?!!!

We Are Still In Kent

If anyone was wondering, we still have not moved. We have not even exchanged contracts yet.

Rob and I had a really bad experience when we moved six years ago* and this time we were hoping that things would go smoother. We were pretty chilled out back in January when we started the selling process – fast forward to mid April and I am emailing our buyers, calling estate agents, responding to our buyers solicitor (who is an absolute nightmare to deal with) via our solicitor on a daily basis. I have broken out in cold sores below my eye (WTF?), cheek and nostril area. They don’t call them fever blisters for nothing!** I mean, how am I supposed to carry on with my international supermodel career with them on my face!!

Anyhoo, fingers crossed things will be wrapped up by the end of the month. If not, and it turns out that our buyers are wasting our time (like we are starting to suspect), then the house will go back on the market and we will start all over again!

This is how things are looking in our place right now!

Before. After trying and failing to sale our larger sofa on Gumtree we took it to the tip. We are just taking the smaller sofa and we eventually buy a new one.

Above before. After trying and failing to sell our larger sofa on Gumtree we took it to the tip. We are just taking the smaller sofa with us and we will eventually buy a new one for the future new house.

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Above how things currently look. The cat would not shift her bum, she is not usually allowed to go in the lounge during the day!

The lounge before again.

Above the lounge before again.

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We now have two huge (empty) bike boxes that our local bike shop let Rob take from their recycling in our lounge!

How things used to look in the dining room.

Above, how things used to look in the dining room.

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And how our dining room looks now.

Before.

Currently.

And finally, a glimpse into a room that I have not really shared on here, our third bedroom.  Over the years this room has been used as an oversized cupboard/dumping ground. We did eventually paint it white, buy some new curtains for it and carpet it. It is still being used as a oversized cupboard/dumping ground.

The spare bedroom. Pretty uninspiring stuff, eh!

 

*Last time we moved we were trying to buy another house on our estate. It took us over six months to find out that the seller was facing repossession and had no intention of selling us their house. All the time they had a buyer the bank would not take their house to recoup their debt. They were just using us to buy themselves some extra time. From the start we were lied to by estate agents, solicitors and the seller. Because of the delays we lost our first buyer on our house and over £700 in legal fees and surveys. I have a small amount of sympathy towards the seller and their financial problems, but they should not have dragged us into their sorry mess and wasted our time and money. As far as I am concerned they robbed me and still owe me £700! Anyway after almost a year of being packed up and ready to move, we managed to find another buyer (first time buyers rather than a investor like before which I was pleased about!) and eventually move to our current house.

 **I rarely suffer from cold sores and I only tend to get them every two years or so when I am under some serious stress (and its always when I move or am unsettled at work!) I think its because we are still battle scarred from our last move and we are nervous that things are going to fall through again! But if it does, it does. We got over it before and we will get over it again. Plus we have survived worse!

More Moving Talk

Its funny how things go, isn’t it.

About six months ago, I looked at the cushions on our sofas and thought to myself “these are looking a bit tatty. Next pay day I am going to treat myself to some new cushions”.

But then I decided that it was time to buy some new sofas. After all, they are now eleven years old and the larger sofa has become so worn down, that it is now uncomfortable to sit on.

So I put off buying some new cushions until I got some new sofas.

But then, I (or rather we) decided that I wanted to move house, so the new sofas were also put on hold.

So I have gone from buying new cushions, to buying a new sofa, to buying a new house!!!

……I should have just bought some new cushions really, it would have been a lot easier and much cheaper!!

Normally Rob and I journey through life and make subtle changes at a much slower pace! In thirteen years we have gone from renting, to living in our first house in Chatham that we bought together for five years, to living in our second house in Maidstone for six years, to living in in our third house (hopefully – we are not there yet!) in a village in north Devon!

Boom! There is my big reveal – we are moving to Devon! More details coming soon!

Yep, its going to be a big change and I do think that living somewhere semi-rural will be a huge culture shock for me. I am the ultimate townie after all!

When we lived in Chatham I sometimes had to step over smackheads on my way home from work (true story), we had a burnt out car down our road (not ours thank goodness) and the front of our house was graffitied.

Apart from that, living there was fine! We got out of the town alive (!) and the only real side effect is that my (slightly chavvie) accent has become even more pronounced and we both swear now more than ever. Oh, that and the fact that nothing shocks me anymore!

After that, living in Maidstone, on a so called rough estate for six years has been lovely. I genuinely like the area and the people who live here (well most of them anyway). I feel part of the community (because everyone knows everyone) and I talk to lots of people in passing. That is one thing that I will miss. Plus we have had no trouble living here. Well, apart from once when the tires were slashed on the Beetle on our driveway. But unfortunately that kind of thing can happen anywhere, even in the most well to do parts of the world (and even in semi-rural villages in Devon!)

Living in our new village (wow, I feel so posh saying village!!) will be strange and different. We found it odd that everyone leaves their bikes out unlocked and their garage doors wide open! It will be years before we become that trusting – if we ever will be! Personally I do not think that I will ever be that laid back about my possessions and security. You can take boy and girl out of Chatham/Maidstone but you can’t take the Chatham/Maidstone out of the boy and girl, eh!!

Also, we are so unused to people being polite that we didn’t realise that people were letting us pass on the pavement and moving out of the way for us! Manners are so rare in Kent these days, as everybody is going about their business in such a hurry and nobody has no time for anyone else. But to us this is the norm, and its going to take a while to get used to people being more considerate.

Unless we have been lucky on our visits so far and we still have our rose tinted glasses on, eh!

Who knows really? However the west country is famed for its slower, laid back pace of life, and I for one am looking forward to finding out if this is really the case!

Wish us luck and keep your fingers crossed that everything goes through OK, as we still have not exchanged contracts yet and it could all go tits up for us! But I have decided to talk about things on here now as everyone IRL knows where we are going and there really is no point in hiding it online (not that there was before anyway! It was just me being silly and ultra superstitious and scared of things going wrong!)