More Baby Talk

Yep, its yet more baby talk! I bet you are thinking – “that Helen, she has turned into a right baby bore. All she talks about on her blog is baby stuff and her cats minge belly!”* And yes, you are right, those two topics have been my main subject matter of late.

So for a change, today I am going to blog about more baby stuff – my plant babies!

Yep, its thrilling content only on here!

For some reason, having completely neglected my plants, and forgetting to water them for, ooh shall we say 16 odd weeks, this seems to be working really well for them and two of them have sprouted babies!

One of my larger snake plants has a couple of what looks like flowers growing (I never knew that they flowered!) And a spider plant on top of the Ladderax unit has sprouted a long stem which grew a pretty little white flower (not pictured as it has since wilted!)

Just call me Helen Greenfingered (insert my surname here), eh! Now please excuse me while I go apply for Alan Tichmarsh’s job!

*On the subject of my cats minge belly – Our friends who have farmland in Cornwall have pet chickens and they have a broody hen. She has stopped laying and plucked all the feathers out on her belly. The plot thickens!

Lately #20

Hello my poor neglected blog. I haven’t forgotten you. I have just not had any time for you lately. I thought about ditching you, throwing in the towel, calling it quits. After all, maybe its best that we leave each other on a high. Its not you, its me, etc.

But then I realised that my last ever post on here would be about my cats minge belly (Yet another personal blogging high!) And before that, a rambly, self indulgent, (now thankfully re-edited) personal post all about me, and, erm, my blog!

Nah, I cannot leave that as my lasting legacy. Surely I have some more blogging left in me? Surely?

Lets gently dip my toes back into blogland (does anyone still call it blogland? I think that’s a bit 2010!) and talk about what I have been up to so far in 2017. Apologies in advance for talking far too much about the baby, but he has kind of taken over my life!

  • Tying to nail this mum shiz I am really enjoying being a mum and Dylan at this stage. Dylan is now nearly 16 weeks old and such a happy, smiley, giggly baby (I know that all parents say that about their own, but he is. Honest!). People have been asking Rob and I about how tired we are and I can honestly say that it is not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, its tiring, but to me its the same kind of tired that you get from working long hours with a long commute everyday. I did that for years and it was knackering, but you get used to it and just get on with it. Plus I used to go out on the piss most nights in my early twenties and I worked full time on an average of 4 hours sleep. I guess that I have just been tired for most of my adult life really! At least this is a good tired. (It also helps to look after babies without hanging like a bat in a cave. A little tip there for any would be parents there!)
  • Not cooking anything exciting There will be no “In Hel’s Kitchen” posts for a while! I froze around thirty meals before he was born, and we managed to eek them out until the end of February, with a few toasty type of meals, three takeaways (only three!), lots of pasta parcels, lots of frozen pizzas and microwave jacket potatoes thrown in between. I did bake some biscuits the other day (Lisa Faulkner’s Sunshine Shorties if you are interested) and have started making simple dinners again. I really want to cook some homemade pizzas, but I have not managed to get my act together to make the dough in advance!
  • Talking of feeding Dylan is now fully formula fed and thriving. I wasn’t going to put anything on here about it (because nobody cares and its no ones business!) but after reading The Magpie Girls BF experience I want to share mine, because I think this is a subject that we should talk about more (the shit side of BF and it not working out, that is). I threw in the towel at six/seven weeks because Dylan was gaining weight very slowly, and being a full term 5lb odd teeny baby to start with, this was quite concerning. Yet I was still getting pushed by the health professionals to BF/combine feed him, despite him being sent to hospital to be checked out for his slow weight gain. I was feeding him all the blooming time, stressed out and worried sick about his weight gain (although it turns out that this is a very common thing in babies). But I was still told to continue BFing! Eventually, I decided to stop. He prefers the formula. It is designed to bulk out babies, which is what he needs. He drinks a whooping 36 oz a day! Where as another baby that I know who was born on the same day as him only drinks 20 oz a day, but is heavier and fatter than him. Go figure? Babies are weird. And they are all different. You have to do what is best for yours.
  • I am all for equal opportunities It was not an easy decision to stop BFing him and I went through all the same kind of emotions that I went through when I had a miscarriage, like “what have I done wrong”, “why has my body let me down”, ” why cant I do something so simple and natural and something that other women seem to do so easily” etc, etc. But this time I did not have the added grief and despair. I just got over it, stopped caring about how I fed him and enjoyed my baby. There is a lot of stuff out there on the internet on the politics of how you feed your baby (most of it women judging other women, which really gets my goat) but one of the best things that I read is this article published on The Atlantic which I found via a comment left on A Cup of Jo post. “Is breast-feeding right for every family? Or is it this generation’s vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?” After all its only fair that Rob gets to share the burden of night feeds, eh! Have a read if you have the spare time. I never thought that how you feed your baby is a feminist issue before.
  • Doing lots of washing Dylan has reflux, bless him. You think that we had seen enough of vomit with my morning sickness when I was expecting him, but no, we now have a pukey baby! My record for one days wash was 12 bibs and 9 muzzys. Poor little fella. Luckily he is not bothered by it. He usually smiles when he voms, the daft sod!
  • Daydreaming about going camping We have been venturing further afield with Dylan, visiting the Isle of Wight and going on day trips to Weymouth, to visit friends and the Sealife centre, and to Exeter to do a bit of window shopping. But I am not sure that we are ready to camp with him yet. The main issue is how do we sterilise/make his bottles safely (damn it, camping would be a doddle if I was still BFing!) and where will he sleep? There is no room for his cot in the van and I am not confident enough to co-sleep with him at this age. I think that we will have to wait till next year really. And a festival is definitely off the agenda for the time being!
  • Turning into mush at tiny baby clothes Seriously, what have I become? There is so much cute stuff out there ATM! I want to buy it all! OMG I never thought that I would be like this, but there we go. I bought these cute retro-tastic animal baby grows from Next, pictured below, for him to grow into, which are my current favourites. Anything with a whale print on it is a winner in my book!
  • Feeling homesick and missing my family big time It is what it is. Sadface emoji.
  • Trying to not post photos of Dylan on social media and failing I am that annoying person who has gone back on their word. Its so hard not to, though! I deleted most of my photos of him on Instagram the other day which must be even more annoying for my (very few) followers. Sorry about that! Still undecided on the whole sharing thing and how to handle it.
  • And finally, the cat is still fine At first she was a bit jealous and put out by Dylan. She was very sulky and slept/hid in some funny places, like the corners of rooms, behind furniture and under tables. But now she is back to her old self and plonks herself on our laps every time we sit down and tries to sleep in his bed, rocker and bouncer chair etc! She is fine with Dylan. He now smiles at her when she walks past and melts my heart into a puddle of mush! Her belly still looks like a minge though BTW.

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Five Years Of Blogging!

Back in 2012, I decided to start a blog for something to do while I was briefly unemployed.

I never guessed that I would stick at it for this long!

As a fan of blogs, I wanted to have a go myself, writing about baking, music, vintage and decorating our house. I also wanted to improve my IT skills.

Fast forward to half a decade later and my improved IT skills are minimal!

Most of those subjects have fallen by the way side now, and my blog has evolved into a personal online diary of sorts. But its been nice to record my memories.

And five years on, once again, I am currently unemployed! Oops!…..Although I am calling this period of being out of work my “extended maternity leave”!

Thanks to everyone who has read my crappy lil’ blog and commented on here. I never set out to gain readers or any financial gains etc (although some extra £££’s would be nice!!!), but it has been a lovely, positive perk. If I could, I would buy you all a drink, but instead I will rise my tepid mug of tea to you all and say clink-clink, cheers me dears!!!

15 Years!

Today marks 15 years of togetherness with Rob.

We met towards the end of 2001 in our local indie dive bar and sort of knew each other through our friends (his best mate used to go out with my BFF at the time’s cousin). I had heard of this mate who drove a VW Beetle, and I used to walk past his flat and old VW Bug on my way home from college, but somehow we had never crossed before until then.

After another drunken night drinking cans of Red Stripe, smoking too many cigarettes and dancing to Britpop, when we finally met I must have made some kind of impression, as Rob asked one of my friends for my mobile phone number. How retro!

He texted me, and I accidentally deleted it, so I could not text him back. I bumped into two of his friends in town a few days later and explained the situation and they gave me his home number (again, how retro!) to call him back.

At the time, the last thing that I wanted was a boyfriend, as I was having far too much fun partying with my mates! But I felt a bit rude for not replying, so I called him up and the rest is history.

Rob, to me, was kind of a “what the heck, I have nothing to lose” situation and at the beginning he was way more into me than I was into him! But he grew on me like some kind of infectious, irritating rash! And four houses, four cars, three pets, 15 years later (minus a 3 month break up), and finally, with a kid on the way together (it took me a lo-ooong time to come round to the idea!) we are still together!

I cannot remember exactly how we got together and where and when our first dates were (as I said, I was drinking and partying a lot back in those days!) but we shared our first snog on Xmas eve 2001. So this is our anniversary.

We’ve had our ups and downs and weathered many a storm together. We are not the perfect couple, far from it. But we share a similar sense of humour, a similar taste in music (that’s v.important BTW!) and the same work ethic, outlook on money and set of morals. I think that’s what made our relationship work, really.

Yes, he does irritate the f**k out of me and I drive him up the wall. And we always bicker. But here is to more years ahead with my very own special irritating rash man! I guess I will keep him a bit longer!

Some Things That (I Hope) I Will And Will Not Do

So I said in one of my recent posts that I am not planning on becoming a Mummy blogger anytime soon.

And while out there in the blogosphere there are some really great family/parenting/lifestyle type blogs, there are a few (in particular a couple of the bigger American family blogs that spring to my mind) that slightly concern me about how the parents of the, admittedly very cute hipster kids, pimp out their offspring to advertise products and earn a living. Sometimes I just want to scream at them “DID NOBODY LEARN ANYTHING FROM MACAULAY CULKIN???!!!???!!” And then sometimes I find myself clicking on the links within the blog post! Hey, I am not immune to a good bit marketing, Im only human!!!

Anyhoo, in honour of one of my favourite family/parenting/lifestyle blogs Mother of All Lists (please click on the link and have a gander, its a great blog that has something for everyone, kids in your life or not!) I thought that I would write a (over opinionated and rather ranty!) post about what I hope that I will and will not do when I become a parent, both online and in everyday life.

….And so that you can all laugh at my naivety and remind me how I am a hypocrite and have completely contradicted myself in a few months time!!!!

  • I am not going to put any photos of the kid on my blog. Sorry about that. I will probably put one or two up when he is born to announce it, but that will be it. This is my personal blog about my life in general and thoughts and feelings etc. So I will stick to writing about the usual mundane stuff like decorating the house, days out and camping trips (if we manage to have any that is!) etc, rather than mundane baby stuff like sleepless nights, weaning and potty training etc. If I find the time to keep blogging of course.
  • The same goes for social media. Rob and I have agreed that we want to respect the kids privacy and we will only share his photos online with our family directly through Whatsapp, a private shared iPhoto album and personal emails. Plus I really hope that I do not post statuses moaning about sleepless nights and all the rest on Facebook! But who knows what my hormones and extreme tiredness will drive me to?!!!
  • I hope that I do not become a baby bore who talks about nothing but their kid. We all know that person. Even after politely listening to the latest news about the sprog, when you try to change the subject and get them to talk about themselves, they somehow always turn the conversation back to junior, bless ’em! BTW I totally did this when we first got the cat. I didn’t realise that I was boring people going on about her all the time!
  • I am not going to neglect my cat. She is still my little baby. Be it a 10 year old black and white, slightly chubby, totally spoilt, furry one who poops herself occasionally, pukes on the floor, has fishy breath, whinges a lot, cries to be fed on demand and needs to be cuddled to sleep all the time!
  • I am not going to call myself mamabear, wear a mother of dragons t-shirt or change my Instagram profile name to “*****’smummy” (whatever we decide to call him, still not made up our minds yet!)
  • I am not going to allow my house to be taken over by toys and kid clutter. Please do feel free to laugh at my naivety here!!! I just really hope that our lounge does not turn into something looking like a soft play area. I have loads of empty storage space in the lounge Ladderax unit for any future Lego, games and craft supplies etc. But who knows who will win the battle against the influx of plastic crap entering the house!
  • I hope that I will not become one of these “holier than thou” types who thinks that they are a more compassionate, understanding person just because they are a parent. True story – one time Rob and I were sitting in the pub next to a friend of a friend of a friend, who asked if we had any kids, then started going on about how wonderful parenthood is and how much having kids makes you a better person. I had to bite my tongue and hold back while he waffled on and on about how selfless and wonderful he was. What a dick!!! In fact, at one point I did actually say to him “so you are telling me that I am selfish because I don’t have kids” but it seemed to go over his head. Surely common sense tells you that not everybody has a choice in these matters and there are plenty of terrible, evil people out there who also happen to be parents? Grrrrrr, what a dick!!!!!!!!!
  • I hope that I do not say to other first time expectant mums or couples, the one cliche that everyone has told us that “our lives are going to completely change”! For some reason this perfectly innocent, meant well statement has grated me a bit during my pregnancy. I think its because its so obvious. And your lives also change with other major life events – like when you break up with someone, lose a loved one, get made redundant or change your job and move house etc, but no one seems to say it to you then. On a personal level, I have sometimes wanted to tell people “yeah, well so does having a miscarriage (*change your life that is*). It makes you appreciate that you cannot predict anything in life, that life is short and you need to be thankful for what you have”. But I am too polite to say so and I do not want to make people feel uncomfortable!
  • I also hope that I will not tell child free couples when they see my future babe that they “will be next”! As if just by looking at my child it will magically cure their infertility or make them change their minds about their personal choices in life!!!
  • I hope that I can bring my boy up to be a feminist.
  • I hope that if he does like Disney’s Frozen that I can support his interest and will not have a near nervous breakdown after hearing Let it Go for the millionth time! Gah, I hate that effing song so much!!!
  • I will not be a miserable cow about Xmas anymore and will try to make their childhood memories of the festive period good ones! Bring on the Elf on a shelf, tinsel and turkey!!!
  • And I hope that this will be my last personal/thought dump type of post on here about the kid. But who knows?!!!

Lately #19

My life is pretty boring at the moment (just the way I like it! No dramas for me, thank you!) but I thought I would do a quick catch up post on here anyway.

  • I’ve finished work now, as my temporary summer job’s contract has ended. So I now have the worlds longest ever maternity leave. If I could carry on working, I would, but I don’t have a choice. Its a bit dull, but I am trying to make the most of things, having lots of lie ins, enjoying the last of my free time, going for walks and writing lists of things to do to keep myself busy etc. Fingers crossed the next 9.5(ish) weeks will fly by for me! And fingers double crossed for me that I get my maternity allowance approved and paid into my bank account soon!
  • The store that I was working in have promised me a job again next summer when I am ready to go back to work (if Rob and I can sort out looking after the kid between us, that is!) So that’s reassuring, as I hate being out of work and not earning any money.
  • The big news is that my morning sickness is now finally over! I stopped throwing up at 28 weeks, and I can now drink water without gagging again (TFFT!) It has not been fun being unable to drink anything and forcing down squash and Nesquik (two drinks that I normally hate), so I am making up for lost time guzzling down lots of fizzy water (just in time for the last part of pregnancy where you keep going to the toilet!) Its so great being able to drink like a normal person again and I only dry heave occasionally now, maybe once or twice a day. Hurrah!
  • Talking of dry heaving, we recently visited the Isle of Wight to see my family and we put the cat in a cattery. When we picked her up and drove her home, she pooed herself with fear in her carrier (yes, for real), which was on my lap. Bleugh! I nearly threw up with the smell of it! We had all the windows open, with me heaving all the way home, and poor Rob didn’t know what to do but laugh (which I can now also do retrospectively!) Bloody cat!!!
  • Rob’s folks also visited us recently and could see why we moved down here. They loved it.
  • The old gas fire in the lounge has now been ripped out. I love the last photo below that Rob took of the hole in the wall when the outside flue was removed.img_2881img_2883img_2885img_2888
  • Rob is currently grouting the kitchen tiles and cursing me for choosing black grout! But it will be worth it as it will look f**king fantastic when done!black groutBlack grout has now been added to the list of things that I am not allowed to decorate with ever again.
  • Next we will finish decorating the lounge and then start the guest babies bedroom. I might do a wee post on my ideas and inspiration for it. Or will that be really boring? I hope not!
  • And finally, does anyone remember this amazing mid century house in Kent that I blogged about back in 2014? It has gone back on the market again and the current owners have ripped out the original kitchen! Whaa! I mean, its still an awesome house that I would be more than happy to move into, if I could afford it, and I could pick it up and move its location to where I live now. At least they kept the original upper kitchen units though. And I still have a lot of love for this house even with its new updates. Check out the listing here.
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How it looked in 2014

Currently in 2016. Both images from themodernhouse.com via wowhaus.co.uk

Currently in 2016. Both images from themodernhouse.com via wowhaus.co.uk

  • And talking of retro kitchens and interiors, here is a Instagram account to follow full of retro Swedish kitchens and interiors if you like that kind of thing!

Settling In Almost Three Months In

Some friends from Kent were on holiday in Weston-super-Mare recently, so we met up with them for lunch in Minehead (about halfway between W-S-M and where we live) and they asked us how are we settling in and does our new area feel like home yet?

To be honest, neither Rob or I have given it much thought and our answers were something along the lines of “fine” and “yes, pretty much”!

So I thought that I would write a blog post to process my thoughts on the subject of settling in. This is going to be quite a short and sweet post, as we have just moved and got on with our lives as before really!

The biggest change is that we both no longer have our families close by. Mine are on the Isle of Wight and Robs parents are still back in Kent (his sister and her family live abroad). Again, this is something that I have tried not to dwell on, because if I thought about it too hard, I would get down in the dumps and miss them so badly! The fact of the matter is that if we stayed living in our home town, I would still be missing them as well. In fact, I think that I would miss them even more, because my surroundings would trigger nostalgic memories left, right and centre reminding me that they are not living here anymore. Plus I would miss all the silly little things like bumping into them in the supermarket or them beeping at me driving past me etc.

Since moving in May, I have visited the family once and my parents have been to visit us. We are planning our next visit to the island in October and we call and Facetime all the time so its not too bad. Im just happy that they are happy in their new homes and are all settled in.

As for missing our friends, again we have not really noticed much difference in our social lives since moving. Most of our closest, oldest Kent friends have young children and busy lives, or had moved away, so we only saw them every few months. Most of our communicating was done through social media. No one calls or texts anymore! As much as I hate Facebook, it is a good way of keeping up on the general goings on in peoples lives, so we still feel like we know what they are up to and kept in the loop! Its all good and nothing has changed with that side of things really.

Our Kent friends who we met up with asked if we have made any new friends yet. I said “nope!” This is something that we need to work on. We chat to and get along with our new neighbours and I get along with my new work colleagues, but they are not people who we going to socialise with. We plan to join a local VW club soon, so that we can meet some new acquaintances to have a drink and a chat with, and hopefully go camping with at VW events in the future. If not, then the Kent VW lot have plans to camp down our way so we will see them again soon and we are now much closer to our friends in Cornwall who we are visiting this weekend. So we are not complete hermits, honest!

Its strange really, but on the whole moving thing has not been that big a deal to us. Things are still the same down here really, we still need to work to pay our bills (Rob is still just as busy, I am still working weekends in a same-but-different-crappy-minimum-wage-retail job), we are busy decorating in our spare time, shopping in the same old chain store DIY shops and supermarkets, and when you chat to people down here they have the same kind of lives and problems that people back home had. I do miss H&M and Tiger stores for browsing around at pretty things and there are no cheap and cheerful cafes and pubs around here for slap up lunches and meals (the downside of living in a touristy area!) The difference is that we love our new house and its a lot greener and prettier down here so when we do get a chance to go somewhere for a day trip we get to go to places like this!

This makes our move 100% worth it!
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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.

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?!!!

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!)