Ok, so I moved a couple of weeks ago, but only today did I *finally* get my internet connected. (There is a long story behind the whole getting connected thing which I will likely rant in another post) However here we are, just under 1 year after I posted that I was unlikely to see out 6 years in Eastleigh, we have moved to a new house in Walton-on-Thames. Well techncially hersham, I get the impression it's one of those Chandlers Ford/Eastleigh things, people want to have pretensions about a better post code. The house we're in is 'south of the train line' which is apparently an important factor, but I digress...
It had been my plan to sell up, and buy somewhere closer to work, and when I put my house on the market back in January I presumed that this would not present a massive problem. I was of course wrong. after 10 months doing a 2 hour commute (each way!) I finally cracked and decided to look into renting. And it literally took a week to find a house we wanted to rent AND find tenants to move into my house. So after a huge amount of waiting around to sell, it was kind of shocking to find ourselves so very quickly moving home.
There are disadvantages to renting, I am paying about double in rent here what my tenants are paying me, and there are always going to be a bunch of things I want to do to a house which I can't since it isn't mine. One thing I explicitly got permission to do, was add power to the garage, which is amazing in the sense it is a double garage, but unfortunately it's in a block about 40m from the house. I had been given the impression from the previous occupant that he knew the neighbours had done the same at very little cost. This was very very wrong. It turns out that to get a new meter connected could cost anywhere between 1500-2500 pounds, depending on the complexity of the job. This is somewhat more than I really want to spend on a permanent fixture of a house I don't own. So for the moment I have a very long extension lead to run from the shed (which has power) out to the garage when I need it.
It still feels slightly unreal, though I'm very much getting into the routine of it now, having gone from living in Eastliegh and working at IBM, to working at Orbis and doing my crazy commute, those two things had been intrinsically linked in my mind, that working at Orbis meant long commuting, late home times etc etc. Now that we live close enough that we can get door-to-door in 30 minutes, much of that is no longer true. I still work crazy hours, but it doesn't feel so bad when you can be home relatively quickly. Also now that I finally have internet, I feel less bad about heading home earlier, and continuing work from the sofa.
Walton-on-Thames is a really nice area, and I am really enjoying the new house, it's a little larger than mine, and had a few key things that make a big difference. First and foremost an en suite to the bedroom, plus a downstairs toilet means we no have to work around each other of a morning to get ready. This in turn means we need less time between alarm and leaving the house, since we are more able to get ready in parallel. Combined with the 5 min walk to the station and the short commute means a big difference every day with sleeping later, and arriving at work earlier.
Secondly this house has a really big kitchen. Not to say that my own house doesn't have a large Kitchen, but this one is huge since it's a kitchen/dinner type arrangement, and I do like having the dinner table in the kitchen, it makes the space feel much more social and enjoyable to use. Plus the range cooker is very nice, at least to use the gas hobs (I've missed cooking on gas, it is sooo much better) though the oven struggles to get any real temperature up (will need to tell the agency I guess)
Also the whole house is in a very quiet area (despite proximity to train station) and not overlooked at all. All of these little details really add up to a lovely home, which is complete now since, did I mention?, we have internet now!
My mission for today is to go get some supplies to help me turn the double garage into an operational workshop, so that I can get back to making projects, and hopefully bloging interesting things again. But for now, this was just a little 'I am still alive' post.