A Home – week one: getting started, getting clean

We’re in! After three and a bit months of anticipation, we are now the proud owners of approx. 120m² of brick and mortar. Well, I say “owners”, of course the bank owns most of it but I shan’t dwell on such trifling technicalities. We moved in last Thursday (5th) and have been busy making a start on what will be the exciting process of turning this unloved shell of a house, with its peeling plaster, tasteless decoration, moth-infested carpet, condensed double glazing, condemned fires and doddery old boiler into a wonderful family home.

Having only rented previously we have no furniture or white goods of our own, save a coffee table and our boy’s cot. So this week has been about acquiring those necessary things which make life a little more comfortable. You know, like a washing machine, a fridge-freezer and a bed. We also picked up a kitchen table and a sideboard from a reclamation place around the corner which I fear will see a lot of our money in the weeks and months to come. We’ve also been gathering quotes for various jobs from replacement guttering to floor sanding, and have a plasterer staring a week on Monday to skim over the horribly textured ceilings throughout the entire house. We’ve also given the kitchen a quick makeover, as it will be the room where we will spend most of our time and which only has to ‘make-do’ until we can afford to put grand plans into action. The entire house is filthy from top to bottom but no room more so than the kitchen. It took us two days to deep clean. Only then could we crack open a tin of white paint. The result was surprisingly satisfying and we now have a fully functioning, perfectly acceptable kitchen-diner in which we no longer wince every time we have to touch a cupboard handle. I will be back with some pictures once it’s completely finished.

When we haven’t been cleaning, painting or plotting how to kill the carpet moths we’ve also been out and about exploring our new city and neighbourhood. So far this has involved, much to Felix’s disapproval, innumerable and inevitable trips to John Lewis, Ikea and B&Q. Why it is he hates John Lewis so much is beyond me?! But there have also been many visits to the local parks, a birthday party at Bristol Zoo, and falling in love with Southville. It’s not hard. It has everything we want and then some – supremely child friendly bars and cafes, a deli, an artisan bakery, a fruit and veg shop, two butchers, one of those hardware stores that sells everything but is so full to bursting you always have to ask the staff to find the item etc. etc. etc. Our next door neighbours to the left and right are also lovely. One couple invited us in for a cuppa the evening we introduced ourselves and they’ve invited us to lunch with some fellow neighbours in a few weeks. In fact, everyone we’ve met so far, from the staff at Zazu’s and the guys at Mark’s Bread to fellow parents at the playground have been extremely friendly and welcoming. It would be a massive understatement to say that we are very happy here. Our love affair with Manchester was strong but I think Bristol might just steal our hearts.

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all moved in //  loving the space: not loving the mint green walls and blue-green carpet // note the handy service hatch to the kitchen

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a local // design ideas: bare boards, white, grey, pendant lamp, teak mirror

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my little family // our street

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gratuitous shot of baby in shades // enjoying the last of the sunshine in our new hood

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his favourite place

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the suspension bridge

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some of the beige residents of Bristol Zoo – a colour most definitely banned from our home

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pops of colour is more our aim

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