My Decision to Move House
When I first moved into my little slice of London where I currently reside, just under 2 years ago, I was very different.
I had lived in an awful, dire living situation for the year previous where me and my ex were bullied and mental and emotionally (and in his case physically) abused by our two flatmates, and we took the decision to move out as soon as we could afford it.
But, life is tricky. He was working full time, me a full time student. We couldn't afford it, so we retreated. We lived in just one room, our bedroom, only venturing into the kitchen when we knew no-one was home and the bathroom across the hall when they were otherwise occupied. It was hell on Earth. I had jolts of anxiety and panic whenever I heard a door open or close. I can't describe the feeling of waking up in the morning and hating where you are.
So, I got a job. A sales job. In a furniture shop. Sound familiar? I've talked about it before in blog posts here and it was a good decision in some ways. It gave us the cash we so desperately needed to move, it gave me a reason to get out of the hell-flat and it felt like finally, we'd be free. I also met my three best friends whilst working there, so no regrets from me! (I'm sure they'd say differently though, from having to put up with me!)
Then, one of my best friends Nata started having a bad time in her living situation (I won't go into deets because it's not my story to tell) and we decided to look for a flat together.
We searched and searched, as you do in London. This was back when you had to pay agency fees (which were ALWAYS triple figures) and a six-weeks deposit (over 2 grand in our case, for a low-budget 2 bedroom flat in zone 2) so it was hard to save up for but with help, we finally managed it.
We found our flat in February 2018 and fell in love. It's a beautiful 1920s building, with original windows, and a large open plan living area. The kitchen was small, but it didn't matter when the living area is the size it is. It's very cute, quite quirky. On the 6th floor it has amazing views.
And so we lived together, me and Nata for two years. Shortly after we moved in my ex left me and Nata and I got settled in together.
I graduated. Nata graduated. We got into relationships. We went out clubbing. We went through break-ups. We sat hungover on the sofa together. We got through countless bottles of wine. We created work here; for me, art, paintings, my blog. for Nata, beautiful works of music. We had parties, dinner parties, bring a bottle parties and 'lets come back to mine after this place shuts' parties into the early hours. I got a job, a good job. Nata released a single. We cooked dinner for each other. I made Nata birthday Prosecco brunch. Brownies, jam, risottos. All the things I love to cook, I created in that tiny kitchen, tripping over myself. The bookshelves are now crammed with books that have all been read here. My first kiss with P was in the lobby downstairs. We laughed, we argued, we cried. (Well, I did to that last one, you'd never catch her admitting that hahaha)
But, living in London is so hard. SO hard. There were all the bad times too. We live on a main road and the windows aren't double glazed. We hear everything go past- from ambulances to drunks screaming 'WHAT THE FUCK' (I literally just heard that whilst I was typing the last paragraph lol). We didn't have a working fridge for over a month. At the same time, our bathroom drains got blocked by limescale that wasn't our fault (80 year old pipes ey?) and we couldn't bathe or shower or use the sink for two days. We didn't have a working washing machine for a week. The heaters that are built into the flat puff out a mild gust of tepid air, so it's quite chilly in the evenings. Mice. We have mice too. And NOTHING scares them off. As I said before, we're on the 6th floor so I have just come to the conclusion that these are steroid-pumped super mice who will stop at nothing to eat some old kimchi at the back of the cupboard. The concierge downstairs haven't been... the nicest... to us over our time here to say the least. And, all good things must come to an end. We decided it would be time to move on.
With P now living with us for our final months here, we had an open and honest discussion and decided to rent a place together! Which is at the same time brilliant and a tiny bit terrifying. Terrifying? Well, it's a MAJOR commitment that needs to be thought through by both parties. No matter how much in love, I know the dangers of moving in with someone. When you're dating, you're free as a bird, but once you move in together, all that becomes in a way legally binding. If you split up, you'll have to stay together until the end of the contract unless you fancy some sneaky illegal subletting or you have a dad who can bail you out financially.
Exciting? Imagine having your own place, the first place that was well and truly your own, and decorating it how you want? Hosting friends and family over for parties, weekends over or big Sunday lunches? Always having someone who loves and supports you by your side? Never feeling lonely? Sign me tf up.
So, we talked it through. And, at the end of the day, love is all about chances and taking a chance on someone. We've trialled it together, with him living with me here, and it works, it really does. Yes, it took some honest conversations and constructive criticism from the both of us, but it was only small things that were a wee bit annoying. And we work on them, for each other. There's never, in the past months, been anything that could jeopardise our relationship together.
So, we're going to take a chance on each other.
But where, you may ask?
Well, a few options cropped up.
I wanted to re-locate REALLY out of London, like Margate or somewhere by the sea, but as the time approached and we looked at jobs there vs. the two hour commute it unfortunately isn't an option now.
So, we looked at somewhere closer. Reading? No, wasn't keen. Chiswick? Too expensive. Despite the fact that I work in East, P and I decided to stick to West whilst looking (we both prefer the area). Then, it dawned on me.
Zone 6, it's a beautiful town. Lovely cobblestone streets and all the essentials in walking distance (pubs, bars, train station and a supermarket... oh and charity shops). And, my family live there. My sister, my aunt and uncle and my wee cousins. All the family I'm really close to, in one affordable place.
So we decided, Twickers it is!
And, darlings, I cannot tell you just how excited I am to move. I honestly cannot wait to be somewhere so picturesque and pretty and quieter than zone 2.
Yes, my commute will be longer but only by 15 mins each way, which isn't that bad.
We found a lovely little flat above a shop on York Street, one of the main roads in Twickers, with beautiful high ceilings, a decent-sized (!) kitchen and a lovely fireplace. It's a 5 min walk to the station and right next to a Be at One. Can it be anymore perfect? Nah, I don't think so.
We're moving in late March, and we've already started packing. Having moved more times than the average person by quite a few, I'm good at this game and I've booked some time off work to give me time to get it done properly. I've enlisted the help of ohhh... 6? Friends so far, P's parents and one professional man with a van to get the job done properly, to then have a mini moving party when we arrive there.
Overall, I am happy. So, so happy. Ecstatic. I have all the furniture ready to go in my shopping carts online, my first big Tesco online shop ready to go, and I've braced my PayPal credit account. It's all about to be crazy. And I can't wait.
But at the same time, I'm scared. It's the first time I've lived technically by myself in my life. P will be there, and it'll be us together. It'll be great I'm sure. But, I'm sad as well. Nostalgic and sad. This flat provided me with a solace, it is my home. Not was, yet. Still is. And I'm sad to say goodbye to it, of course I am- despite all of the issues this is still my first ever home and I love it. So, it'll be a strange goodbye. Like most goodbyes, I'll be sad it's happening by happy to have had the experience.