Eight years. That’s how long I’ve been living in the wrong end of England. I say “wrong”, but perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration. I came here to study for a degree, and when it was over I just never got round to leaving and going somewhere nicer. I’ve never been much of a city boy, and before any of you starts yelling about Colchester not being a city, it’s all comparative – when you’ve come from the countryside, a dual-carriageway is a big scary road, and if you can’t get from one end of the town to the other in ten minutes then something is very wrong.
So it comes as an enormous sigh of relief that Ellie and I have found a lovely new house to move into in a few weeks time! This week we travelled down to Bristol to stay with my grandparents for a couple of days while we scoured the locality for potential places to set up residence. We’d spent a fair amount of time reading through the results on RightMove.co.uk, and found a few we thought looked promising, and when we arrived in Bristol on Tuesday evening we had three houses we particularly wanted to look at: one in Peasedown St John, one in Evercrecch, and one in Bedminster. Grandma quickly told us that Bedminster wasn’t a great area, so we weren’t too disappointed when the estate agents never got back to us about getting us a viewing.
The first house we looked at was in Peasedown St John, which is a pleasant little village between Bath and Radstock. The house looked okay from the outside, but inside it was somewhat uninspiring. The rooms were rather small, the third bedroom didn’t look like it was big enough to get a bed in (let alone my enormous desk and umpteen computers), and the dining room was hardly big enough to get a coffee table in. In short, we decided it wasn’t for us. Not least becaxuse it was already well out of our budget.
So that left everything hanging on the house in Evercreech. We’d actually seen that house on the web several weeks earlier, and liked the look of it, but we did wonder why it was still there and why it hadn’t already been snapped up. So when we got back from Peasedown St John (via Crib’s Causeway for a spot of shopping) we had another look on RIghtMove and found a few more houses to go and look at, and rang to sort out viewings the next day. My personal preference was still Evercreech, partly because the name sounded funny, and partly because I was already suffering the effects of having driven a lot of miles recently (we also did Spring Harvest in Skegness the week before).
First thing in the morning we left for Evercreech. And for once I really do mean ‘first thing’ – we had to be there for 9:15am, which meant leaving Bristol at 8am to take into account rish hour traffic, which meant getting Thankfully there wasn’t nearly as much traffic as we’d anticipated, and we got to Evercreech in good time. Evercreech is a lovely little country village, not far from Shepton Mallet, full of character and surrounded by rolling hills and lots of fields, and not a main road in sight for miles. Nice. We found the house fairly easily, and from the outside it looked really nice. As it turned out, inside was even better.
Ellie and I fell in love with the house almost immediately. It’s a really good size, with a cozy lounge and a modern kitchen, and although there isn’t a separate dining room there is a nice little alcove in the kitchen where we can have a small table and a couple of chairs, and there’s room to take the table into the lounge if we need to seat more people. There’s a downstairs loo, a nice big hallway, and upstairs there are three good sized bedrooms and a family bathroom. We even have access to the loft, which is a first – previous landlords haven’t given us access to that. Outside there’s a nice little garden area, with two patios, a shed, a compost bin, an outdoor tap, and then we have a garage and two parking spaces. And all for less per month than where we are at the moment!
We couldn’t quite believe how right it was for us. It felt like home, and we’d only been there a matter of minutes. We loved the area, we loved the house. God really answered our prayers on this one! In fact, that was our overriding feeling throughout our visit to Threeways (that’s the name of the house, very appropriate we thought) – God had kept this house on the market for weeks and weeks with no interest whatsoever, keeping it specially for us. The landlady even dropped the price by a significant amount because no one was interested, making it even more affordable for us (which is good, because we’ll have to buy some white goods when we get there). It’s within reach of a lovely church in Shepton Mallet, which looks like it should suit us both very well, it’s away from the busyness of the town but close enough for us not to feel cut off (7 minutes drive from Tesco), it’s within reach of all our parents (being equidistant from Torquay and Gloucester), and just south of us is Castle Cary, giving us a good train route into London. It’s fantastic!! Thank you God!!!!
I’ve put some photos up on my new Flickr account for those that are interested, though for privacy reasons they’re not public – if you want to see them let me know and I’ll give you a special link so you can take a look. We’re both really excited about it, and can’t wait to move in. I’ve got some bits and pieces to sort out today, doing my tax return form so I can send them up to date info about my earnings so they can credit check me and soforth, and we’ll need to start looking into removal services too at some point. But for now we’re smiling from ear to ear, albeit a tired smile from all the driving. It’ll be such a shame to be moving away from all our friends, but on the other hand for the first time ever I will be able to say that I have specifically chosen where in the country I’m living! Bring on the hills!