New house, new location, new life, new start!

Since I was sixteen, I’ve often moved across the south of England every couple of years due to varying educational endeavours and Swindon has been the town I’ve settled in the longest – ten years in fact! It had opened up a lot of opportunities and we often were away from it at the weekend but, after returning from North Wales, it felt like our time here had come to an end and we wanted out; an adventurous and curious mind can only be saited for so long before over familiarisation becomes boring and the contempt has set in. My only disappointment is that we hadn’t done this sooner as the environment had turned sour years ago…

So, when a successful interview meant a move elsewhere we started packing straight away (well, I did… faster than Sonic!). Ten years of living in one place gathers a lot of memories and memorabilia…

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The organising and clearing up of personal items took a long while as I was very indecisive about what to keep or discard… but the matter most concerning and at the forefront was actually having a place to live! We’d been fortunate to be able to privately rent from a Scouting friend all these years so the process of estate agents, credit checks, references, deposits and protection schemes was new territory.

Combined with a couple of months of working on residentials and an inflexible timetable for Terry, time was short and getting shorter before a starting work date of the 2nd September beckoned.

I would miss the view from our old place…

I decided to take the proactive action of booking several viewings one Saturday within the middle of this humid August just passed. Properties within Winchester are not the cheapest to rent for the space they allow, but one did catch our interest (although at first, it had a ‘sixties’ vibe which I wasn’t too sure about). Situated within good travel distance of the areas I’ll be travelling to, it was ideal; the South Downs Way is only a short walk from the property and it was a lot bigger than our current property whilst remaining affordable.

A tense fortnight waiting for acceptance from the landlord and estate agents was uncomfortable – what if we were rejected? We were so close to my work start date that the thought of commuting over two hours a day wasn’t appealing and the thought of remaining where we were was gut-wrenching.

Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this had we not been successful. The previous tenants moved quickly, the landlord wanted someone renting as soon as possible and the estate agents were happy people were interested… so, over the bank holiday weekend, we begun to move.

Opting to pack, carry and transport our items ourselves, we thought we’d manage with just a couple of days and a large van and our cars… surprisingly we managed it well (but not without a few choice words!). As you can probably gather from the pictures we had a lot of items to manage in our new home.

For me, the number of clothes I owned, having taken them out of the storage boxes from the last house, was copious; I hadn’t been made aware of this until they were hung together in my new wardrobe (my other half has his own!)… I’d only taken a few with me to university, so seeing old clothing, unworn for years, brought back pleasant memories.

The unpacking, sorting, organising took several days (the garage items have still not be touched…); we sweated and toiled to rush through this to spend time, within my last week of employment, to allow for Bailey to settle into the property. Having known only one other house in his life (and he was less than 6 months old at the time), he’s never been elsewhere other than short holiday accommodation.

He was very confused, but excited when we had to return to our previous home to clean it before handed the keys back, but then the confusion came back at this new place…

I’ve always wanted a property where we didn’t have to worry about him being out of our sight; the area we used to live in wasn’t often safe for dogs, a couple had been taken from the gardens for horrific purposes or sold on, so Bailey was monitored when he was outside. This was heart-wrenching for me, as he loved to sit and bask in the sunlight, so this enclosed garden of the new property was perfect.

However Bailey, for the first few days, would stand at the conservatory door unsure what to do! He’d look to us for permission to go outdoors and didn’t want to relieve himself on this unfamiliar territory; it took a good week before we caught him slumbering in the sun but it’ll take a longer time for me to relax over him being out of my sight…

He’s still afraid of going in the shower though…

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So we’re unpacked and moved in; we have been for a few weeks now. I’m still getting used to the sheer size of the place and being firm with Terry over not trying to fill it with too much furniture; there are still a few things we need – seating for the conservatory, a dining table, bookshelf and desk – but these will come in time.

The next step is to settle into routines, explore the local area and decide whether to continue partaking in old hobbies or try new things. Yes, this chance has certainly been refreshing so far – it’s reignited a zest for life and a passion to be adventurous!

Things certainly have changed for us both in the space of a year!

– Just Joanne

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