Home sweet home

Phew. We are home again. Bedrooms are (re-)painted, oven and hob now wired in so I can cook again and everything else inside the house should be finished in a couple of days bar the painting of rooms with ceilings too high for me even to contemplate. I feel dizzy just looking up.

This was our first taste of real city living for four months (although it feels like it was only a few weeks ago we were packing the van to move out!). This is what I learned.

Living a ten minute walk from school is great when you are the one not having to drive into the city every morning. It’s also good when you are seventeen and have free periods so you can come home and interrupt me watch random YouTube videos work on your homework. If you are a teacher, you will spend a lot more time at school. 

I like having my space. During the day was fine as the flat was empty but come the holidays when there was nowhere to hide… different story. I ended up in random coffee shops in the vicinity for a bit of sanity. For some reason people talking around me while I am writing is a lot less distracting than random family members appearing at just the wrong time. Now we are home and the boiler is no longer in one of our normal rooms in the house, I have a room of my own, with a door I can shut (a lock might be next…) and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest that it is also full of the boxes we have not yet been able to unpack because all of that is lying behind me. All I have in front of me is our old kitchen table with laptop and piles of paper and a window looking out onto trees.

Fast internet access is addictive. That would be Netflix and four seasons of Suits, then. Our ‘normal’ internet isn’t fast enough to load the Netflix home page. Fibre is always just four months away from our exchange, it appears.

Living two minutes from a shop with fresh baguettes means you regret bringing the bread maker with you and end up spending enough on those baguettes to have bought a new bread maker instead.

On evenings when there is either a football or rugby match, there is no such thing as parking. On one evening, it took about 35 minutes to get home from Peebles, and 50 minutes to park the car somewhere and walk home. This is not an exaggeration. This happened only once because…

The answer to all transport is to live near the Union Canal and go everywhere on bike. Specifically, on a Brompton, which folds up to the exact size which fits inside the lockers at the art gallery and which you seem to be able to take into any shop in Edinburgh. There was only one day over a whole winter when I decided not to go somewhere on the bike and stayed at home instead. I would not have a car if I lived ‘properly’ in the city. I would join a car club for the times I needed a car for something. Which would be virtually never. I used the car almost only for dance runs to Peebles (and Edinburgh, but that was because I was being soft).

It was mainly fun. And now I am glad to be home, even if we are still disoriented sometimes at rooms that aren’t where we last saw them and the only thing we can find everywhere is dust.

Fortunately the house no longer looks like this:

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