Well it's been quite a while since my last post, don't you think? Not to worry, everything is fine, I've just been a very busy bunny! Winter always makes me want to hibernate a little, so time that should have been spent blogging has been spent wrapped up in multiple blankets, either sitting on the sofa watching Japanology episodes (I may have a mild obsession for Japan at the moment) or tucked up in bed with a good book. When you spend all day in front of a screen, sometimes the thought of editing photos and sorting them out is just no fun.
HOWEVER. To make up for the silence, I have some very big news: we're moving!! But that's not all: we're moving back to France!! But wait, there's more: we're going to be property owners for the first time ever!!! Excited doesn't even begin to describe the feeling you get from anticipating being allowed to make as many holes in the wall as you like.
We've loved our time in Hebden Bridge (and we won't be moving until the end of June, so plenty of time still! That's what I'm telling myself anyway. We also have plans to spend a couple of months here every year. More on that later) but there are various things that made us want to move back to France. One major thing is the health system. I won't go into detail because this is a happy blog and I know I have it better than many, even in the UK, but the bottom line is, due a sports injury, I may need a small operation and after 8 months of waiting and being in pain and getting absolutely nothing out of the NHS, I'm ready to be taken seriously now by lovely French doctors who HAVE given me x-rays and listened to me and actually want to me to get better :)
Anyway, enough of the sad reasons! Want to know the good reasons? You get a little more bang for your buck in France, and as we had some money that we wanted to invest wisely, we decided buying a property in a slightly touristy area, close to my Mum and with some pretty great hospitals, not to mention the delicious wine, would be a safe bet. Unless we're in for a nasty surprise, we definitely scored a bargain with our ninety square metre flat! Want to see?
In no particular order, (and bearing in mind that the vinyl floor is coming up to hopefully reveal original hardwood floors and that all the walls are getting a fresh coat of white... for now!):
The kitchen consists of a large room with 2 windows and a sink. Let's see how we get on installing units on walls with no 45° angles! I'm thinking lots of white cupboards, wooden work surfaces, and a bit of a scandi vibe. And a Belfast sink! And an extractor hood that can actually take cooking smells outside instead of further up in the room like the one we have now!
There's a tiny storage room off the kitchen, handy for hiding a freezer and a gazillion shelves full of food!
The flat has two big bedrooms and one smaller bedroom that doesn't actually have a window onto the outise, but it's got this charming wall of windows and a sliding door that leads into the bathroom. I have plans to fit a small bed in here for extra guests (that way we can have more than 2 house guests at a time!) along with storage and a little yoga/meditation space for me. Finally, a cozy little room I can have all to myself for a bit of quiet time!
The bathroom is er... a bit sparse? But the shower works, is in good condition, AND the sink is equipped with a mixer tap! One of the few things I've missed about France: washing my face with warm water, as opposed to alternating stone cold/boiling hot water. Pure luxury! We'll leave it a few months before attempting any work in here as there's nothing urgent that needs doing. I do have visions of a wider tiled shower with solid glass doors. And storage. lots. of. storage.
The flat is right on the main street, close to all the shops including a little organic supermarket that I already love. The painted facade you can see across the street is by Edgar Mahler, a pretty talented local artist. On days when the wind cooperates, the smell of freshly ground coffee from the coffee shop across the street will greet us when we open our windows.
This is the biggest bedroom, (you can see into the living room from here, too) which will be the guest room/Boyfriend's office and music space. He's already requested a canopy bed, a big freestanding desk and some seriously dark Henry the 2nd furniture. Let's see how I get on sourcing all those things. Funnily enough, this bedroom has a bit of a mural in it:
A few weeks ago, before I spotted this place, I came across this mountain mural on Pinterest and fell in love with it. I decided I would have a mountain in my next bedroom, wherever it was. So when I saw this mountain painted on the wall, I knew we were doing the right thing.
And finally, my favourite feature: the living room with huge bay windows. Can't you just picture our green Chesterfield sofa in that nook? I also love love love the original doors. They're painted a slightly greyish beige at the moment, along with the skirting boards. You can't tell from the pics but the paint needs freshening up a bit. I'm not sure whether to choose a colour and hope it goes in every room, or to pick something different for each space once we've settled in. What do you think?
I think the only rooms you haven't seen are the second bedroom off the other side of the living room and the hallway complete with popcorn ceiling and ugly boiler. One of these days I'll be posting a floorplan too. For now I just wanted to give you an idea of the space (The high ceilings! The big windows! The tons of natural light!). I can't say that I always dreamed of living in a flat without a garden or balcony or outside space whatsoever, but this is definitely the best we can get for our money and to be honest I'm kind of relieved that I won't have to worry about cat poo ending up in all my plant pots and on my terrace in future. The plan is to save up like crazy for the next few years and then look into buying a "forever home" with a vegetable garden and a dozen fireplaces. In the meantime, we'll make the most of the surrounding parks and walk up into the mountains to get our daily dose of nature.
As for the location, the flat is in Alsace, a beautiful area of France right near the German border, in a town which is famous for its (smelly) cheese. I've already checked out the swimming pool/spa/gym, which is within walking distance, and surprisingly enough, works out cheaper than our current gym membership.
So there you have it: our next adventure. Exciting, yes?
So there you have it: our next adventure. Exciting, yes?