We've been planning our house move for over a year now. It's starting to feel slightly like it will never happen (I'm pretty sure that's what most of our friends and family believe). But we've been here ever such a long time that we don't want to move to just anywhere - we want it to be right.
We look at houses on the internet each day, discarding this and that, creating a folder of ones we like the look of. We even went to see a few in the early days - before we realised how much we wanted to do to this house first. Now we're not going to look round any until we're actually ready to sell.
But it doesn't hurt to wander around potential areas to see what they're like. We did this last summer, spending a day in small villages to the east of Sheffield, and decided that yes, we could in fact live in those places, although they might be a little far away.
Yesterday (possibly in an unlikely bid to find sunshine) we headed south.
Our first stop was Kirkby-in-Ashfield, a little market town in Nottinghamshire. We knew nothing about it, but had seen several houses we liked around that area. Sadly, it took over an hour to get there on the motorway - a commute I'm not willing to put up with. The town itself seemed tired and a bit sad, although we did have lunch in a rather jolly little cafe.
It's a funny thing, this house moving business. We are in the fortunate position of already having a cheerful house, in an area we like, that is fully paid off. We don't need to move, and I suppose that's why we're in no particular rush. There are things we'd like (a detached house, separate music room, a big table to sit round in the kitchen, space for chickens), but we don't need those things, and so we can afford to wait.
I now have a job I can walk to, so we're not about to move miles away for a house that's just ok. Either we want something both cheerful and conveniently close to work, or we want some kind of rural paradise so fabulous that I won't mind spending an hour travelling on the days I have to go to work (I'm lucky enough to be able to work from home quite often).
And so we keep looking. It's unlikely we'll end up in any of the areas we looked at yesterday - none of them were quite exciting enough to tempt us that distance, and we can get similar houses and areas in our current city that are a lot closer to work and friends. But it was good to wander and see new places, and it will make it a lot easier to cross potential houses off our list now we've seen the surrounding areas.
One day we'll move, really.
Today though, I've got my wish, and the sun is shining! I'm given to believe it's only temporary, so I have my running kit on and I'm off out of the door as soon as I've finished my tea. I might even spend an hour in the garden when I get back.
See you tomorrow!