Monday, 13 February 2006

Braces and Brownies

A very hectic weekend, which began with a tremendous performance from our talented pals The Fallout Trust. I discovered that both Winter wives and I were all Ghillie Dhus at Brownies which made Kate scream.

Saturday morning we viewed one of the most dull houses so far on our new home quest, before returning to ours for pancakes and muffins with Kate and Joe who had stayed the night at ours. I couldn't quite believe that we had to suffer two lots of noisy neighbours - that was a very special treat.

Saturday afternoon we went to visit an old family friend, who has recently left his wife and now lives an 80s bachelor life in High Kingsdown. We visited to see the changes he's made to the house, as we're interested in buying one of the same houses in the development. Some of his ideas were nobby beyond belief but some were great, such as the giant glass extension and the full height ceilings upstairs thanks to removal of the attic space. So when we came to view the house for sale we had a much better idea of what could be done with it. At the moment it's absurdly over-priced and we'd have to get it down, but it's a strong contender. It would be amazing to go from a 2-bed terrace with teeny garden quite a way out of town, to a 3-bed detached house with big garden and garage, within walking distance of everything of interest in Bristol. After we viewed it, we decided to knock on the door of another person I know who lives in the development and who is part of the residents committee. She lent us the original marketing brochure from 1971, which is absolutely fascinating. The show home pictures even featured 3 pieces of furniture that we currently have in our house - that made me laugh a lot. If we do end up buying it, our furniture and that house would feel like we'd stepped back in time 30 years.


Thursday, 9 February 2006


Bristol may be the place ambition comes to die but it's also the place where a giant shark fin emerges from the docks on a sunny Thursday afternoon, causing mass hysteria on the quayside. People were even screaming.

I love this town.

Tuesday, 7 February 2006

House for sale

Crikey. Selling houses is such a weird thing - so important but it can happen so quickly.

We knew we'd be putting it on the market this week, so last week was spent clearing and sorting and fixing until it looked completely perfect. Estate agents came round and valuations took place, and then we had a couple of prospective private buyers viewing the house on Friday night and Saturday morning. Friday night couple were rather snooty and we didn't take to them at all, which made no odds considering they'd decided they wanted to live in Totterdown anyway. Saturday morning couple were totally different and seemed really enamoured with the house, even going so far as to ask whether I am an interior designer! Our asking price was just a bit high for them, which was disappointing, although I told them to take the information away with them and mull it over.

Lo and behold, Sunday afternoon they rang and offered us the asking price. Just like that. And came for a second viewing which seemed to go just as well as the first. I don't like to jinx things but it seemed to happen so quickly and so easily, particularly as he is a surveyor and she is a legal secretary, both professions that are required for a house move. So we're now in the process of buying and selling, as we're planning to buy the house over the road (however ridiculous sounding that is, it's really quite sensible - a house we've always loved, two and a half times the size of ours, we know and like the area, no need for estate agents or removal vans).

The wheels are in motion, and we're hoping to be in by Easter.

I won't half miss our dear little house though. Washing up on Sunday night with the garden fairy lights on reminded me of having friends over in the garden when it's warm and what a lovely sociable house it is. Which led me to think about how it will be when they have parties and whether they'll invite us and we'll be in their house with all their friends and the days of it being our house and our friends will be but a distant memory.

Monday, 6 February 2006

Save our library!

I went to the Central Library at lunchtime. It's my all time favourite building in Bristol - such beautiful art nouveau detailing, the brass lettering on the doors, glorious sea green tiles in the foyer and the smell of teak which hasn't changed since I've been going there, which is near on 25 years. The layout has changed in that time, with the children's section being relocated and the new addition to the end of the library (and CCTV installed!), but to me it feels like the same place we used to go and borrow so many books.

I'm so glad that the Council have decided not to relocate it (for now) - it would be the biggest loss to central Bristol I can imagine.

Friday, 3 February 2006

Thursday, 2 February 2006

Loving cup

Our second wedding anniversary and we went to Bath on the train (it was like 1994 all over again) and ate at Demuths.

So much food and wine and it was lovely going out just the two of us and on a school night.

I still have a fire in my heart and a butterfly stomach and needles and pins and the seven deadly sins and all that stuff for my boy, even after 12 years.
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