Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Too much detail about houses

I don't want to jinx the whole thing, but as we haven't spoken to a lot of you, I figured that you might want to know about the impending, hopefully, move. Maybe if I blog about it then it will have to happen!

So, after 12 years, we have got up the energy to consider moving out of South Bank. We deserve some sort of medal for that - after three houses on the same road, its hard to break the habit!

But after much deliberating we realised that we were never going to be able to afford a house in South Bank with a third bedroom (for Nimmy to live in for a bit), a garage (for the boat to live in in the winter), a dining room (so Nathaniel learns table manners) and a garden (for me to live in!). But we love South Bank! We love being 7 mins cycle and 15 mins walk from the centre of town. We love being down the road from the marvellous butcher and baker. We love having the open space of the racecourse on our doorstep. We love being 5 mins walk from countryside and sheep in fields. We love being so close to the river and to Rowntree Park. We love having several different, pleasant walks into town. We love living so close to loads of our friends. But its time to be adventurous!

So the new (I feel I need to put "hopefully" after every mention of it!) house, is in Holgate, a whole 25 minutes walk from where we presently are. Here is a pretty map to show you. Pink splodge is South Bank, blue is Holgate.

It's much more suburban and much less terracy. It's a bit scary in that way. But it has advantages. We can have a big garden. We are 1 minutes walk from Hob Moor (a giant bit of moorland where cows graze and there are grasses to run in, trees to climb, streams to bridge and dog walkers to annoy - loads of photos and nice maps and stuff at We are 3 minutes from West Bank park which has mainly the same advantages as Rowntree Park (minus the zip line) but the added advantage of much better, thicker woods with little glades and picnic benches. We can live on a quiet road where you could ride your bike if you were 7. We are still only 7 mins cycle or 15 mins walk from town even though the route is less pleasant. And we can have a house with space and not be mortgaged up to the eyeballs.

So its not too bad. Here is my justification of moving to suburbia - all the green bits are bits of open space that we like to use. The arrows point to the rough location of our houses:
South Bank


Could be a whole lot worse!

And the house. Well. I swore I'd never live in 70s suburban hell, but things change... It has big windows, and a study and sun room and out-house as well as a living room and dining room. It has three sensible bedrooms and the potential to extend and create a fourth. It has a garden. A south facing, open aspect garden with grass and trees. Trees!! Its pretty cool!

It does need a little DIY. Well, a lot if you are not fond of 70s patterned carpets, brown walls and faux-brick fire surrounds. But I am chosing to delude myself that we will enjoy the whole DIY process this time! Either that or all of you will have to come and stay and scrape, paper and paint a wall each!

But the garden. Did I mention south-facing and open-aspect? Let me mention it again!

Just keep all your fingers and toes crossed for us.

Monday, 18 January 2010


As previously mentioned, we have managed to make our house look vaguely saleable mainly by filling up our friends' houses with boxes full of junk. The boxes have been moved several times, but now we have really run out of friends with spare rooms, so we had to resort to storage.

Yes, in theory we have sold the house so we could move it all back here, but to be honest, I don't want to! Its quite nice being able to see the walls and floors and occasionally find enough space to roll along the floor (Nathaniel's favourite game at the minute). There is also the fact that we've not really missed most of it and so this has been a good exercise in identifying that which should really go to the tip/charity shop.

But for the meantime, its been put in a "quarter-garage" in Pickfords' nice storage facility. Nathaniel helped do all the moving this weekend and had a whale of a time! Who would have though that a giant, sparcely furnished warehouse could be so much fun!

He ran up and down the corridors pointing out doors - "dawr, dawr, dawr, DAWR, DAWR!!!!"

He played with keys and tried to unlock things:

He was generally very merry!

P.S. The downside of using my rather useless phone to take photos is that everything comes out like a Crimewatch graphic! Have you seen this man......?

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Like buses

For ages no-one wanted to buy our house. And we were sad. But now, two people want to buy it! Hooray!!

Monday, 11 January 2010

With your best Lloyd Grossman accent....

Who lives in a house like this?

Well, considering that it's present owners have accepted our offer, it looks like us!

More details to follow!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Fun in the snow

There is even more snow now. The chimnea (pictured before) is now pretty much covered. Our leaking gutters have created beautiful icicles.

They are fun to break off and play with!

Yesterday we took the litte boy sledging on the slope by the city walls. We had no sledge (everywhere is sold out), so first I experimented with a tea tray:

It was pretty good, but not very stable for little boys. Fortunately a family nearby had moved on to snowball fights so we borrowed a sledge. Nathaniel wasn't too impressed with being dragged around on it!

But sledging down the hill was totally different!

You can't really see his smile, mainly becuase most of the time he looked like he does on his other favourite equipment, the zip wire - very concentrated! But when he reached the bottom of the hill he pointed straight back up and demanded more. So we went faster and faster!

Today we went back to a steeper bit of slope with a group of friends and Nathaniel conveniently had a long nap in his buggy so we could play! Its so sad that we didn't have a camera! This bit was much longer and steeper a slope and had a brick wall at the bottom to aim for. Actually there was a gap so that you could escape onto the frozen road - a very safe exit strategy!!

No-one had a sledge so we used the trusty tea tray, a cardboard box once containing a convection heater (with a good shiny surface), a silver sheet thing that you use to protect your car windscreeen from frost, and the piece de resistance (can't find how to do accents) - a body board!

It was brilliant! The body board went the fastest, and by the end Ian was scaring people by whizzing down on his kneeses and carrying on a good 15 metres down the road.

I'll try and get some of the photos that the others took, because this was seriously good fun!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


There is lots of snow. Lots and lots of snow.

Enough snow for someone to build a giant snow bear. Did his head fall off (it was there yesterday), or did someone knock it off (its over 6ft in the air)?

Its all rather pretty

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The right way to watch Battlestar Galactica

For this hobby you will need
- one DVD of Battlestar Galactipus
- one laptop
- one giant screen
- one business-grade projector
- one stereo plus speakers
- several bodge-cables and connectors that you never knew existed
- two sofas
- a few bottles of beer
- a bottle of red wine (drink it now, there'll be no time later)
- a box of thornton's chocolates that are a bit too fancy for everyone's taste
- a bowl of rice crackers
- five members of a family that takes it's sci-fi a bit too seriously!

We are kings of all Battlestar Galactipus watching. Look on our wonders and despair!

A new game

This was a really good game!

First you hide Daddy. Then you look for him under the cushions.

Then you pull him out of his hiding place using whatever comes to hand.

Then there is much rejoicing.

Sometimes you have to pull quite hard to get him out!

But there is always much rejoicing!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Xmas 2009

We had a lovely Christmas and took loads and loads of photos. Here are a large selection of things that we did:

We explored new things to play with in other people's houses:

We found new places to explore:

And found new people to play with:

We had fun eating new foods:

We thought the Christmas tree was great fun, especially when it was surrounded by a rather extravagant number of presents!

We enjoyed opening stockings in bed:

And we all enjoyed opening presents!

Nathaniel got the hang of opening presents very quickly. He sometimes got a bit confused between "This is present for you from Grandpa Beard and Granny Janni" and "This is a present for Grandpa Beard and Granny Janni", but he never actually opened someone else's present without first having been invited to help. I think that's resonably impressive for such a small boy!

We had lots of fun playing with our presents:

We visited lots of new parks and did lots of swinging. Nathaniel discovered bowl-shaped roundabouts which have become a firm favourite. Shame there don't seem to be any north of Watford!

And finally, we went for cold walks on beautiful days.

It was a very happy Christmas!