This is going to be the last thing I say about moving. I promise. Maybe. But it’s something that is constantly in my mind still. And I want to enjoy this feeling while it lasts.
1. Doors close
It’s something you take for granted. Doors have handles, and they close. You give them that little push, and the little latch clicks into place and it’s… Closed.
But if you’d lived in our old flat, you’d know that this isn’t a given. Doors might have a round vintage handle on one side, a straight modern one on the other. Or no handle at all. You can push it shut, and there’s no satisfying click as there’s no latch to click. Doors are just constantly halfway open, draft coming out the wazoo.
2. Windows open
At the old flat, the windows did open. In a way that you could never clean them. You could push them up so
fresh air can flow into the room. But living on the third floor and climbing out of an open window isn’t an option. So the pile of bird crap that was there when we moved in, had only grown in size in four years.
On top of the actual physics of opening windows, there’s the actual ability to. I can open a window without being forced to listen to six buses in an hour, drunks shouting and the general hum of city life. And that’s the only good thing about not living bang on city centre. We’re only a five-minute drive away from all the action, but there is NO noise. There are very few ambulances, practically no police cars and no drunks. Apart from my husband. And that’s a different story for a different day.
3. I have an office
Strike that; we have an office. But in reality, I have an office. I have a space I can retreat to when I want to take photos, when I need to read for my professionals (which is what I should be doing right now…). I have THAT tabletop from Ikea to take those Instagrammable flatlays (well, I could if I had an eye for flatlays). I can sit in a CHAIR and spread out my books and study cards on a desk, not hunch over scattered piles on my bed.
4. We can have our curtains open
In 2014, a company bought the unused university building opposite our old flat, with plans to turn it into a hotel. Before that, our curtains were open, and we could go about our life the usual way. But that all changed. The builders across the road used to stand on top of the building, peering into the flats across. At night, they’d shine flashlights into the rooms. God knows why, but they did. So we bought some curtain poles (because for some reason our landlady just LOVED net curtains!), blackout curtains and drew them, never to be opened again.
5. There is light
I don’t really know what has changed. Our windows here aren’t that much bigger, and there’s not that many more. Yet, there is so much more light. The old place was constantly dark, always in the shadow. And now? It’s bright. Our black furniture doesn’t make the place depressing, it works as furniture. I don’t always need lights to take photos. Because I can see the SUN!
6. There is heat
There’s a few things you want from a flat. One of them is for it to be warm. In the dead of winter, you don’t want to be sitting there with your whole wardrobe on you and still be cold. Yet, that’s what it was.
Don’t get me wrong, things didn’t start out that way. The heating worked, everywhere. And then the pump failed. Our former landlord had insurance for the repair, but not the aftermath. The aftermath being the system needing to be flushed. So this wasn’t done. And we lost heating to the living room, the bathroom and the hallway. So, for the longest time, we used space heaters as the main source of warmth in the house. We went through three heaters, two extensions and so much money spent on wasted electricity.
Things aren’t that rosy here either; the heater in the living room isn’t working. But most nights it’s not an issue; the only heater we have on is the one next to the front door; on the other side of the flat. And it’s still warm. Yey for good insulation!
Oh god, the amount of space… Never mind that one neighbour who likes to dictate where you’re “allowed” to park… There’s spaces available. At all points in time. Want to go to the gym on a Saturday morning? Go ahead; you’ll still get parked when you get back. Want to pop out to the shops? Sure! There’ll be space when you get back.
Gone are the days when I’d spin around the block seven or eight times to try to find one available space. I might spend ten extra minutes driving after work, but I spend 20 less parking.
8. No burger on the wall
If you were looking for art to hang up on your wall, would you buy an abstract painting of a burger? One that covered the whole wall? Probably not. Neither would I. But someone did.
Not a singular, plural. In the old flat, we had one of those Ikea sofas that had a super low back. Cute to look at (well, they generally are. This one wasn’t.) and comfy at first, but when it gets to a few years on, and you’re constantly sitting without back support, it gets boring.
And one of you will always be uncomfortable.
So when you have two sofas, with backs, with comfy cushions, where you can both lie down comfortably, it’s AMAZING. You lie down, you chill, you just enjoy the fact that you can just melt into a cushion.
Not only are there puppies in the building, but whenever we step out the front door, there’s someone about, walking their dog. There’s big dogs, little dogs, young dogs and old dogs. And best of all? I’m allowed to have a dog.
I’m sorry husband, but a puppy is happening. Soon.