This week, as I’ve de-cluttered and creatively found new ways of storing all the Christmas booty, I have finally decided that we have out grown our flat. This isn’t a problem, the plan was always to move, to buy a house once our family came along, the problem is where will we move to?
When Jonny and I bought our flat in East London we had to move further out than we initially wanted in order to afford anywhere at all. As it turned out it was the best move we could have made and the sense of community where we live is something I don’t think most would associate with London. But London it is and on the Central Line (5 minutes walk from our flat) it’s just 18 minutes into the City. I love it here. I have made so many friends, mainly through baby and play groups, my maternity services were AMAZING and the area itself, which was pretty good when we moved in, has gone up and up!
We bought in the most sought after area in our little patch because, well, we could! We had some money at the time because we were both working and even though we could have afforded a proper house a fifteen minute walk away, we wanted to live in the area that the estate agents try to tag streets as ‘being in the vicinity of’ even though they’re miles away! We wanted to live right in the thick of that little golden patch so we bought our lovely 2 bedroom first floor flat in a Victorian conversion on the end of a terrace. And it was great then. For us. Ideal really!
Our living room is huge which makes up for the compact nature of the bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. We call it the money room as it was the big bay window over looking the Wanstead flats that sold it to us on first viewing. If you watch ‘Location, Location, Location’ then you’ll have seen our little stomping ground on the tele this week and it didn’t surprise me one bit that the house seeking couple fell in love and bought here. It is the perfect place to live really. We have a brilliant couple of pubs, a nice high street with decent shops and the children’s centre has play groups going in lots of locations every single day. Like I said, I love it here.
In an ideal world we wouldn’t leave.
Yes, I’m from Norwich and we’ve always had plans to return there at some point but we fell in love living where we do and because our families are in Norfolk we have the best of both worlds. We don’t really want to sell up and go back. But…
This flat isn’t big enough and now that we’ve lived in the really nice area, I don’t want to live anywhere else. Plus, even if we moved to the awful area (and it would have to be the awful area to be able to afford staying in London) the house prices would still be super high, stretch us dreadfully and not be very big… We kind of have our hands tied and with rods poking us in the back we are being pointed back to Norwich.
Living in London as a working couple with no dependents was one thing and indeed do-able. The flats are gorgeous, plentiful and it really doesn’t matter if you don’t have a garden because you’re out all the time anyway. For a family of four it’s just not the case.
We have the same amount of stuff as any family of four, the same amount of furniture, clothes, crockery, books, toys… But we have half the space and we just can’t do it anymore. We need a house and although I would dearly love to stay here, will shed many tears when we leave, we just can’t afford to buy a house in our area. There’s no way really…
It’s such a shame because London, although on the up financially (we’ll make a big profit when we sell), isn’t really accessible to most families anymore. Not families like mine anyway. Young, hard working families with a Mummy who wants to stay at home and look after her children… No, London is for the even younger execs who work hard and party harder. And as more of them come in, to buy our flat probably, the families like mine are having to move out and up the country. It’s the only thing we can do!
So London will kiss us goodbye with a bit of a golden handshake when it happens. The money we make on our flat will enable us to buy a house with a very small mortgage in Norwich but if only we could afford to buy a house in our area… We’d much rather do that! I don’t think people need to be worried about schools needing more class rooms in the capital, I think they ultimately need to worry about finding children to fill them, they’ll all be living off up in the country in a few years!
If I sound bitter then it’s because I am. I’m bitter because I love London, I love East London in particular and I want to bring my family up here. We have lots to offer London and we want to soak up all it has to offer us in return – most importantly we WANT to be here. I am bitter, I think it’s highly unfair that house prices are super ridiculous with absolutely no chance of being able to move up! Yes we could sell for lots but of course buying a house would be lots more too! There should be less flats and more houses and the government should have schemes in place to help families stay in the Capital! We’ll stick as long as we can but the inevitable is coming and it’s such a shame…
I’ve joined in this week with Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Friday Linky!
MY LIFE WITH TWO!
Back to reality this week for us as we re started real life after our lovely Christmas break at my Mum’s! Jonny’s gone back to work, Florence is back at nursery and after one mammoth house tidy up when we got back, I am well and truly back in my role as space maker, cleaner, tidier, washer and cook!
It’s not bad really, just a bit of a come down after a fortnight of not doing much more than eating that’s all!
This week is a year since Florence started nursery and it’s hard to believe that this is the year she will start big school. This time next year she’ll be a full timer and I can’t quite believe how time has gone so quickly. She was such a tiny dot last January, going off to nursery as the smallest child there and now I notice that she’s not at all the smallest anymore! Still fairly dinky it has to be said and some of the others (even the younger ones) tower over her but she’s still bigger than some and this time last year that just wasn’t the case! She’s learned so much in her year at nursery including all the foundations for reading, which she does very well already and is imparting her knowledge of to her brother! It’s been an absolute highlight this week to find her in the living room diligently reading to Jimmy who became somewhat obsessed by books over Christmas!
Florence in her nursery uniform (too sweet that they wear a uniform) reading to Jimmy!
Settling back to our normal routine has been a bit boring for Jimmy I think and he’s missed his sister to play with all day. I haven’t really taken him out anywhere exciting this week as I’ve been getting the house straight after the break but we’ll be back on it next week with play groups galore! If nothing else it’s a week off a bump or a nose bleed! I don’t know what that boy does but he careers around and falls over so much that nose bleeds have become the norm to him, he barely bats an eye lid! At my Mum’s last week he wouldn’t even let me clean him up, just cried initially, wiped the blood around his face then pushed my hand away every time I tried to clean him up – he recovers well and wants everyone else to forget about it as quickly as he does!
I myself used to have a lot of nose bleeds when I was little because I burst a blood vessel in my nose with one particular accident involving a boy called Monty and a toy dustbin. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jimmy has done the same and soon any little bash will bring on the nose bleed!
And we’re back… Normal routine which is pretty rather fun will be fully on next week and all I want now is a bit of sunshine… and maybe a bit of snow first?
I’ll be back next week but in the mean time please do follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbaby.