Monday, October 26, 2009
Sep 15 - England house found!
We were driven around today by the relocation agent, Steve Miller, from Manchester. He was a hoot. Dry British humor. He arranged tours of 3 houses.
The 1st house was in the middle of Ulverston (that very cute market town with Laurel and Hardy). Literally in the middle of Ulverston. My country relatives will think we're nuts when you come to visit. It is a semi-detached house (aka duplex) tucked between the backs of houses on 2 streets. You walk up an alley behind a carpet shop, through a gate into a pebble-lined garden. No grass. But nice flowering plants and benches. Into the 1st floor with a cloakroom (aka very small half-bath). Lounge (living room) is on the right, with a gas fireplace. Kitchen is in the back, with table for 4-6 people on the side of kitchen. It has a nearly full-size refrigerator and dishwasher. Washing machine is combined with dryer (literally one unit). There is a clothesline out back. On the 2nd floor are 2 bedrooms with queen beds, wardrobes, and a full bath. 3rd floor has 1 bedroom with queen bed and full shower bathroom. It's in immaculate (unlike anything we have ever lived in).
(Top photo: Hal peeking out the back door by the wheelie bins. 2nd photo: front patio. 3rd photo: looking down the "ginnel" toward the street. 4th photo: our front gate. 5th photo: front door.)
Jack the Dog will have to learn to be a city dog. There are so many public walking paths that we'll have a good time exercising. He'll have to learn to walk on a leash, though. The towns here are so contained - not so much suburban sprawl as we are used to at home. We can walk to the end of our street and go into a pub or bakeshop. Go the other way 2 blocks and you walk through sheep or cow fields on public footpaths. Amazing. This house is in the middle of a warren of tiny winding streets and alleyways. Like something out of Dickens. We're going to have to meet visitors somewhere public, like the train station, and escort them to the house.
The side roads are so small that most of the time we have driven by before we realized we missed the road we wanted. And they are so narrow that it's funny. Literally one-car wide with a speed limit of 60 mph!!! Winding, with hedgerows just beyond the mirrors, limiting visibility of oncoming traffic - sometimes trucks, or tractors. Surprising amount of farm equipment. There are lots of working farms.
The other 2 places we viewed were out in the country. Converted stone barns with old beams overhead. One had an AGA cooker (kitchen range) that people say is fantastic to cook on. The views overlooking hilly farmland were breathtaking. But we decided that my sanity would be more (yes, even more) in jeopardy so far out in no-where-land.
I got a look at Wellies (rubber barn boots) at Tesco's (like Walmart). They had 3 designs. Blue flowers; black and white giraffe print with pink trim; and pink/white polka dots! Nothing boring. Only ten pounds.
The weather has been gorgeous. Today was sunny and crisp. Lovely fall day.
Hal got his Garmin GPS. Studying the manual now.