by Karen J Mossman
It’s two weeks before our move from Manchester to Anglesey, and we went on a visit to the island to look around. It felt surreal standing outside our new home trying to imagine what it would be like to live there. We’d lived in our current home for twenty-eight years.
I’d always wanted kerb appeal, and I felt I could achieve it here. The bungalow hadn’t been lived in for almost three years. The driveway would come up nicely with a jet wash and we could replace the house sign and outside light. The front could be adorned with colourful flowers and the prospect of it all is very exciting.
We’d brought our children up in our Manchester house, I’d shed tears and laughed in that house. It had seen the worst of times and the best of times. My parents, my in-laws, elderly aunts and uncles had all graced that house before they passed on. I knew every nook and cranny; every squeak and noise. It has been our sanctuary and wherever we went in the world; it was the place we returned to. It’s where we felt safe; our castle, our home, our life.
It is a semi-detached building on a crowded road in a big city. We bought it because it was bigger and cheaper than the area we were living in when we first married and just 5 miles down the road. Our family was expanding, and we had outgrown the house we bought when first married.
In our Manchester house, we could only get one car on the drive, the other gets parked at the front. When visitors come, they have to find a parking space in front of someone else’s house. I get annoyed if I can’t park outside my own house due to other people’s visitors. It was a constant battle.
The gap between the house next door was about twelve feet. Our bathroom windows face each other and I can hear them, and they can probably hear us. Privacy is not always there.
It was a complex estate with main roads, side roads and cul-de-sacs all backing on to each other. Each garden fits against another, some longer, some short, and I often wondered how the plans were ever drawn up in 1925 to make it fit the way it does.
It was like that all over our area because we also lived near a big shopping complex, a football ground, and a conference centre. Some weekends thousands of people spilled into the area. Traffic was constantly nose to tail, and getting to places could be difficult.
Our house had a small kitchen, long hallway and a through lounge, with three bedrooms and a modest bathroom upstairs. We were lucky that the garden was south facing. Our tiny patch of lawn got so much sun that in the height of summer, a full line of washing will dry within two hours.
There were houses at the back of us, and some of them looked into each other’s windows. We were lucky that the ones behind us were at an angle, so we have a view right through the centre and more importantly, we are were not overlooked by anyone.
When I walk the dog, I walked along the main road and always looked for different places to walk and downside streets where it tended to be quieter. We had several schools around and bicycles can come up behind me without warning and rush hour was so noisy with the culmination of car engines and motorbikes. It quietened after 9.30, so I had to choose my times to venture outside.
Our new property is a detached bungalow. It’s the front driveway is square and we could fit four or five cars if we wanted. Although the idea was to downsize, I’m not sure we really have. All the rooms are larger, especially the kitchen, and we have a garage too.
Because the bedrooms are on the same level, it will be a different way of living. I love the idea of getting up early in the morning and taking a few steps to the kitchen to make us a cup of coffee and take it back to bed.
It has three bedrooms and one of them we are turning into a dining room/office and eventually we shall have a conservatory built. Having lived in just the one through room, we will have a vast choice of places to be. With the kitchen being so large, we can spend time in it. At present when my husband cooks, he gets annoyed if I go into the kitchen as it’s so small that I get in his way. No chance of that happening now.
We have a back garden and a side garden, both of them large. As summer approaches we will again have a choice of where we want to spend time.
The bungalow is situated in the countryside and five minutes from the beach. There are many beaches on the island of Anglesey and even in tourist season, it is still never as busy as where we are now.
It’s a two and a bit hour’s drive from Manchester and I feel it is more of a community and all of us sharing something special.
On Facebook and Twitter, I could join Anglesey groups and there is so much going on and I look forward to being part of it. I have plans for the future as our whole way of life will change. It is the perfect time of year as winter turns to spring, then the summer and we can enjoy both the inside and the outside of our new home.