I moved house again yesterday (Friday). I’m now finally a homeowner: no rent to pay, though lots of repairs and improvements to consume what would have been a rent budget. Over the coming days (or more likely weeks, months, …) I’ll be unpacking, sorting, fixing things, getting up to speed in the new place. As well as a couple of final visits to the old place, to clean up and leave it in a presentable state, and (weather permitting) gather some fruit from the garden.
The new place has, alas, no garden. The only outdoor space is the balcony, which hangs over the river. But that river is a huge attraction: both the living room and the main bedroom above it look out on the river, so I get to sit and relax, as well as sleep, to the immensely soothing sound of rushing water from the weir.
And that weir is itself part of the building’s history. For this was originally a foundry, and drew its power from the river. The building was converted to houses in the late 1990s, but retains thick stone walls, wooden beams, and cast iron fittings, all of which are utterly beautiful, as well as giving character to the house. So while on one level it’s a humble two-up two-down plus attic (which becomes my office), on another it’s most unusual and indeed amazing!
The location also has much to commend it: under ten minutes walk from the town centre shops, market, and activities, but also scarcely more than that to open moorland. On the downside, it’s on a busier road than I would choose, and the front rooms – the kitchen and the guest bedroom – will get traffic noise. And due to a high bank and trees on the other side of the road, the house gets little sun, and the north (river-facing) side gets more light than the south!
It was the river above all else that drew me to this house. I hope I shall enjoy many years in its company.