Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.
I find myself in the Hitchin presence of the dubiously Italianesque coffee chain Caffé Nero. Maybe there’s better coffee in town, we don’t yet know, but Nero has BT wifi access and is open on Sunday.
So… we have access to our new place in Hitchin and are well along the path to moving in. Half our stuff is still in storage, we’ll grab all of that on Monday (tomorrow.) I failed to restrain myself and have already cleared 75% of the larger garden bed of weeds. We took a trip up to a large garden centre half way between Hitchin and Letchworth, worth doing while we have the convenience of the van. I obtained bags of manure, compost, and seed raising mix. As well as seeds, seedlings, pots of herbs, and various tools. It’s been so long since I’ve wielded a fork in anger, anger against the tyranny of weeds. Anyway, more on that another time.
Driving the van has been fun, it’s a box with wheels and an engine. Reverse parking is a nightmare! Thanks to Kat stepping out and guiding me it is possible, otherwise I’m sure I’d be running over the small cars I’m trying to park between. Still, I do actually enjoy driving the thing, you get a lot more respect on the road than you do in a bloody Ford Focus, for example. It reminds me of the days when I owned an old Ford F-100 ambulance, good times. Despite the ever rising cost of fuel I’m ever tempted to get a car, maybe, maybe.
We popped into Ricky yesterday, had a final lunch at Cinnamon Square, picked up a 2nd hand couch from 9 Lives, then gave the Ricky keys back to the letting agents. Over. The cleaners, who were painfully expensive, did a damn good job – worth it in the end I’m beginning to think.
On the cleanliness side the new place left a lot to be desired. We went over it with the friendly Inventory Clark as arranged by the Letting Agents. She was generally scathing of the owner’s efforts to clean the place and the overall condition of the house. Downside: we have to do some cleaning, especially the kitchen. Upside: we certainly don’t have to worry about cleaning when we move out! (Though we’ll probably maintain it in a better state than we took it in.) There are several rough edges, the wallpaper is peeling here and there, and has been very badly painted over in some areas, in fact it has been rather unprofessionally applied in several places. With fittings clearly just punched through the paper. The bathroom has a shower, it has a power shower! This is a device that runs on mains power and pumps the water to achieve a powerful showering experience. The fittings in the bathroom are new, but not well installed. The Inventory Clark said of the flooring: “they told me the vinyl was newly fitted, but whoever did it must have needed a guide dog.”
OK, I’ll stop with the whinging now. We do like the place, well I do, Kat says she does … I’ll just have to believe her. It is large, insanely large for two people. Getting from our chosen bedroom to the kitchen is an epic quest.
Overall it fulfils three major requirements, the very things that led to our decision to leave the Ricky place:
- Quiet (at least, so it seems thus far – even Saturday night was good.)
- Spacious Kitchen (like huge, maybe four times the size of the cubby-hole kitchen in Ricky.)
- Outdoor Space (not a lot of garden bed, but enough considering my generally busy schedule, and loads of space for a BBQ.)
There are additional obvious pluses too:
- Seemingly a great pub around the corner, The Nightingale has 5 real ales on tap!
- Lower rent, a 3br house for less than a 2br apartment!
- Allotments around the back, possible future gardening expansion?
- Larger town, more shops, open on Sunday (but it’s further away.)
Anyway, must get on with the day.