Saturday, 30 March 2013

A gorgeous homeware shop in Christchurch - and they turn out to be our neighbours!

I still haven't had the time to get into Christchurch for a good nose around all the lovely independent shops that have been calling to me each time we pass (en route to somewhere glamourous like the DIY shop or the tip) but yesterday - amazingly - it was Simon who stopped the car outside one of them, after spotting some vintage blue and white French house numbers in the window.
Thomas and Lucia is on Bargates, Christchurch and is packed full of gorgeous vintage style home accessories, ticking fabric, Annie Sloan paint, shabby chic furniture, cute door knobs, lighting... and all the other stylish little bits that allow me to dream, just for a few minutes, that I too might have a house straight out of a Country Living shoot.
Even better, the price tags are extremely sensible - unlike so many 'saw you coming' type of home shops - so I'm still thinking that I might have to go back for the beautiful set of antique looking embroidered linen napkins, that seemed a snip at just £13.
The shop is owned by the lovely Matthew and his garden designer wife Sue, who (we discovered as we ordered our new number plate)  live in the house at the end of our back garden. So not only have we now met our first neighbours, they are also hand delivering my new house number plate too - result!

Click here to take a peep at the Thomas and Lucia website.

Friday, 29 March 2013

We've done it - we've moved to Dorset!

Hurrah! We've escaped the smoke of the city and escaped to our new little nest by the sea.

For years Simon and I have dreamt and schemed about doing this - about somehow finding jobs out of London, selling our big house and downsizing to the good life - and, finally, we've done it. Well, sort of.

True, last week we did move into a gorgeous little Edwardian cottage, just a pebble's throw from the Dorset coast. But, ummmm, we also still seem to own a 5-bedroom detached house in the city. And have a son who is still in school 40 minutes away......

So rather than downsizing to a more simple life, we actually seem to have created a far more complicated one, encompassing nightmare-inducingly large mortgages, a family of American tenants, and a whole new set of landlord type of responsibilities, plus a school run that requires me to cross the entire New Forest. But hey, one step at a time I guess!

Inevitably I've had a few wobbles about the whole thing. Such as on Tuesday, when Glam Pam from Texas - our new tenant - called at 8pm to say she couldn't get the radiator in the bedroom to work and could we just 'pop' over. And then there was last Saturday, when all our friends and neighbours gathered for a final dinner and a game of utensil tennis in our very spacious city kitchen and I realised just how much I would miss them. But if at any time I need any reminding as to why we have done this, all I have to do is cross the road in front of the house, breathe in the coastal air and look across the water to the pretty beach huts flanking Hengistbury Head, or pull on my wellies and walk down to Avon Beach with the dog.

So, if you too dream of escaping to the coast and what to find out what doing so is REALLY like, or just want to join us as we discover the best - and worst -  of living in East Dorset, then follow this blog... and do get in touch to let us know what we should be seeing and doing.
How could we resist moving to Stanpit, when this view is just a stone's throw away?