A new address

You’ve probably given up on me.  I have been silent.  But life has not been silent or tranquil.  We’ve been in England a month now, and since then, we’ve found somewhere to live, moved in and started, but not finished, unpacking.  We’ve started to explore our new neighbourhood, and begun, tentatively, to put down roots.

All of which has been complicated by our being somewhat incommunicado.  We had, until today, no land-line or internet connection.  Our (shortly to be ex-) mobile provider offers no connectivity whatsoever for several miles in every direction, so the whole business of communicating with the outside world has been put somewhat on hold, at a time when whole swathes of people and organisations require to hear from us, or to contact us.

From today, however, we’ve rejoined the 21st century, as BT came to install a phone line, bringing with it access to the internet and TV.  So here’s an update.

We arrived in England with a ‘must-have’ list when it came to house-hunting.

We wanted:

  • to be in Ripon itself, within walking distance of its shops, library, cinema and so on.
  • to have a house with a small garden or courtyard: apart from anything else, how else do you hang the washing out?
  • to have a garage.  Not necessarily for the car, but to accommodate the mountains of  ‘stuff’ we still seem to have despite our efforts to downsize.

On the first Monday back we found:

  • a flat at the edge of a village without a shop, about four miles from Ripon
  • with no personal outside space
  • and no garage.

It was perfect.  We signed immediately.

You see, this was no ordinary flat.  It’s the oldest part, tucked at the back, of a largely Georgian country house, set in gardens and grounds which include  formal lawns and borders, a secluded walled garden, woodland and grassland.

In fact, it’s not even a flat.  Downstairs, beyond the entrance hall, is an enormous room which we plan to make into our library and study, and which currently is our warehouse.  Upstairs is generously proportioned living space.  Every window offers views of those gardens, and the fields and countryside beyond.

Looking out of the kitchen window towards the walled garden
Looking out of the kitchen window towards the walled garden

Our landlords are the charming and generous owners of the Georgian house, and other members of the family live in nearby buildings converted for their use.  They insist that they want us to enjoy the gardens which give them so much pleasure – and hard work.  They even provide us with extra storage in part of a stable.  We’ve spent the little ‘down-time’ we’ve had exploring the gardens, the adjoining country walks, and getting to know a little about the village: more later about all of this.

We’ve decided that being four miles from Ripon, and just a little further from Masham is a very small price to pay for living in such utterly idyllic surroundings, with delightful landlords and neighbours.  Here’s just a taste of our new surroundings:  we shan’t invite you inside just yet – we’re still unpacking.

22 thoughts on “A new address”

  1. I can see why you signed so quickly – it looks beautiful. And how nice to enjoy the garden without the work. I think you deserve a few months of calm and relaxation and this is certainly the place to do it.

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  2. So happy to know you are both back in Blighty safe in the next instalment of your life. Looking forward to visiting. Am in Vienna at the moment exploring my family history. Happy unpacking und viel Glück im neuen Heim. It looks amazing and the compromise of not being close to the town has many compensations most of which can be seen from the photos! Yola xx

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  3. Well! Your new place to live seems so lovely with such idyllic surroundings as you says gardens, lawns, woods! And not too far from cities! Take your time to tidy up your home. Here I still have disorderliness, no curtains or pictures hanged up, a lot of reviews I can’t part with! But the garden is now in bloom apple and cherry trees, centaurées… Bonne continuation et plaisir. Noëlle

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  4. Holy cow–did you ever find a piece of paradise! This looks like a place you can be very happy, once the dust settles. I’m impressed that you found time to blog at all, with everything you’ve been doing–good luck!

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  5. That looks beautiful! You actually were able to find a place rather quickly… I’m sure you will enjoy that garden this spring and summer! I look forward to following your new adventures. 🙂

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  6. Lovely. We’re currently looking at rentals for our soon to be repatriated “Malaysians”. Ebbsfleet isn’t quite as nice as the North Riding

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  7. how lovely, that view through that window – are you intending to change a lot inside (as usual…I’m tempted to say..) – or can you just enjoy for a while “being busy doing nothing” ? all the very best, annaxxx

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  8. ……ah you are renting…… think that is a brilliant idea – so you really can enjoy living happily, strolling through that beautiful countryside – all the very best, annaxxx

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