Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Another reason our trip to Suffolk was quite stressful was that we decided to move down there. Which means we’re actually travelling back down there tomorrow to look at a place.

We did talk about heading South this time last year, after Rosie announced she was pregnant. We speculated moving to Hampshire or Dorset, close to where they live or else East Anglia, where my folks and the rest of my family are. We discussed it at length over the first few months of this year, looked at Estate Agents etc., but then we decided that too much was going on and we’d stay put for the time being.

This time was different. On our way down South [...] stated that this was really something he thought we should do. I agreed we should think about it. But then a few days later, [...] popped into an Estate Agent near where my folks live and found somewhere that would have been absolutely ideal. Within a very short space of time we decided we would go for it, only then the landlord said that he had received an offer to sell and so that fell through.

Rainbow over Whitby, this morningThe fact that we had even entertained moving so very quickly brought it home that this is really something we want to do now. And frankly, it makes me a little sad. Because I really love Whitby. I am not someone to have a great affection for places, but Whitby is a very special place. It has a great history, a thriving and very tolerant culture and it is a beautiful, beautiful town in one of the most beautiful areas of natural beauty in the whole world. I honestly believe that.

Unfortunately, over the past three or four years since my health deteriorated, I have lost access to very much of what I love about it. I’m not getting out so easily, I’m not socialising much, and indeed, the local culture revolves around drinking in smoky places which was always a difficulty for both of us. The wheelchair keeps me off the beach or from having picnics in the Abbey Grounds. And at the same time, we are making regular trips down south where all my family are, and where we have better access to a greater number of our friends.

Oh no, I know, we are completely mad. We could be moving within a month...


Mary said...

Good luck with that!

ben said...

good luck, indeed.

Sally said...

Oh Goldfish, what a splendid idea. I do understand not wanting to leave Whitby - but it is so much warmer down here and we have sea side and stuff ! How you can bear to live so far from Alexander I could not imagine.

Can I put in a plea that you don't rush into finding a place, but first find a local authority that has a good budget (so not North Dorset then, but East Dorset is better off, but I know nothing of other local authorities)) and get Social Services support for housing that is suitable for your very real disabilities. Housing Associations are always worth finding out about - my 'Bump' rents a super HA bungalow with garden and level access throughout.

Enquiries into this may delay the move a bit, but wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to glide up your very own path in your own mobility aid/wheelchair/scooter, through the door, into a garden, out the to shops/library/whatever when the mood and energy takes you.

And the National Trust beaches in Dorset (and probably elsewhere)have board walks for wheelchairs AND you can hire ones with enormous tyres to take you into the water. Not in January though.

If I am being 'mother-ish' do say and I will shut up.

The Goldfish said...

Thanks folks.

Sally, no worries about being motherish. Fortunately, we don't have to worry too much about access because I don't need a wheelchair in the house, just need somewhere manageable to store it. There are other particular needs, but they shouldn't be much trouble organising.

As for Local Authorities, there are lots of uncertainties there. Just now HB covers £350 p.c.m rent on a two bedroom flat (which only increased last year from £300). There is nothing, not even a bedsit with that sort of rent in the areas we looked at down south, but then there aren't many actual flats, they're all little bungalows, often detached. Which would be lovely, but the only way of telling for absolute certain is to move in and then claim benefit. We do have some Pretenancy Determination forms, where they'll estimate how much they'll give you. So that's something.

East Anglia looks to be winning out, but Rosie, Adrian and Alexander are hoping to move very shortly themselves (up the property ladder, perhaps a far more stressful business in the greater scheme of things), within the area. They hope to have somewhere where they can easily put us up, so hopefully we'll have trips down to their (and your) neck of the woods, which will be far more viable if we're only across in Suffolk.

Anonymous said...

I hope all goes well with your move.

Anonymous said...

I do hope you'll find a lovely place to stay. Whitby surely a very nice place, but do you know the saying "home is where your people are"? If access to your friends and familiy is much better in the south, then it should be worth moving there.

melbamae said...

Oh my Goldfish!! Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

The photo is lovely! The place appears to have a pleasant soothing feeling to it. I am sure you will be happy once you are there!

P.S. Look into getting the beach municipal government people to have those wheelchair buggies available for rent-- the ones with the big puffy wheels, so you can roam around.

And jostle at least one pub on accessibility, so you can do the British pub thing too!