Homes and hills

Turning a house into a home is something rather special. I was brought up in an environment where your living space wasn’t just a place to cook meals, bathe and sleep – it was a sanctuary where you always felt warm, safe and could truly relax in.  It’s something I’ve always tried to replicate in the rental properties I’ve lived in, and more recently in the house I own.

For months Adam and I perused real-estate websites, dreaming of moving into a stone cottage in a small village near Malvern, with a fireplace, big cooker and enough garden to grow some fruit and vegetables.

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Malvern, from the Malvern Hills.

However now we’re in England, we’re starting to realise it may not be our best option.

We’re going to try and make do with one car for the next few months, in a bid to keep costs down (thus enabling us to save money for more more holidays around the UK and Europe). Adam has to work away quite often, so if he’s got the car I need to be somewhere where I can walk to a supermarket or catch a bus or train into town. Also, while cute stone cottages look good, if they haven’t been fully renovated inside they can be cold, expensive to heat and prone to becoming mouldy and damp (yuck!). After swearing we wouldn’t move into a flat or apartment, we’re now thinking it could be a really good choice. Apartments are also generally less maintenance (especially when we plan to travel frequently!)

I’ve also realised, it doesn’t really matter if we don’t have an ‘outside’ area – Malvern’s blessed with an abundance of beautiful parks, hundreds of public footpaths and its hills, which we finally got a chance to visit earlier this week.

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Walking on the hills.

It was freezing, but the view is just something else – on a clear day you can even see Wales! There are dozens of tracks all over the hills and I really want to make the most of them while I’m in Malvern. If Adam and I have to tend to an unruly cottage garden every weekend, we’ll never feel like taking a long walk along the hills.

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Looking westward into Herefordshire.

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Homes at the Wyche (where the Malvern to Ledbury road cuts through the hills).

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Gorse growing on the hills.

We’ve got a few more house viewings over the next few days – hopefully we’ll find the ‘one’.

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