Thursday, November 6, 2008

Our New Home

For those of you who have been wondering, we're in our new house at last! We moved into our new place on Wednesday October 22, though we weren’t able to get all our stored stuff that same day. Our pillows and comforters were in storage so we slept in our bed that first night fully clothed in sweaters and coats, with no bedding! (The blanket we did have was shared by Naomi and my mom in the other double bed.)

Our home is a row-house, adjacent to three others. Our front door opens onto a hallway, with our enclosed dining room on the right. A small living room follows, and then an enclosed kitchen, a back door, and finally a bathroom at the end of the ground floor. Between the dining room and living room are stairs leading up to the “first floor” where we have two bedrooms.

The kids are in the front room, which has two windows looking onto our road. Just across the narrow street from us is a car repair shop (ironically housed in what used to be the local parish church, with a steeple and all), so the kids have lots to watch: workers, roosting doves, neighbors’ cats, cars, passersby, etc.

Our room is in the back, and looks out onto a horse pasture. We’re grateful for a darker and quieter room, as well as one with a beautiful view. We have a tiny yard (called a “garden” here, whether anything is planted or not) full of gravel, which was the most disappointing aspect of this house. But because of the pasture just beyond, as well as a huge expanse of parks at the end of our road, the yard is bearable.

We are grateful to have found a very adequately furnished place. We have a double bed, a queen bed (called “king” here!), and three sets of desk, wardrobe, dresser and bookcase (because this used to be home to three students). My kitchen has a microwave, electric tea kettle, small oven and stove, and a medium-sized frig and freezer (an improvement over the one I had in Edinburgh). I’m grateful for every kitchen item I brought with me, but even so, I have had to buy multiple things.

Our dead-end street, Ferry Road, connects a semi-major road called Marston Road with a cycle path that cuts through University Parks to get into city center. This means we have a fair amount of pedestrian and bicycle traffic, but little car traffic.

Marston Road has frequent bus service (which we try not to use to cut down costs) and wonderfully wide sidewalks separated from a cycle lane by a grass median. This makes it a nice road to walk with the kids, as I worry less about their falling into traffic. The cycle path through the Parks is a lovely walk, through meadows and over streams. The kids love seeing ducks, swans, and geese, and I appreciate the peace and beauty of nature. Oxford is a real mix that way.

That’s all for now. I’ll include pictures when I get my camera working again (can’t figure out what’s wrong with it, but hopefully not much.) Sorry for the delay!

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