Our self build project has meant we will be saying goodbye to our life in Bristol and starting a new chapter back in my hometown of Cheltenham. It’s an exciting time as we will be living in a wonderful house that we built for ourselves, enjoying a lot more space and be amongst the tranquility of the countryside. There is an underlying feeling of sadness though as we will miss Bristol a lot.
Bristol has been my home for over 5 years now, it’s where I finally got my big break into the world of web development and where I met James. I will still be working there so I won’t be cutting ties completely but it will mean my commute won’t be as easy.
Bristol is an amazing city and we believe we probably lived in the best spot. A stones throw away from the river on Spike Island, a very central spot being within walking distance to Clifton, Ashton Court, the City Centre, Wapping Wharf but still quiet enough to think you were not in the midst of such a buzzing city. Sometimes living on an island had it’s nuisances, but only if it was past 6pm, raining and cold when you couldn’t get the ferry across the river and had to walk the whole way around.
The food scene is second to none and for a couple of foodies it’s been an absolute dream to go out at least once a week and sample some of the best food in the country, dare I say world. We will most definitely miss the burger scene which we took full advantage of, getting our burger fix weekly will always be a highlight.
We’re not only saying goodbye to Bristol but also Gadget the dog. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this pooch, deep down it’s always been love but on the surface I’ve treated him like an annoying younger brother. James has shared him with an ex for the whole time we’ve been together, so we’ve had him 50% of the time, taking it in turns over the weekends and varying in the week. He’s got a huge personality, a whole lot of energy, selective hearing and a big love of fruit pastilles. Even though he wound me up plenty of times, I will miss him. I had no idea the commitment needed for taking on a dog and that had been a challenge the last 4 or so years, they are incredibly needy and Gadget in particular, is very cheeky. I like dogs, probably even more since living with Gadget, however I’m looking forward to finally having a couple of cats to keep us company in the new place.
It’s a real luxury to have had everything on our doorstep too. Bristol has this great city scene and nightlife, with the food, bars, events and shopping but within a 30 minute walk from our old house you could be in the gardens of a grand estate like Ashton Court surrounded by deer. From the moment I started working there I wanted to experience living in Bristol and it was a real pleasure. I like to think we made the most of it and ticked off most of the things this thriving city had to offer. However, we were ready for a change of scenery and a break from city living, we had been living in limbo for some time, waiting for the opportunity to have more space, we’re really excited about our next adventure.
James and I have wanted to build our own home for almost as long as we’ve been together. In the early days we would watch episodes of Grand Designs and speak hypothetically about the rooms we would have, the style, the location. Fast forward to now, 4 months into our self build project with only a couple to go until we move in, I still can’t quite believe it’s happening. In those 4 and a bit years we’ve had some tough times, with James’s mum passing away, my mum being diagnosed with breast cancer and some other quite stressful points in our lives, it almost felt as though we weren’t going to get a break. That was until we got the yes from the planning approval office on the piece of land just around the corner from my parents. Even with everything else that’s happened we still feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to have designed and now be building our dream home.
We’re going to get back into cooking more and enjoy the space we’ll have in our kitchen. We can’t wait to walk out of the front door and just be faced with fields, and without sounding totally anti-social, no people. We can’t wait to have more room, mainly for all our stuff so we no longer feel suffocated by it and finally have room to enjoy more hobbies like painting, drawing, even wood work. I’m so excited to be closer to family again, being able to catch up with my sister on a more regular basis and being there for my parents so we can go out walking together or cook them dinner every so often. When my brother visits I’ll also be able to see more of him too. We should now have more weekends free having spent so many previous in Cheltenham just visiting.
Over the last five years we have probably spent more weekends away from Bristol than spending time there, it gets pretty busy and the weekends get overcrowded with Hen parties and Stag dos. We would enjoy removing ourselves from the rat race and taking a break from city life to go visit family or friends, so life in Cheltenham should suit us pretty well and probably won’t feel like much of an adjustment.
It’s been an absolute pleasure to live in Bristol and who knows, we may be back. I can’t imagine it’ll change there much but if it does, it’ll only get better.