I haven’t been writing much over the past few months. So, what have I been doing? Well, among other things, buying a house and going to Spain ….
PJ and I got talking at Easter about the fact that it might be time to move. We like our condo, but we’d like a bit more space, and a yard so we can have a garden. So, the search began, and we finally found the perfect place – it’s a middle of 3 row-houses in Chinatown with a little space out back to do some planting and put up a clothesline, a 3rd bedroom, so we can separate our office/sewing room from the guest room, and a basement for storage.
The whole process was, of course, fraught with anxiety. Should we be buying a bigger place? Paying more? Giving up location for yard? Giving up yard for location? The bank would have given us a lot more money if we’d wanted it, and the house inspector definitely found a few flaws in the 100-year-old property that we’ve chosen. So, even though we’re excited, there’s been an undercurrent of questioning whether we made the right decision.
But then, we spent a week in Spain. The trip was a total reality check re. the North American expectations around housing. In Spanish cities, most people, whether they own or rent, live in apartments. And in a city like Barcelona, which has been inhabited since the Roman empire, 100-year-old properties are just like new! Seeing how the Spanish live has reinforced the reasons that we chose our new place, shared drainage aside: we’re going to be able to store some things, but we’ll have to continue to be smart about what we accumulate; we’re going to be right downtown in a mixed neighbourhood close to work and friends; and we’re going to be able to entertain people, without being lost in our rooms when it’s just the two of us at home.