A couple of weeks ago we moved into apartment number eight in a green block of flats in a tree-lined street in Thornbury.

Since moving in, I’ve discovered that basically all one-bedroom flats have the same layout – a lounge/dinner area with a kitchen adjoining it, a bedroom and an “en suite” bathroom. This is apparently the optimum arrangement when you only have three rooms. I’m not sure who decided this. The upshot of the design is that when visiting friends who also live in apartments you get to play a slightly uncanny game of spot-the-difference.

I have also discovered that it’s much easier to keep things clean when there’s hardly any space to get dirty. We wash up more often because if you don’t wash up, there aren’t any plates so you can’t have food. If we don’t put things away then there isn’t any floor space so we fall over things a lot and we already have a lot of bruises from walking in to the bed.
Plus I walk places more often now, because I’m afraid of driving in the city and I have to carry things up the stairs a lot. So apartment living will probably make me fitter.

The ratio of walls to window in our flat is surprisingly high. In the bedroom one wall is dominated by a window that looks out into a tangle of trees and sky. The courtyard below us is fringed with bamboo as tall as the building and there are trees all along the street outside.

I’m already quite fond of the kitchen. The cupboards are green with white handles and none of the doors close properly. The oven sits in one corner and I need to hold a cupboard door closed to open the oven. It has character. Also the oven (despite being a lot smaller) is much better at cooking things without burning them than my oven in Newcastle was. This is an improvement.  

It’s strange living so close to so many people. There are eight flats in our block and I know next to nothing about the people who inhabit them. Our bedroom window is directly above a little courtyard that belongs to the flat below ours. Some nights the woman who lives downstairs sits outside and smokes and the fumes waft upwards and through our window. Someone downstairs orders Indian takeaway alarmingly regularly so the stairwell frequently smells of curry. The person in flat number one has a bonsai on their dining table. The person opposite us sometimes leaves their front door open but the security screen is so thick you can’t see in. Every time we encounter the woman next door she makes a lot of comments about how quiet we are.
I often wonder what they think about us.

Last week I made a cake. Today I made jam. I bought a basil plant (which was cheaper than a bunch of basil??) and also a tiny cactus. I’ve strung lights, garland-like across the bedroom window and arranged photos along the bookcase. The fridge is covered in sweary magnets and daleks. Soon I’ll start putting pictures on the walls.

In summary: my new home is mostly green. I like it here. The end.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year