Click. Something may have just fallen into place, at what feels like very, very long last. Today I went flat hunting and I think I found a place. Guess which one?
Option 1: Sensible, modern, energy efficient flat in Abingdon, a stone’s throw from Waitrose, available mid-August. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, open plan kitchen and sitting room, secure basement parking, secure communal entry and hallways. Easy bus or cycle ride to Oxford.
Option 2: Two up, two down stone cottage in tiny village miles outside Oxford. Available mid-September, it’s a stone’s throw from the village post office, which is all the amenity that the village offers. I don’t think it even has a pub. It doesn’t have street lights. I don’t know where the nearest supermarket is and if it snows like it did last winter, I’ll either be trapped there or hiking out of the village. The cottage is shabby and cute, with a huge garden, an Aga, oil-fired central heating, a rubbish bathroom and an unfitted kitchen. The location is massively inconvenient but the village is idyllic and I could have pets.
No contest, really, is there?
I’m supposed to be soberly thinking it over between now and Monday, but actually I’ve been looking up domestic oil prices to see if I can afford to run the Aga (probably not), and cat rescue shelters to see if I can find kittens (hell to the yes). I know there’s a train station 3-4 miles away, with one train in the morning, and that the journey to Oxford is 11 minutes. I am totally moving to the country, and it’s exactly the right thing to do!
Update: here are a couple of photos of the cottage, including Aga.