After listening to elephants playing hide and seek last Sunday afternoon for five hours, I decided that was it, we were going to look for a house.
It had been a wet afternoon and we were nice and cosy watching films when the upstairs flat decided to have friends with small children over and even worse, play hide and seek. As we hear every footstep anyway, it made our relaxing afternoon quite stressful as back and forth they ran for hours and our chandeliers rattled overhead.
It’s one of the joys of a Victorian conversion where sound-proofing didn’t seem to be an option but with a communal front door slamming at all hours, hall lights going on at 4am and people running down the stairs at 6am, patience is wearing thin.
Of course, all this sounds horrendous but the reality is that houses in London are extremely expensive especially in the kind of areas we like and with that said, I went off to look at two houses in an area of North West London called Dollis Hill.
No, I’d never heard of it either but houses can be bought for well under a million pounds which in London sounds like a bargain!
I decided to walk with Agnes (Big T having gone to Germany for the weekend) and it took us an hour to get there. I’m not sure why as it’s apparently only three miles away but we eventually arrived. The area itself has a lovely park, Gladstone Park which has views of Wembley Stadium, distant views of the Shard, a duck pond, tennis courts and the remains of the house where Mark Twain lived.
The houses we saw were also lovely. Victorian terraces with four bedrooms, loft conversions, lots of space and character. One of them I loved and could have moved in immediately. It really was my ideal home.
And yet, doing a reconnaissance of the area, there was nothing else there. No shops, cafes, organic vegetable shops, over-priced artisanal bakeries, no M&S. None of the conveniences that we’re used to living in Queen’s Park and nothing to walk to. We could go to the park or be at home, that would be it.
The ongoing conversation continues, do we stay where we are and suffer the ongoing drip torture from above, move to the suburbs in search of a house with nothing around or take the plunge and move out beyond the M25 and into the world beyond where seasonal rail tickets cost £5000 and commuting takes three hours a day?