An update on my pledge to not buy new, I’ve bought my one annual pair of new shoes, but they’re not Doc Martens. They’re flat and comfortable brogues with a hint of wackiness as they’re silver in colour.
Not only do I not wear heels because I have weak ankles, my very high insteps are becoming higher alongside toes that are becoming a bit wonky – grrrrr! So I have to wear lasts inside the shoes to flatten my feet into something that’s comparably normal. Still, if that’s my only problem….. The Doc Martens will be bought in January.
I haven’t bought any clothes that are new either, apart that is from 9 pairs of Marks and Sparks knickers, which were very much needed as I’d not bought any for yonks. Nor am I buying much in the way of charity shop fashion, yet my thrift bags continue to fill up and every week I take a couple of bags of clothes and other odds and ends to my local charity shops. My wardrobe has actual gaps. The thing is, that’s good, because, people, I’m (and did I feel bit sheepish about what I’m just about to tell you? Yes I did, but I’ve got over it!) my news is I’m moving! Now, for the few who’ve known me longer than this blog – they’ll sigh and go, what, no! Again? Because we have moved a lot. On the plus side that means we don’t get stuck in a rut, and we would never, ever, say, oh I couldn’t move, which is what a lot of my friends say, because on the minus side, moving in the UK is an exceedingly stressful business where it is all dependant on a complicated system of solicitors, estate agents and, ‘the dreaded chain’. And it is the chain that is the challenge what with manoeuvring every individual household into the same legal position to agree to exchange the contract on the same day (we have) and complete and move on the same day (in 17 days time). Do you have a different system? I’d be interested to know. Because chains can collapse at any time, even (although it is very rare) after exchange, which is why I won’t feel quite right in the head until the day arrives that we finally move.
Did you realise this was coming as there have been little hints in the blog, not the least that I said there might be more opportunities to swim in the sea, because, yay and three cheers, I’ll be a 5-minute walk away from the sea! So thrilled with that. If it is ever as hot as it was last week (and of course, it will be) I shall spend most of my day in the sea!
And here’s the thing, a couple of friends we’d told said, oh, you didn’t like the type of place you’re in then? Because, I think a lot of you know, but some of you might not, that the block of flats we live in is a Housing Association run place for people over-65. Despite the fact that we are owners of our flat, honestly, the shock that some of our friends expressed when we first moved (2 years ago) as their impression was that we were moving to a care home. Seriously, the most oft said phrase, why would you want to move to a place like that? Meaning why move to where a lot of older people live. My reply was, it’s complicated (see below), but it is absolutely, our choice (also see below). And. We are moving to the exact same type of place, but it happens to be in the centre of Brighton.
And, that is the reason for the move. As I write this piece I look out of the window to a leafy green vista, which is just delightful. It couldn’t be prettier. But I don’t do green or leafy or pretty. And how many of my photos have been taken at the bus-stop? A lot! The block of flats we’re currently in is too far outside Brighton. On a good day it’s 25 minutes by bus to the centre and on a bad traffic day 45 minutes – that’s too long. And now the buses are stifling hot. Where we are is part of Brighton, but it feels more like we’re living in a little village just outside the city, and that is exactly what we do not want. The new place? We can walk everywhere. We are near the centre. Everything I want to be involved in, and with, is nearby. That. Is. Us. Do you see now why we’re moving.
Actually I’ll just run through the reasons why we live in a not-unusual but nevertheless, for some, a controversial place.
Btw, I’ve written about this before, but I break it down to three big reasons and the first is, it’s the sensible thing to do! How will we look after our big house when we get frail? That garden, those bedrooms. Do we need them? Because, I can tell you that while all our friends who were either nearing 70 or about 70 were horrified at our move, Bill’s IT class, who were mainly 80+, all said, oh I wish I’d done that at your age, and well done, you’ve done it at the right time. That’s a very small base to rest my assumption, which is, to move into somewhere like our place earlier rather than later, but that is how I feel. I observed this with my mother who moved when she was 80, and it didn’t work for her, and I observe it now, in the place we’re currently in.
And the second reason for our move to an over 65s place is life isn’t always about being sensible. Really, to be absolutely honest, I carry a lot of baggage. Three times we cared for older relatives: first my mother and then two of Mr F’s relatives. And did they have a plan for frailty? No, they did not. The biggest challenge was my mother as she was not an independent woman. I could write a novel about why, but suffice to say, when my father died we did lot of driving to and fro between Sussex and Suffolk, usually the weekends, but I began to have to go up to deal with stuff for her during the week. And all of this when I had teenagers and a full-time job in London on a national project. Won’t go into the details, but my health pretty much broke down and it was then that I swore I would never, ever do what my mother did to me to my children. I mean she couldn’t help her dependence but it was imprinted, over 20 years ago. See – I have a lot of baggage. So the kids were the least surprised when two years ago we announced our move to this type of housing, as I’ve always said I would do this.
And then finally, there’s the price of these places – they’re cheap. Now if we’d stayed in Brighton…… Because for those of you outside the UK you need to know that Brighton’s housing is near to London prices. But we didn’t stay put in one place, and what’s more, our life had been all the richer for these moves. What is wealth? Wealth should not be just about the money you have and the property you own – it can be a wealth of life and the experiences you’ve had. I especially value the moves for the people we’ve met and the friends we’ve made. I would not have had it any different. But to move back to Brighton is nigh impossible once we you’ve moved away, but not impossible, to one of these flats. So there you are.
And why is it good that I’m reducing the number of my clothes? Because the flat is marginally smaller, but it does have a balcony (yay) and it is in brilliant area (double yay).
So there’s no photos of new clothes, but here’s the thing. Six days after we move I go on a cruise so next week I’ll be packing my suitcase for that! And here below are a few pix of my cruise frocks.
That is one gorgeous charity shop dress which cost all of £9.99
It’s made up from strips of gauzy fabric and is just fab! Here below is another one. Now that pic was taken over two years ago and don’t I look well. Tbh, the stress of the coming move has had quite an impact so I’m looking forward to 8 days of being waited on hand and foot.
I remember that this dress cost £10. It’s stretchy so that means it’s very accommodating to any spare tyre you might have.
I think I’ll take this one above as well, as it’s really fresh and pretty and, unlike most of my cruise frocks that go unworn until the next cruise, I wear this dress a lot.
This pic below is of our first cruise (in 2012) and this dress is a winner as I take it every time.
It’s made from that wonderful devore velvet and I remember it cost £15. Actually the charity shops in Brighton are currently full of gorgeous frothy and sometimes outrageous frocks because this weekend it’s Pride! We’re so looking forward to the parade – it is such fun!
That’s all for now, have a lovely rest of the week.
Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper