The house: before’s and writing on walls

Our house is undergoing a fairly major facelift. It’s going to take a while. Here are the ‘before’ photos. You will most likely be waiting a while for the afters, though there are a few complete jobs…to come. (Click on one photo to expand the gallery)

Actually, looking at these, which were taken about a month ago, we have made some progress. We are nearing the end of a full rewire of the house. Which means a lot of walls look like this:

New wiring for garden lights
New wiring for garden lights

And it also meant, before the rewiring process started, that we were allowed to write all over the walls:

Writing on walls. You feel like your mum is about to tell you off.
Writing on walls. You feel like your mum is about to tell you off.

We had quite a lot of notes that said ‘WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS SWITCH DOES’. Just like Monica in friends. But luckily, for us, we have a great electrician to figure it out.

Wanstead flats

A big reason we moved here…

wantstead flats

The football posts have gone up this week, which means soon we will be inundated by Sunday footballers, but I don’t mind one bit. Turns out my brother used to play football on the flats when we were kids, I found out from my mum recently, as did many now international footballers (as referenced here, by the excellent Forest Gate Now and Then Blog) – it’s nice to see a park so well used.

It was looking particularly stunning this evening at dusk:

sky at dusk

It’s views like this that make you forget living in N16, I tell you. (And just about forgive Greater Anglia for their sometimes unreliable train service…)

Moving to E7

In January this year, we looked around our teeny, tiny, one bedroom flat in Stoke Newington, where we had lived, on and off, in different forms, for the last 6 years and decided it was time for a change. We needed more space, a little more quiet and wanted to stay in London. That meant one of two things based on our budget  – 1) decide to stay in zone 2 and swap a one bed for a slightly bigger two bed for an insane price tag, and in a year’s time cry about how we still needed more space or, simply 2) SUCK IT UP AND LEAVE ZONE 2.

I know, for many people, leaving zone 2 is not an option. What we had in Stokey was what most people dream of: a lovely high street, tons of awesome places to eat all within walking distance, and a half hour commute to work. Bliss. But, we also had: a one bedroom flat creaking at the seams, seemingly noisier neighbours everyday and a wish for our own FRONT DOOR.


Decision made and six months later (after some bumps in the road shall we say), we finally got the keys to our new house – our new four bedroom house – in Forest Gate, zone 3. Oh, Forest Hill she means I hear you say? No, no. Forest Gate is a different place, that you most likely won’t have heard of (most people haven’t).

It’s here:

E7 - oh, that's where it is
E7 – oh, that’s where it is

See, near Stratford? Where that thing called the Olympics happened? Now you know.

We swapped a one bedroom flat, for a four bedroom house, for not much more money and got to keep the half hour commute to work. The one thing we gave up:  the lovely high street, with all the food options. But I remain hopeful…

And the big gain: