Flat! Apartment! Semi detached! Cottage!
Its not very often you will hear the word "House” over here! They just don’t seem to exist. (Unless you’re
a multi millionaire) Since I have been living in Scotland
and the UK this
has ultimately been my hardest adaptation.
Adjusting to living in a property that doesn’t have a back door, or a
front door for that matter has been exceptionally hard. Just a wee side door entrance from a stair welled
close. (Close = Apartment hallway) When
I moved into my flat, I was presented with a front door key (from the footpath
into the close), a storm door key (from inside the close to the flat door,
Storm doors are large bulky wooden doors) and a flat key (finally through a
glass stained door into the flat) Large,
clanky old fashioned keys. Yes, my days
of using my garage door remote as my house key no longer prevail. I now consider it a luxury to have a garage
and even then, over here they are usually not attached nor have an internal
My flat is in a beautifully restored tenement building,
(built in the early 1900’s). Timber
throughout, glass stained doors and windows, roses entwining themselves across
the surround of my fireplace in the tiles.
At the back and front, large (un-openable) wooden windows. The only source of natural light. The sides
don’t have any. It is a small two
bedroom apartment whose entirety would have only taken up the space of my
living room back in New Zealand,
but it is warm and homely.
Having a background in Real Estate keeps my beady eyes scouring
the papers and keeping up to date of the property market around the world. Spending £200,000.00 (nearly $500,000.00NZ)
would only get you something similar to what I currently live in. Still a lot cheaper than down south. You could almost double that if it was London.
The hardest part of living over on this side of the dirt is
actually not having any!!! No front lawn, no back lawn and definitely no lawn
down the side of your house. All you
have is a small (shared between 10 apartments) 25sq metres which is also where
you keep your shared rubbish bins. Each
day the sun struggles to squirm its way through the high rise flats to lay a
small amount of warmth on this grass for a mere moment. Lord how I miss mowing a lawn, smelling fresh
clipped grass or weeding a garden.
"But never fear, playgrounds are here”
thousands of them, one on nearly every street corner. A place where parents flock with their
children. A timed outing that occurs
once or twice a week. A gathering to
chat with friends or to send the husband when a mother needs a moments
peace. On the weekends they are filled
with excitable children squealing with joy to be able to have some outdoor
This is all just normal life on this side of the ditch, But
as they say
"You're a long
(Enjoy life now)