Personal

Where I Live

This blog originally began as a personal account of my move from the US to the UK and my new life in a sometimes quite foreign place. I mainly write about art or gaming now, but I thought I’d tell you a bit about me.

We live in a sleepy English market town in Staffordshire. The market in the centre of town was chartered in 1207 and has run continuously since then. As am American I love that, although Phil forbids me to refer to anything as “quaint.” The first town we moved to when we came to the UK was famous for having sold its bible to buy a dancing bear, which is probably the coolest town history ever.

We live in a terrace/townhouse, a brick three-story house that is part of a long row of other houses. There are small Victorian cast iron fireplaces in most of the rooms, and the original fittings for the gas wall sconces are still in place in the rooms on the top floor. We have a kitchen that two people can’t comfortably stand in at the same time (cooking would have been done in the family room), a bathroom the size of a large-ish bedroom with a clawfooted tub which we have done up in a style I call Victorian Whorehouse, and two bedrooms on the top floor which we use as individual work rooms. Despite not having any storage at all (as an American used to huge closets and cupboards everywhere, this bothers me a lot), I love it.

This is my work room:

computer_room

 

xmasratWe share the house with three cats. We used to have three ferrets as well, but unfortunately they are no longer with us. For a while we also had two Gambian Rats (actually Emin’s rats, but no one has ever heard of those) which slept in a five-foot steel dog cage in the front room and screamed like parrots at night. The male, Anansi, came down with a mystery illness and we were unable to save him; we gave the female to someone who wanted to breed and had other giant rats for companionship. I’ll never buy an exotic animal again – our vets, while wonderful, had no idea what was wrong or how to cure it. So sad.

There are books everywhere in sagging bookshelves. The floors upstairs groan with the weight of the shelves and books. I think I could easily open a used bookstore with the books we have. When I was packing everything for the move to the UK the books were the toughest things to give up – I found homes for them with people who would love them, like finding adoptive parents. When you make a transatlantic move you basically have to give up everything except for treasured mementos and family pictures; it’s difficult, but in the end you discover how little of the junk we carry with us is actually important.

This is the first house I’ve ever owned, as we couldn’t have afforded one in the States. We went wild with decoration: the hallway ceiling is painted with sky and clouds, our Victorian whorehouse bathroom was very painstakingly rag-rolled with shades of crimson and scarlet, and the bedroom is a fuckoff shade of antique gold. It’s amazing to wake up to the sun blazing on the gold walls.

 

goldroom

This is where I live. It’s not very posh, but I still am sometimes overcome by sheer amazement that I am actually here. For a girl from Northern California, living in the UK is like a dream. :)

10 Comments

  • Cecilia

    Oh, it’s posh! I love, love houses which have survived centuries and still managed to hold their own. oh those books! I think I’d just bury myself in there and never come out: just breath books and air. totally love your work room.

  • Rhonda Gennaria

    Ok, my wife officially has “monitor envy”… She said, unless it’s a Mac, then not-so-much. lol we both love, love, love your little corner of the UK, and I’m so happy for you to be somewhere you find peaceful and awe-inspiring. I want to see pics of the whorehouse-ish bathroom! Omg, i want to come visit!

  • Ravven

    Cecilia, I love old houses as well – although things like a lack of storage really get to me. Our house needs to be modernised but it has character. And Rhonda, I <3 my monitor and of course it's not a Mac!!! :D I'll have to take a new pic of the bathroom – the only ones I have are tiny. But you'll see it someday, right?

  • I.J.Vern

    Hi :)

    I love old houses, antiques, old books, old market places, their history. I always thought that I was born in the wrong era. On the other hand, I love computers and technology too, so it’s contradictory.

    Your work room is very inspiring. I like it very much. :D

  • Ravven

    I am the same – I was an ecommerce web developer for ages, but I love old things and old houses.

    True story: the first place we lived in here was haunted. Surprisingly (for someone who leaves all the lights on after watching a scary movie) it wasn’t frightening at all. Things would be moved and then returned -she seemed to have strong feelings about things being left out on tables- and we had a very strong sense of sharing the house with someone, specifically an elderly lady. There was a feeling as though someone was moving through the next room, although we never saw anything.

  • Ravven

    Not really – we have one that you can’t really stand up in, and two small spaces that run along the side of the house in each top floor room. These have Christmas stuff and heaters/fans which go in and out depending on the time of year. I miss “proper” closets – huge closets in every bedroom, a hall closet for coats and vaccums and so on and so many cupboards in the kitchen that you never seem to really use them all. We have none of that here. :) I also miss large-size refrigerators and proper washers and dryers – we have a half-size refrigerator and a combination washer/dryer that trips the power if you don’t turn it off before the final spin.

  • Suzy Turner

    Ravven… I’m so envious! Your house looks absolutely stunning. I can’t wait to move to England. Hopefully it will happen soon – sadly my hubby isn’t so keen on old houses though so I’ll just have to be content with visiting them!
    Hugs
    Suzy
    P.S – I’ll be needing a new cover soon. I’ll be in touch at the end of the month! xx

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