Friday, 6 June 2014

Life in the sky?

I was relieved on Friday to have booked my first viewing.  The first appointment was for a place that was right at the top of our budget, my gut feeling was not to go in at that level, there were plenty of places at that price, also this one stated it was only suitable for a couple and not for kids so I cancelled the viewing. Another agent emailed me and I rang her back, the place we were interested in had gone but another one I had looked at was available for a viewing. While I was looking a few weeks back I noticed that flats in towerblocks were offering more space for less money and although the obvious thing to do is look for a little house, Leon loves tall buildings, so why not for a period between when we move over to when we may or may not decide to buy something, try living in the sky?
I didn't know the area, and it was as far as I knew miles away from the centre and not really what would suit us. Really just out of curiosity, based on the price and size alone, I thought I'd check it out. I'm very glad I did!
I gave myself an hour or so to ride there, and even with stopping several times to get my bearings, I was just over an hour early, it took me about 20mins to get right across the city and rather than being way way out, it was an easy ride. Tuindorp (garden village) is on the outskirts of town, with lots of flats as well as houses, but it's incredibly green - you can guess that when it was built, I'm guessing the 70's and 80's it was designed in the car era, but there was an emphasis on making an urban environment as green as possible. I arrived there to see the three tower blocks, 10 stories each in a row of three, they looked bright and clean. Good start.

I spotted in the distance what might be a play park so with an hour in hand I decided to check out the area. Down past another towerblock, I was suddenly in countryside, with horses and goats, bird song, flowers and endless green. A city farm, with allotments, the like I've never seen before, more like little gardens with edibles, flowers and little sheds - places to go to contemplate and unwind as much as grow some spuds. A surprise doesn't quite cut it!

I took pictures to show the boys how just round the corner from the flats, there's horses and goats...maybe even sheep!

Then I cycled back towards where I had started and then started to look for some shops. 
I looked around and there in front of the flats, just across a road, the familiar Fish Van, you see them at every shopping centre in the country! and as I walked there, past a cafe, I saw not just a supermarket but a shopping centre with chemist, florist, hairdressers, newsagents etc

I walked right though the bright little shopping centre, maybe 50m long or so, out the other side and felt compelled to ring Toby, to share with him how lovely the area was, we chatted about all things moving.
Then I started to worry about the numbering - all the flats are even numbers and I'd written down 65 luckily I suspected correctly that indeed it was number 56 vijf en zestig or zes en vijftig? The entrance was clean and bright, straight to a lift that went up to the 8th floor and three front doors.
The flat I was looking at was already taken, and being gutted and refurbed but the one next door was also coming up next month so this was going to be the same, if not similar, depending on if they decide the place needs to be renovated too.

It was completely bare, not even a boiler or any kitchen, the rooms looked massive of course, but without any scale derived from furniture, the pictures don't tell very much. The view from the living room is spectacular, the kitchen is big enough for a table and chairs and there isn't a bath - probably the main negative point. 

So all in all a pleasant surprise, getting to the park is not just opening the back door, it does mean using the lift but any self respecting young boy isn't going to object to using a lift several times a day!

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