The masterplan for this move was focussed around our Son.
When he was born we were forced to evaluate the pros and cons of where we lived and, beautiful as it is, the rural nature of it has a drawback; namely a lack of jobs. Both my husband and I were commuting a total of 80 miles (2 hours) each day to our jobs in Glasgow him by. An added factor was that a certain level of “job poverty” in an area also impacts the standard of education, now this can be a combination of a huge list of socio-economic factors which I won’t get into here it’s just not that kind of blog, whatever the reasons behind it there just weren’t the opportunities available for our Son that we would want him to have. So on a rare date night we took some time to talk about what we wanted from our life now that we were parents and that was;
- To give our Son access to the best education available to us
- To reduce our commute – freeing up more time to spend together
- To create a better living space – A space to learn and play in, a space reflective of our family values
We started with the highest priority, a good education, checking the league tables for Scottish secondary schools. League tables provide a very two dimensional view of education only really telling you how many pupils attained a certain grade level and how in how many subjects. It does not tell you about any kind of pastoral care, how improved those pupils were, how they tackle bullying or the breadth of subjects the pupils have access to which is to my mind one of the key factors in a rounded education. We are not all mathematicians and chemists, some of us are chefs, translators, historians and I passionately belief that education should provide the chance to explore new topics. But there are no league tables for these things, no database of information where parents can prioritise Japanese over Typing or Vocational Studies over French, so we went with the league tables and decided on an area of the Southside that has consistently topped league tables in Scotland for the past decade and met criteria number two, reducing our commute.
The new house is just 10 miles away from work and even in heavy traffic we will spend less than an hour commuting. On the worst of days we should be home by 6 with dinner on the go, that’s at least an extra hour together every day to have breakfast together or just unwind over dinner and that is very precious to me indeed. The best part of my day by far is the enthusiastic “Mummy!” that greets me after a long day at work and to have an extra hour a day filled with toddler silliness is priceless.
We get the keys to our new house on Friday and then the focus on creating a better living space begins. We’ve done some imaginary planning based on our visits and the pictures we have of the house but that doesn’t compare to standing in it when it is a blank canvas, free of the previous owners furniture, ready for us to make our mark on. It will be an ongoing project as we grow into the house and our needs as a family change and I’ll be posting regularly about our progress curating our minimalist home.