Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Getting to know Parkstone

DSC03708 (1095x1300)It feels good to be back in Dorset, the sun sparkling on the harbour and the breeze stirring the firs along the cliffs.  Daffodils are emerging and birds are returning after the wild winds of winter.

It’s nice to be ‘home’.

I don’t enjoy moving.  It’s never fun to tear down and pack up my belongings; never a good feeling to start over with new people in a new place.  So this time, I minimized the physical move, staying within a community and among friends in Sandbanks, searching through the bottomless dross of available ‘lets until I found a situation that felt like a step forward.

My new houseshare is located in Lower Parkstone, the upper-crust part of town close by the very tony mansions cresting Penn Hill.  Woodside’s a nice street, lined with well-kept detached houses occupied by professional couples.  We’re  located a few blocks from the train station, equidistant between Tesco’s and DSC03788 (1300x962)Waitrose, a couple of miles from the Leisure Centre, and close to Penn Central,  a compact triangle of eclectic shops, cafes, and pubs.  It’s a comfortable space, spacious and tree-lined, more active than among the isolated blue-glass mansions set into forested lots in Canford Cliffs.

I share the house with two medical researchers from the Isle of Wight, using the house as a weekday layover to avoid commuting on the astronomically expensive ferry from the mainland, and a delightful couple from Poland.  Everyone’s work schedules dovetail so that nobody competes for bathroom or kitchen access in the morning, and the house seems to empty out on the weekends.  I’ve suggested that it’s a bit of an Amazing Race house: couples with special pre-existing relationships all learning to adapt and complete tasks in the exotic environs of Parkstone.

DSC03782 (1300x975)Still, its a bit further from the beaches and I miss sharing morning coffee when neighbors drop by, but the house is roomy and modern, clean and quiet, and I’ve been settling in well.  We’re all negotiating the shared items (cupboard spaces, hot water kettles, refrigerator shelves) and adding our bits to the community (I’ve contributed a drying rack, microwave, and printer).  We’ve sorted out the shared rules for recycling and laundry, and the back yard gardens show promise for the warmer weather ahead.

DSC03786 (1300x975)In all, its starting to feel like home and I’m learning how to fit my work and my day into the household.  But I’m also keeping a finger in with the realtors, watching for a waterside let on the Peninsula or along the Harbour.  I would love a balcony over a marina or to be within walking distance of the beach.

And its starting to feel possible again.  After a long climb back, the slope may finally be getting easier.

Or maybe I’m just finally getting stronger.

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