Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker


Exactly 3 years ago today we moved into our first home, this home, the Victorian terrace house that we had dreamed of during all those years as students in Bristol. We moved in and set to work renovating and restoring it back to its glory complete with tiled hallway, wooden floors and fireplaces. 5 plus years of imagining living in a house like this had resulted in a build up of ideas and an enthusiasm that when released was like a whirlwind. Every evening and weekend saw us sanding, painting, building and sometimes destroying. With no children or even a dog to worry about we loved every minute of it.

Now we are moving, our house sold in less than a week and we found somewhere to buy 2 weeks later. Way beyond our expectations in what supposedly is a stagnant market, I like to think that it reflects the love, care and attention we have given this place. But it’s still going to be strange to be moving and leaving our first home.

But we are also now incredibly excited, the new house is pretty damn perfect and perhaps more importantly will cut my commute from 60 minutes to 10 minutes. You may remember that I wrote this post for Britmums (which I just noticed was published exactly 1 year ago, very odd) where I talked about how hard I found it being a commuting dad to Matilda. Well a year later I’m a commuting dad to 2 but finally there is a change in sight, hopefully in 2 months time I will be so close to home that I can pop home for lunch.

I’m not sure I can get across how much this is going to change my life. I’ve been commuting for 8 years now, 8 years of at least 60 miles a day in commuting (80 miles for most of it). During that time I’ve driven, taken the train, driven some more, back to the train, then the bus and finally driving. If you assume I commuted for 45 weeks a year (taking into account holiday and business travel) then that’s over 110,000 miles of commuting. That’s a bloody lot isn’t it? Plus of course the time spent doing it, most likely 2 hours a day, it suddenly becomes a big deal to cut that to 20 minutes and 4 miles a day.

Writing that I had a big smile on my face, a big smile at the fact that I will soon be eating breakfast with my little family EVERY DAY, a big smile that I will get to put them to bed EVERY DAY, a big smile that I will get home 10 minutes after leaving work EVERY DAY, a big smile that I will no longer spend more money on commuting than buying food.

All there is to do now is fill out piles of paperwork and cross all my fingers and toes that the sale doesn’t fall through.


  1. Great stuff Ben, I hadn’t realised you were moving so close to work. Get on your bike and it’ll be five minutes each way! 🙂

    • I may well be cycling on good weather days, there is a 5k single track trail built in the woods next to work so can do a lunch time ride 🙂

  2. Brilliant! Take it from me, (I live 2 miles from the office and walk every day pretty much), you’ll feel much more part of the family being so close.

  3. I really hope it all goes through smoothly, it makes such a difference having Gareth working so close to home, not having a long commute means we have more time together as a family and I really wouldn’t want it any other way.

    • We didn’t either but had the classic conundrum of a good job but not wanting to live where the job was, think we’ve found a good compromise with this house

  4. Wow, that’s some speed. Hope all goes smoothly.
    I’m hoping to find a job with a shorter commute than my current hour (can’t move the farm, so I have to commute). Would love to have more time at either end of the day and less stress with nursery runs.

    • It was incredibly quick, really didn’t expect it. It’s tough when you have a good job but can’t live near work isn’t it? Hope you find a good solution to.

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