Permanent Tourist

The personal website of Mark Howells-Mead

Moving on

I’ve been living in the area around Spiez since moving here eleven years ago and my home for the vast majority of my time here has been in an attic flat at the top of the road leading to the lake and castle. Jo moved to live with me in 2006 and we’ve had a lovely time together since then, gradually improving on my mediocre attempts at interior decoration by adding a feminine touch and turning a flat into a home.

As you may have already seen, we decided some time ago to start looking for a new place to live. We’ve looked at several houses and flats over the past couple of years and have found two or three which were pretty good, but which weren’t quite right for one reason or another. Our premise was that we love living in our current flat so much, that a new home would have to be at least equally as lovely.

We finally found our new home earlier this summer, when an advert containing just one photo – that of the view over the lake – appeared on the estate agency website Homegate. We immediately got in touch with the owner and discovered that the flat is on the hillside right above the lake shore in Faulensee. We’ve both focused our house hunting along the lake shore and I as have always hankered after a home in Faulensee, that’s where I’d focused my attention. We’re moving in during mid September and are really excited about it; having a new home brings plans for the future, plans for how we’re going to fit all our stuff into the new space, and in particular, how much we’re going to enjoy our new balcony. I’ll write about the our new home when we’re there.

Leaving our home in Spiez brings back a great number of happy memories; from when I first started exchanging email with Jo in 2003, to when she moved to live with me in 2006 and all of the years since then, when every week helped Jo bond with her new country and the comfortable and secure surroundings of our “eyrie” helped her to settle in. I’d wanted to live in an attic flat ever since I was a teenager and just like my sister, came quickly to the opinion that once I’d begun living by a body of water – in her case the sea, and in mine an alpine lake – I’d find it difficult to move away again. Our home in Spiez has been a blessing and a little corner of Britain; PG Tips in the cupboard, British channels on the t.v., and BBC Radio piped in over an internet connection. Outside the windows, a terrific view of the “Hausberg” Niesen has offered itself for a long-standing photo project, whilst a large garden of wild grass across the road and our elevated view meant that we frequently have red kite sitting on and swooping from our roof.

It’s going to be hard to leave, but we will always have our memories of our time here, and plenty of photos to jog them. Here’s a small collection of some happy memories, and you can see more in this photo album.

The building in Spiez I’ve called home for the past eight years
Jo arrives from the UK to live with me
Our first Christmas at home in Spiez; turkey being prepared in our old, 70s-tastic kitchen
The view from our bedroom, over a silent, snowy section of Spiez
Our living room, as it has been since we arrived home from our wedding in 2007
Our flat, tidied for the last time before advertising for a new tenant

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