How did I do?

Back in 2010 I wrote a post about where I would like to live in the future.

Today is the first anniversary of my move, let’s see how I met my criteria.

no more than 10 minutes walk from the sea

At the time, I thought I wanted to move to the countryside. Lots of reasons for changing my mind, maybe that’s another post … So, no I do not live any nearer the sea.

but at least 30m above sea-level (thats not a flood plain)

I am currently only about 15m above sea level but at least I am not in a flood plain.

within 5 minutes walk of the shops

Brixton Market is 5 minutes walk, though it probably won’t be a fruit and veg market for much longer, all the traders are being priced out due to gentrification.

in easy reach of a public swimming pool

Yes but it is so badly run, it’s not so pleasant there.

in a place I don’t need to have a car


good public transport


at least semi-rural

Not exactly, I live in inner London but there is a lovely green at the back of the house and I am surrounded by parks.

in a building that is efficient enough not to need heating

Nearly. When I wrote that, I had the fantasy of doing a self-build. In reality, I bought a house built in the 60’s when the standards were very low. The roof had about 30mm of crap insulation, the cavity walls had been insulated badly, all the windows leaked, the ground floor slab has no insulation.

During my refurb, I put in a highly efficient boiler, brought the insulation up to current building regs, installed high-spec windows, added extra internal insulation of external walls, etc., etc. As much as I could afford.

I do need heating but very little, only once the outside temperature drops to below about 10C.

I tried very hard to find a solution that used no fossil fuels but in the end, I was not realistic, I had to go with gas.

with a workshop

There is a garage and I don’t own a car, so potentially yes.

The whole house has been a workshop since I moved here … but eventually I will tackle the ground floor and convert the garage properly.

with very fast broadband

Fibre to the cabinet, I get about 80/20, ample for me!

where I can play loud music

My neighbours are great, no complaints yet.

where there is good cultural diversity

It’s still old-school Brixton around here, not the cultural wasteland the gentrified centre has become.

with a good local pub

Mostly gentrified out of all recognition :-/

and a few nice restaurants

Too many in Brixton now, it’s become a trendy foodie location. Posh burgers, champagne and cheese bars … not really what I had in mind, and not aimed at the local wallets or taste.

Even though I did not meet all of my criteria, I am very happy with my new place and the area where I live. I am very glad I did not move out of Brixton, I would never have fitted back into a rural community …