Our home for the next 2 years

  
Some of you have asked to see pics of the inside of our new home. Whilst I think it seems odd sharing pics with the whole worldwide web (rather than a controlled list of friends on FB) here they are. What this did highlight is that I have already got used to some of the differences here and I have commented on a few below.

So the first picture above is our (rented) house. It’s one of the biggest on the complex being 4 bedroom instead of the usual 2 or 3. It is an end house as it is a 4 bed, but still semi detached. Apartments here are common and detached houses are rare. The proximity of neighbours, the train line running passed the complex and children being able to play out well after dark (as it’s a secure complex) makes it quite noisy at times. However it is much quieter than the city itself where the noise is relentless.

  
So as you will be able to see I’ve made this a bit more homely with our name plate (thank you to my sister Alison for that present) and made a flower border, planted roses, gerberas and orchids among the other things. A couple of Union Jacks / flags to let the neighbours know where we’re from (the first question everybody he asks) and some bunting (recycled sarees- bought in the UK, made in India).

  
The front porch. As it is warm enough to sit outside here.

  
So this is our garden at the side of the house. The estate gardeners maintain the front lawn, trees, bushes etc but nothing else. We have to employ our own gardener to maintain the side garden and the rear patio area. We have the lovely Brabama who come 3 mornings a week to sweep leaves (everyday leaves and flowers fall), trim, plant, water etc. Brabama also maintains the plants on the balcony. As these are small plants they can’t be seen yet – but everything grows fast here.

  
The back patio with doors to the dining room

  
The back patio again showing the outside sink and gas bottle storage. The door on the left is the outside loo.

  
A traditional Indian squat loo is the outside loo.

  
Kitchen, with an oven under the hob – an uncommon feature in Indian households. Everything is cooked on the hob and usually fried. The water filter (for cooking water) is above the sink. It plays a tune when you use it. Not at all annoying…

  
Utility room. We added the IKEA bookshelf for storage. The washing machine also plays a tune when it’s finished! 

  
Other utility housing the dishwasher (thankfully tuneless). The cages are to keep the monkeys out (and I’m not joking).

  
This is a space you would never find in the UK – in between the kitchen and dining room is the hand wash area. Note the lack of built in under sink cupboards or storage – they just don’t have them here at all and have to be made bespoke.

  
The dining room with the fridge/ freezer as the kitchen is too small to house it. (Yes that is a nod to Christmas with the space decorations!)

   
 
The living room in all its Christmas glory! The box on the wall is the Aircon unit (for those of you who live in the UK and will never ever need one!).

   
 
Guest bedroom (which Zahra has decorated within Christmas cuddlies) and bathroom with a bath on the ground floor. The bath is another unusual feature. This was the only house we looked at that had a bath. The hot water tank is above and (power permitting) you have to switch on the tank 10-20 mins before for hot water.

  
The downstairs loo. We’ve utilised cheap plastic stands as an alternative to underside storage. We’re not buying proper standalone cabinets as we won’t be able to get them into the container when we leave.

  
Rez’s office (downstairs) and the tidiest it has been in 10 years!

  
Under stairs storage area nicely showing Zahra’s super soaker which has had a few outings here.

   

   So at the top of the stairs on the left is Zahra’s room with blue ensuite (and evidence she is turning into a teenager already with that towel on the shower floor).
  
At the top of the stairs on the right is the other guest room

  
With a delightful pink ensuite. 

  
The balcony accessed from the first floor landing. The garden furniture is locally produced Indian furniture we invested in. Garden furniture here is extortionate and people here use normal sofas on their porches etc (it’s cheaper). This pic was taken at 8am so a little dull.

   
 

My office and craft space on the 1st floor landing (with access to the balcony). This is the space that still needs to be sorted. The computer has died due to the power surges. That waste paper basket is made from recycled juice cartons and made by ladies in a social enterprise scheme here.

    

The master bedroom with green ensuite. White clearly isn’t a colour choice here. There’s a lot of things that remind you of the 70s in the UK – high street independent shops in need of maintenance and repair and coloured bathroom suites being the most prominent ones.

So I hope you have enjoyed this tour of our home for the next two years. And remember, don’t take for granted electricity and a clean water supply – I really miss both.

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