We are now a whole month into our new life by the sea so I thought I would share some of the highs and lows of our recent move to Whitby with you.
I think we all need a fresh start after the year we have all had. It has been trying for too many reasons to type. We all need a break and a change of scenery. One day it just clicked for us. We packed up a big van and drove East to chase the fresh air, the sea and the rolling hills of the North York Moors.
People say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do but, when it came to moving day, that day I felt the calmest I have felt in a very long time.
We have been in our new home for a month now and even though we are going through many teething problems, I love it here. Every day I discover at least one new thing to love that I hadn't even considered would be a thing before we moved.
Meeting New People
I didn't know anybody here before we moved so I have been slowly my new neighbours. I like that I can start fresh with these people and give them my very best self. My village is tiny and in the heart of the countryside (which is a big change for a city girl like me). Apparently, the population is less than 300 - I can believe it! In our little nook of the village, there are only 9 residents, 2 of those being Labradors!
For the first couple of weeks, I was here without my partner most of the time, just the puppy and me. I had no data, no minutes, no TV, no radio, no internet. In the silence, I found myself rediscovering some things that I love to do that I hadn't allowed myself to enjoy for a while.
Cooking and baking have become a ritual for me again. I am baking something sweet every Sunday and cooking a fresh dish from scratch every evening. Cooking and baking for me is just like making art. It's a meditative process that I can put all of my love into then share with people.
Long walks have been a hobby of mine since I was a teenager, but the walks here are so different to those I was doing "at home" (will I ever stop calling Bradford home?) I can walk for hours here and often won't come across another human.
The village is full of trails to discover. I am immensely enjoying watching autumn roll in along them. Conkers have started falling and so have the leaves. I feel so lucky to access these trails straight from my garden, no more piling everyone in the car to access a beautiful walk anymore.
It is Hope's first Autumn! She loves her long and often muddy walks through the fields. In the month we have been here, I have only ever passed 1 person on these field walks so, the lucky girl gets the whole thing to herself to chase her tennis balls to her heart's content.
Living at the Seaside
We have been into Whitby a few times but, just to get a quick bite from the stalls or a quick croissant from our favourite bakery, so far, here are my favourite places.
The Sweet Stall On The Peer
We drove into Whitby a couple of days ago to get a fresh doughnut for me and a burger for Antony. No sooner had I taken the first bite from my doughnut than a seagull flew down and stole it from me. It felt like I had been through some sort of initiation! I went back to the stall and ordered another, I explained what happened, and she gave me an extra one for free which was so kind. The doughnuts are fried and rolled in sugar to order and are just heavenly. They are the perfect size to have one and not feel like you have overindulged and deliciously sweet to satisfy a craving.
The Cornish Bakery
We had the pleasure of stumbling across this bakery very early one sunny morning and were blown away by all of the delicious things on offer for one tiny little shop. We ordered enough to feed a large family and settled ourselves down by the window to sample all of the beautiful pastries - washed down with a coffee or two of course!
As a dairy-free girl, I often find bakeries a task. That is not the case here. There are many vegan and dairy-free options available to order without having to awkwardly explain anything. I had my first wonderful vegan croissant experience here (I have had a few awful ones). Honestly, I only ordered it because it was vegan and wow! I am so glad I did. It was perfectly flaky, soft and chewy. In the centre, it was filled with just the perfect amount of raspberry jam to be incredibly moreish, so much so that I came back the next day for another.
The coffee here is excellent too. The cappuccinos served here are more traditional than you find in the big franchise coffee shops - in a small cup that delivers an instant hit of caffeine. Also, they offer oat milk which is perfect for all of my fellow dairy avoiders.
I can't wait to start painting this place. Not much is set up yet in my studio space. I have just built my desk- it was hard work but gratifying. I am just starting to find homes for all of my things, indulging myself in the immensely satisfying art of organisation. Sadly, a lot of my art supplies and stock for my Etsy shop got wrecked shortly after moving here but, it is exciting setting up my new space. Having all of my supplies reduced to so little wasn't as upsetting as I thought it would be - more refreshing than anything, another opportunity for a new beginning.
I am in love with my new desk, my new house, my new village and the town that we now live in. I already feel so inspired and motivated just by being here. I can't wait to put all of that into some paintings. As soon as I have finished building cabinets and tables, I can pick up my paintbrush again.
Have you ever been to Whitby? Do you have any recommendations on where to go or things to do? I would love to know. I can't wait to discover more about this magical place. I love living like a tourist. I hope to make the best of it for however long I am lucky enough to be here. Every day is a gift.