We've been to see Run-of-the-hill again, and also, somewhat surprisingly, Labyrinth. This latter visit was mainly prompted by it dropping in price by 15k, which Sven pointed out made a rather large house come in at a rather good price. I'll admit that I was never keen on Labyrinth, but agreed to visit again with as open a mind as I could manage, as did the rest of our (now slightly diminished) co-op.
These two houses are quite different, and none of us are in love with either of them. It's so strange how houses can evoke such an emotional response, but the fact still stands that we have to make decisions based on both emotional and practical reasons. Practically speaking Labyrinth is a brilliant choice. It's got extra space to allow for future co-op expansion, and the potential to make space available for small community groups and gatherings. The communal space is a good size, and more sensibly arranged than it would be at Run-of-the-hill, and it appears to be in reasonable nick.
Emotionally speaking, for me at least, Run-of-the-hill is more appealing. It's much lighter, it has more garden, and it sits on my favourite hill in Swansea. I can't say more for it than that, which I realise is ridiculous. I do wish I could be as practically minded as Sven, at times. The funny thing is, I asked about the head/heart dilemma on Facebook, hoping to get some bossy replies telling me what to do, and got a tonne of replies from various homeowners saying that you should always follow your heart. Clearly my friends aren't a very practical lot.
So this week we will get together and sort out where to go from here, if anywhere. We'll keep you (sporadically) posted.
So, what else?
The winter Radical Routes gathering was held by Gung Ho co-op and Birmingham Bike Foundry. It was in an awesome building called The Old Printworks, which was utterly massive and full of interesting corners for the kids to clamber in. Cassian, Joe, Mattie, Finn and me went along, and had a good, if cold, time. Cassian mostly did the childcare so that me and Joe could go to lots of meetings. I even chaired one, which was nerve-wracking but good. Hopefully I'll get to do more of that in the future.
This was Mattie's last gathering as a Golem and his first as a Cornerstone. We are all gutted to see him go, but I know he'll have a great time in Leeds, and Cornerstone have gained a wonderful housemate. Although it's quite a big loss to our little co-op, it's great that we'll still see each other at Radical Routes, and soon (hopefully), there'll be a co-op house here for him to visit us at.
The other (rather unexciting) news is that I had my gallbladder out. Luckily it's all healed now, and the fantastic thing is that the co-op - and friends beyond - swooped in to help while I couldn't lift Finn for two weeks. Mutual aid ftw :D