Saturday, 26 April 2014

A Bank Holiday Weekend

Last weekend was Easter weekend, so we got two Bank Holidays, and thus a four day weekend.Which is nice.

I am finding that I am still very tired - I think that months of low-grade stress about moving house have now stated to catch up with me. And so I have, this weekend, been combining short-ish bursts of unpacking and organising, and longer bursts of being lazy. 

One of my radiators started leaking on the Thursday (fortunately it is by the back door, on a tiled floor, so easy to mop up. I think my error was in trying to turn up the heat on a radiator which (I suspect) has not been turned up, or down, for a very long time, and broke part of the valve. So I called a plumber, and he came on Saturday, and temporarily fixed the radiator (I am not currently allowed to to turn it on, or up, but it is no longer leaking). 

While he was here, we had a conversation about what will be needed to replace the boiler and update the heating system, which is at the top of my list of Stuff Which Needs Doing to the House. (Not least because I can't redecorate the living room until the boiler has been moved). 

I have another plumber coming on Tuesday so I can compare quotes, and will also have a chat with my new neighbour to see whether he knows anything to the credit (or dishonour) of either plumber, before I decide which to use!

Sunday was very cold, grey, and wet, so I stayed indoors, unpacked a few more boxes and sorted out some paperwork to send to my accountant to do my tax return (excitement or what!)

Monday, however, was a different story - it was beautifully sunny, so after pottering abut for a bit, I decided to go for a walk. I didn't go far - along to the end f the road, from where there is a gorgeous view out across the valley, then back through the woods, (along by a stream, then up a muddy hill, before swinging back along the lane to my house)

The hedgerows and the wood were full of wild garlic, all of which is coining into flower and adding a certain pungency to the atmosphere. 

There are a few bluebells - I think there will be a lot more in another week or so. I also found a small number of wild violets, lots of celandines, and what I think were probably wood anemones (my flower-identification skills are not great!) 

I also saw a fair few birds, and heard a lot more. My bird-identification skills are even less impressive than my flower-identification skills, but I saw what I think (having looks at the mug shots on the RSPB's site) was probably a Grey Wagtail (which, despite it's name, was actually yellow in many places) a Coal Tit (or possibly a Willow Tit, but Coal Tits are much more common, so I it seems more likely that's what it was) as well as lots of pheasants, and a buzzard.

It's nice to be able to go for a walk in the country without having to drive anywhere first, and having lived in towns since I left home, I hadn't really realised quite how much I've missed this.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Settling In

It's been a week since I  moved in. I am still surrounded by boxes. 

Which, to be fair, is probably a good thing, as they hide quite a lot of the wallpaper and carpet.

I am making a lot of lists, to work out what order to do stuff in, and what I can afford. I need to start to get various workmen round to quote for the jobs I need to have done - replastering, some building works, total redecoration . . .

I have however unpacked some of the  most important books, and all of the stuff for the kitchen. I now have  a landline in place (there is very little mobile signal here, which was a bit frustrating when we were sitting outside with a removal van filled with all my worldly goods, waiting for a phone call to say we'd completed!) and internet access (And TV, once the electrician has time to come and put a new ariel cable up)

My  parents came to visit for a couple of days last week, as they were attending a funeral locally, and took the opportunity to come to see me and the new house, and to have somewhere local to stay. Which was nice.

I was away in London for the day on Saturday, and today (which has been a lovely sunny day) I had a lazy morning, then went out and bought a lawnmower (I have a lawn now!) and a clothes line, and did laundry and lawn mowing, and planted out some tomato and pea plants.

I don't have much in the way of garden beds, so at present this is all (except the lawn, obviously) container gardening, but it is a step in the right direction. And I suppose that growing things in containers may mean the plants have a better chance of growing without the strong ones crowding out the others!

Of course, the fact that I spent the afternoon in the garden does mean that I have not done any more unpacking today, but you can't have everything, and it has been a beautiful day - shame to waste it indoors!

I hope that next weekend (which is a 4 day weekend due to Easter) will prove equally nice.

Thursday, 3 April 2014


As some of you know, I've been wanting to move for a while - to have more space for my books, and for guests, and a bit more garden, and more space generally. 

So, in September, I put the house on the market. It's been a rocky ride since then. I found a buyer, found a house I liked, got surveys and such and was hoping to move, if not quite in time for Christmas, at least shortly after that. Then my seller pulled out, for no apparent reason. 

I started looking again, found another house just before Christmas and had an offer accepted, paid for more surveys and so on, and was hoping to be able to move in by the end of February. Then my buyer went on an idiotic spending spree and, as a result, got his mortgage offer withdrawn. So I had to put my house back on the market. I did find another buyer, but obviously it was very stressful. I can cope just fine with change, but I don't do so well with uncertainty. 

And with all that uncertainty, and so many setbacks, I've been reluctant to talk too much about it in case it all goes Horribly Wrong, and despite that, things did go a little bit wrong what with my oven packing up on Monday, (I wish I'd decided against using up the stuff in the freezer, and had simply cooked something on the hob. That way, the oven would have gone bang after the house belonged to the new people, and it would have been Someone Else's problem, but such is life.

The New House is bigger than the old one, but more importantly has a real garden (and as quite a bit of the garden is currently patio / asphalt for parking,  it should be possible to turn more of it into garden, over time) and fewer neighbours, and more space to put bookshelves.
Of course, it also currently has the Decor the 80s forgot, (yummy peach and yellow stripes, with coordinating borders, in the living room!), but again, it should be possible to change that.

Some of the books are boxed up

And there will be a whole lot of unpacking to do. The removal guys have packed everything, but I have to unpack stuff for myself. I'm looking forward to seeing all the books I put in boxes to declutter when I started to market the house!

Hopefully, by the time you read this, I shall be in the new house, (probably in the middle of a vast stack of boxes, with a glass if wine in one hand..)

(Oh, and it'll be about a week before I have the internet in the new house, so it may go a bit quiet around here for a while)