I’m almost back from that dark and shivery place which is Without Internet. Thank goodness!
Actually, I’ve managed to sneak on a couple of times. Our internet provider supposedly offers a piggyback service for paying customers who’ve become disconnected or strayed beyond the bounds of their wifi. What this means in practice is that you can have five minutes of internet at reasonable speed, 10 minutes of the internet only pretending to load and then be shut down completely for several hours just after hitting the ‘send’ button. At the moment we’re still waiting to be properly reconnected so this tedious pattern will continue for a while yet.
Our new home is B-E-A-Uuuuuuuuutiful.
We moved from a tiny, ground floor, 1 bedroom flat (so packed it drew comments from most visitors along the lines of “I don’t know how you’ve managed to fit all this furniture in”) to a spacious first floor 2 bedroom flat overlooking the park. Whilst the first flat will always have a special place in my heart as our ‘First Married Home’, we are already happier in our Second.
That we managed to move so smoothly is testament in large part to the hard work of assorted friends-and-relations, who have all pitched in and worked like [I’m still too tired to think of the end of this similie – they worked like really, really hard working people].
So here’s my Oscars thank-you speech, for the ‘Best Flat Move’ award.
“On behalf of Husby and myself, I’d like to name a few people we couldn’t have achieved this without.
Firstly, our wonderful new landladies, who bought the flat so we could move into it, who have allowed us ample time to move in slowly (whilst redecorating and re-wiring for us), who have supported and encouraged us along the way and who have made the whole production possible.
My wonderful whirly-pearly-walnut-whip Aunty, who stage-managed the move, wrote the script (and ensured all the actors had a copy, updated, each time there was a change in direction), who helped us clean the old flat a couple of weeks ago, who removed a HUGE carload of boxes with us, and, on the day, had us pretty much unpacked and cosy-homely by teatime. It was an astonishing, unparalleled feat of organisation, determination and sheer hard graft.
Our dear friends, Patchwork and Lostinthewoods, who have happily given over their spare room to house boxes (and boxes andboxesanboxes) of our stuff, and helped us carry it up to their 4th floor abode.
My wonderful Bezzie who has done much packing, sorting, loading, transporting and unloading of our stuff from cars (and a great deal of Keeping Me In Line) and who has done Cheering, Encouraging, Praying and Making CupofTeas.
My Sister, who gets Best Husby Supporter, who organised the final cleaning of the old flat whilst the furniture was being removed, who stayed to the bitter end, and who did a fabulous job.
Dear Man-With-Van – head of logistics, who generously did *lots* of driving around between houses and cities with bits of our furniture at far less than the cost of the petrol it must’ve taken, who lifted, carried and was cheerful throughout (even in the pouring rain).
Our fabulous ChurchFriends, who have pitched in with cleaning, painting, sorting, organising, transporting, carrying, supporting, encouraging, further CupofTeas and so much more.
Second Fab-Man-With-Van, his lovely wife and baby Squirt, who moved our garden (pots and tubs; not the whole thing) from one flat to another, and who Didn’t Mind Mud.
Husby and I did a little bit, too. Husby can have, well, pretty much any award he wants. He’s been a star and put up with a Very Stressed Wifey, managing to maintain a calm and loving (if infuriatingly slow) manner whilst I’ve been going off the deep end and careening around at the speed of [nope, similies have really given up on me at the moment. A really fast thing, okay?]
My heartfelt thanks to each person who’s made this possible. It’s been an honour to be part of this production and I rather hope that it is the start of Very Good Things.”
Husby and I have actually proven ourselves to be a Rather Good Team, in fact, with me much more doing the ‘push’ and the ‘drive’ and Husby taking charge of the ‘thinking’ and ‘sorting’. We’ve managed to come up with some creative solutions to save space (because yep, even in a place where each room is approximately 1/3 bigger and with a whole nother room to boot, we’re full up) and Husby is currently sat on the floor poking holes in some MDF to make a bit of a mobile worktop and is so pleased with his innovation that he’s voicing considerations to taking up woodwork.
So, with no further ado, allow me to introduce you to our new home.
Favourite features first.
Front door – no longer will I have to bid farewell to people from what feels suspiciously like a backdoor. This is a real, proper, solid front door with a number on it.
Hall – we have an actual hall, not a tail-end-of-the-kitchen-moonlighting-as-a-hall. It’s super. It’s got rooms coming off it and everything!
Larder (or Pantry) – something I grew up with and have missed since leaving my childhood home. It’s stunningly, gut-twistingly awesome. And it has its own tiny window. Glorious.
Balconies – very posh and a lovely place to look out over the park (in front) and to dry washing (to the back). Makes me feel quite French. [I don’t know why, but having a balcony feels rather chic and I don’t think that you can feel quite as chic in any other nationality]
The bathroom – it’s been done really nicely with lovely tiles everywhere, new lights and a bath that not only does HOT but does lots of it in sufficient time for you to get in and be deliciously warm all the way through. Makes such a pleasant change from Tepid and Very Slow, in the old place.
Space – there’s SO MUCH OF IT! It’s everywhere. You can look in places and see it. It’s in all of the rooms. Husby and I have been dancing in it and twirling around shouting “Look, I can do this with you in here and I’m not crashing into you or into anything else”. I’m sure the novelty will wear off, but for now it’s amazing.
Warmth – Since we’ve been here, the weather has been mostly in minus numbers and we’ve had the heating on once. For one hour. And it warmed the place up in about 10 minutes and remained warm for (as I type) the next 3 hours. It’s occasionally been a little chilly, but never COLD. As a near ectotherm, this is hugely important and I am absolutely adoring the warmth. I even had to take a blanket off the other night (have been used to sleeping with 3 (one of which doubled over) on top of the duvet – now blissfully no longer necessary – I’m down to 2).
I won’t bore you with descriptions of the rest of the features, which are all gorgeous, spacious and life-enhancing. Sadly I cannot show you any pictures as the sheer wimpiness of the internet at the moment is not allowing me to upload any, so they’ll follow soon.
With any luck, normal service will be resumed within the next 7-10 days! (In the meantime, we’re going to get a month free, seeing as Husby arranged everything with the internet/phone people to be perfectly transferred to the new abode and they royally cocked it up, cancelled the order, forgot about it, reinstated it, bumped it forward, made him ring up 6 times to be transferred between departments (one member of which was horrendously rude) and generally gave him the runaround. He managed to stay just-about-calm and reasonably polite throughout. I am impressed; I would’ve been crying and screaming obscenities at them.)