Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Never let your Husband load paint in the car whilst distracted by the thought of an icecream

Wednesday, 29 August 2007
And other lessons learned while moving house...
  • Dulux Once is a misnomer
  • Getting three coats of paint on three rooms in three days is possible but not recommended
  • Removal men are worth every penny
  • Two year olds never fail to surprise you
  • No matter how organised you are when you move the phrase 'where's the tin opener' will always strike fear into your heart
  • Other people are skanky
  • And strange
So we're moved. Finally.

Friday dawned bright and sunny and the removal men arrived half an hour early. Which was fantastic apart from the fact that they couldn't drive the very large lorries up our very narrow street... Many attempts were made (that thankfully did not end in destruction of other people's vehicles) and just when it seemed we were going to have to admit defeat the owner of the offending truck/jeep/huge vehicle in the way appeared and moved the huge thing out of the way.

As I said the removal men were worth every penny of the many, many pennies they cost. My parents were great - they took Lia out for the morning so we were able to get on with the business of emptying the house without having to worry about where she was. The packing up took just over four hours and the unpacking about three. Not one thing got broken (I was hoping it might slim down our mug collection a bit but no such luck!) and although we were tired by the end of the day at least we weren't exhausted as we would have been had we had to do it all ourselves (in fact I'm sure we wouldn't have managed even with all the friends that volunteered to help).

I picked up the keys just as the last few bits were being loaded up and we were told that it would be another two hours before our vendor was gone. We headed round to the new house with me worried we'd have to camp outside the place but there was no sign of her so we just got on with moving in.

Unfortunately she had completely failed to clean anything before she left. My Mum (bless her!) rolled up her sleeves and cleaned the bathroom (although she refused to do the shower, that involved bleach and re-grouting!) and then the kitchen. I got the job of cleaning the fridge which stank due to the crusted milk products on the shelves and also the oven which wasn't pleasant either.

I knew the carpets needed a good clean because I'd noticed when we looked round so I'd booked professional carpet cleaners to come in the following tuesday and thank god I had. Once the furniture had been removed they were even worse than I remembered!

The dirt wasn't 'I've sold the house I won't bother cleaning' it was 'I generally live in squalor because I'm a skanky cow'. Now I'm the first to admit that cleaning isn't the top of my agenda but I don't leave spilt food on surfaces, stains on carpets etc. I'm more of an ignore the dust and mess kind of home owner.

Still, we'd have cleaned the carpets anyway as well as everything else - what bothered me was the need to disinfect and 'deep clean' because she hadn't bothered. I felt bad because I didn't get to hoover round the whole of our old house before we left but I'd cleaned the bathroom and kitchen.

We'd also planned on painting rooms as soon as we moved (before they filled up with furniture etc). Lia's room was an attractive darkish blue, ours a darkish peachy/orange and the lounge had one wall that was eau-de-nil (ish) which wouldn't go with our bright red sofas that are on order...

So brush in hand I tackled the rooms (DH hates painting) and I managed to get three coats on all three rooms leaving just the skirting to do. I've suffered for it ever since as my arm has ached constantly for the last 10 days but it was worth it to see the rooms finished.

So with a thorough cleaning, carpets cleaned and walls freshly painted the house is now almost pristine and is great to go home to.

Lia's been a total champ. She kept herself amused most of the first weekend when I was painting and DH was pootling about doing jobs and she's slept just fine since we moved in - I was worried that she'd have problems adjusting but she's been absolutely terrific. She seems to be happy in the new house and will be even happier when she finally gets let loose on the garden (at the moment it's so overgrown that we'd lose her!)

Unpacking wise we're getting there. We need our friendly neighbourhood electrician to do a bit of work before we can put up our wardrobes and sort out the lounge so a lot of stuff is in boxes. Thankfully the kitchen doesn't need any work so we're living in there for now.

I'm trying to unpack at least one box a night at the moment and we should have Lia's room finished by the end of this coming weekend so all her stuff can get sorted and put away. The electrician is coming in early next week which means we should be almost sorted by the following weekend (although DH's parents will be here that week so I'm not sure exactly how much work we'll get done).

The only other saga with the house is that all we received were two back door keys. No keys for the front door or the patio doors. After much chasing the vendor told us that she'd never had keys for the front doors - they hadn't been supplied when she bought the house!!! So not only did she fail to mention this to us, she didn't chase it up at the time she bought the house AND she didn't get the locks changed during those three years.

As I said, people are strange...

Thursday, 23 August 2007


Thursday, 23 August 2007
Blimey it's come round fast.

We're pretty much all packed. DH speeded up considerably over the weekend and we've been matching each other box for box for the last few days.

All that's left now are the last minute things that we keep looking at and thinking 'we can't pack that we'll still need it'. The Removal Men are turning up at 9am tomorrow so we'll be up much earlier getting the last bits done.

My parents are arriving this evening and will be round in the morning to take Lia off our hands and entertain her whilst our lives are packed in the vans. She's coping well at the moment and I found a way to keep her entertained while I packed - she's given crayons and allowed to decorate the packed boxes as much as she likes.

We've only had one night of not sleeping this week so hopefully she'll sleep tonight as I can't face tomorrow with sleep deprivation.

We're supposed to be hooked up to the internet at the new house by 8pm tomorrow evening but I'm not holding my breath. I'll be back at work on Tuesday and so should be able to cope for three days without access - it's not like I won't be busy with other things!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

One Week To Go

Thursday, 16 August 2007
Well we're about 2/3 packed. And most of that has been done by me. DH has absolutely no sense of urgency and I know that in his head there's plenty of time left which is why he lazes around and I pack boxes...

To be fair, I spent a large part of Sunday packing up my books whilst he did the parental duties but it's the evenings where I'm packing 5-6 boxes a night and he's not that are starting to bug me. So I've rebelled and demanded that he packs tonight while I sit on my bum stitching and watching the TV.

To be honest I'm so anal that I prefer to be the one that does the bulk of the packing because then I know where everything is. All I'm asking him to be responsible for is his stuff. I tell you they're not wrong when they say Moving House is right up there with Death and Divorce as the most stressful things life can throw at you - there's a fair chance this house move could result in either of the above!

Having said that I guess I could be accused of not supporting DH in his early forays into packing and so actively encouraged his lack of motivation. The following is a conversation we had on the phone about three weeks ago while I was at my parents:

DH - I've packed the first box!
Me - Cool
DH - Some of the stuff from the office. I've worked out the best way to label the boxes is to use my spray glue and then stick some paper on it.
Me - Okaaaaaaaay
DH - So I put the label on and wrote Office on it
Me - But we don't have an office in the new house
DH - Yes I know but I figured that we could tell the removal guys that when it says office we really mean Bedroom 3.
Me - Here's a radical idea, how about you don't write office on the box but write bedroom 3 instead?
DH - Okay but I'll have to glue another label on
Me - Whatever you think best dear...


Not only that he decided his next attempt would be the DVDs. It took him almost an hour to pack one box as he had to work out the best way to get the most DVDs in one box...

Still we're slowly but surely getting there, I'm certainly not about to panic that there's too much to do and not enough time.

I've phoned all the utility companies, re-arranged furniture deliveries that were ordered before our completion date changed, organised the family menu for the next week so we take as little food as possible (and I can get the oven cleaned at the weekend) and also organised the carpet cleaners to come in to the new house on the tuesday after we move.

Lia's settled down again which is good. Poor thing has even less space to play in than normal as there's an awful lot of boxes around. Still, most evenings it's home, dinner, bath, In The Night Garden (CBeebies) and bed. Once we get past this weekend it won't be too bad for her as next weekend she'll have a huge amount of space to run around in. Fingers crossed for some good weather so we can take her out to the park a lot.

DH's parents have finally booked their flights to come over and see us. They won't be staying with us, they've booked a hotel, and they'll only be around for five days, one of which I'll be working, so fingers crossed we manage a visit without a row! We're going to take them to the Berkshire County Show which will be something completely different for them. I'm also thinking we could go to Legoland on the only other full day they're with us that I'll be home. That way we should manage to keep them occupied.

Still it all depends on the weather I guess.

Anyway, this weekend I'm seeing a couple of friends which will be a nice break and I'm sure next week will pass in a flash.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Finally - we've Exchanged!

Monday, 13 August 2007
Last minute on Friday. Literally. The cut off time is 4.30pm and I think ours went through at 4.25pm!

We are all set to be moving a week on Friday (24th) which is the friday before a Bank Holiday here in the UK - the particular Bank Holiday that one of the biggest music festivals in the country is held at the town we live in...

I'm pretty sure we'll be okay, the festival is the other side of the town and, apart from a couple of hours panic when my parents (our child care) couldn't find a hotel, it's better than I'd hoped for.

We're now about half way with the packing. We got rid of some of our unwanted furniture this weekend and then promptly spent an absolute fortune in IKEA replacing it LOL. We went with a list of items we wanted but ended up buying a new dining table and desk as well. It was a bit of a nightmare getting it all in the car but one of DH's top skills is packing so after three loads and unloads we got it all in.

We're using this move to replace a lot of the old furniture that I've had for years or we bought cheaply when we had a lot less spare cash. We're also 'inheriting' a few things from my Mum as she's moving in three months so apart from our beds, Lia's furniture and some shelves it's all going to be new. I even found a great unit at IKEA specifically for having my stitching stuff in - DH hates it lying around (I'm terrible at leaving it on the backs of chairs and stuff).

So it's going to be a manic 10 days. Poor Lia seems to be a bit unsettled. We moved a futon out of her room on Saturday and she's had two terrible nights sleep since then (I'm running on reserve power after about four hours sleep last night). Hopefully she'll settle down quickly after we move but it's going to be hell trying to move and cope with not much sleep if she keeps this up for the intervening time.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Ho Hum

Monday, 6 August 2007
I like to be in control. I'm a very organised person. I write lists. I have a great memory for dates, times, appointments, etc. I'm very rarely late.

To put it another way, I'm not the kind of person who should ever consider moving house...

We're still waiting for our Completion date to be confirmed. We're hoping it's the 13th - yes, just one week from today - which is the date that I thought everyone was working towards but late on Friday our sellers solicitor stated the 28th. This morning I spoke to our Solicitor who has faxed over letters to the other two referencing 13th and now I have to wait to see if it is agreed.

Half my life is packed into boxes. The house is completely upside down. I have removal men booked for the 13th (the fourth date I've given them). I have furniture ordered that will be delivered before the end of the month (to either address but obviously it would be better to have it delivered straight to the new house) and I have no idea when I'm likely to be moving.


I hate my life being out of my control. I hate walking round boxes, constantly trying to remember where things are. Realising something is packed that I need. Not having a clue how to schedule things because nothing is certain.

We could be moving in a weeks time and I haven't even begun to let the utility companies know. Or the post office. Or the milkman.

To add to all of that Lia has been car sick several times over the last couple of weeks. At least I'm almost certain she's being car sick as she's absolutely fine one minute, chucks up and is then absolutely fine again. I've been cleaning her up and continuing to nursery where she's shown no further symptoms.

It's only happened in the mornings (stop start traffic) so I'm hoping it's not too bad but given my ability to throw up in stationary vehicles (yes my travel sickness is that bad) I'm certain that's the issue. I'm going to move her car seat into the front of the car tonight to see if that helps.

On a less stressful subject I've been back in the family fold twice in the last fortnight and so have had plenty of cuddles with my Great Niece who is gorgeous - here's a pic to prove it...

Mother and baby are fine although my niece is still learning how to live on absolutely no sleep LOL.

My poor sister has had a tough few weeks. She had a big birthday at the beginning of July where she officially became a pensioner, she then became a Grandmother for the first time nine days later and then her mother died five days after the baby was born.

I should say that she's my half sister so we have the same Dad but different mothers (mine is still very much alive and kicking). That also explains the huge age gap as my sister is 24 years older than me (so no, I'm not anywhere close to becoming a pensioner LOL). Still this weekend was quite an emotional one as my sister and I are very close and I spent quite some time with her.

While we're on cute babies here's a pic of my Greek Nephew Lefty...

As you can see he too is thriving. I've yet to meet him in person and won't until sometime next year now as the house move has dragged on so long that we're not going to be out in Greece this year. DH's parents should be visiting us next month as soon as we're settled in the new house.

Stitching wise I've been getting on with Bent Creek's Big Zipper project but haven't taken a WIP picture. I also finished up Luisa's birth sampler:

I may never stitch another Tatty Teddy design as the back stitching is truly horrible! However, my Niece loved it so it was worth the effort. I stithed it on a piece of 'Sparkling Fairytale from Sparklies
and it's as charted apart from I used an Old Willow Stitchery thread for the text and corners to brighten it up.

All of my stash is packed now apart from four not-too-large projects that are my focus pieces between now and being settled in the new house. I'm itching to start Sleigh Ride again but the chart is packed deep in a box somewhere so I'll just have to be patient.

Finally for Even-Star, the bookmarkers are from a Sue Hawkins kit which you can order from her website. Once I'd mastered the kit I just bought more Perle No 5 and kept going...

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