New house, new town, new schools

So, we moved.

I am making it sound like it was a walk in the park. Partly because the trauma of it all is still so fresh that I can barely bring myself to talk about it. I shall give you the lowlights.

Picture the scene – it is Tuesday – completion day. We have not yet exchanged contracts due to the late ‘oh-dear-there-seems-to-be-a-small-matter-which-we’ve-overlooked’ nature of conveyancing solicitors. The entire contents of our lives and home are packed into two blue trucks by a plethera of burly (and slightly stinky) men. We await the nod from our solicitor. The hours pass – our purchaser is now parked outside our house with the entire contents of his life and home in another, even bluer truck. His phone rings – apparently the first issue has been dealt with but now his mortgage company have decided to withdraw his offer of mortgage. This is not going well is it?

My children are next door being fed by our marvellous soon-to-be-ex neighbours. The dogs are wandering around an empty kitchen. The cat is in his cat box (not happy). We are shuffling and I am crying.

By 4pm it seems obvious that it simply ain’t happening. We sleep at our neighbours. Our purchaser’s bluer truck sleeps on our driveway. We wave goodbye to all our worldly goods and hope to see them again soon.

It takes the whole of the following morning, and a certain amount of string pulling with the bank who my husband happens to work for, to get our purchasers mortgage approved (again). By 2pm we are on the move, and so is the money. Matters unresolved (land issues) will simply have to be tackled after completion, and after our holiday which is due to take place in 2 days time…..

Anyway, 24 hours late, we moved in. I am reminded how much work there is to do to bring this house kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Let me introduce you to our new kitchen. The inside has a boiler which looks like it may be the original Victorian one (above) and the outside view from the back of the house (below) illustrate the point well, I think. I hope to be able to bring you Homes & Gardens style before and after photos in the coming months, since the ‘before’ version has to go.

The unpacking ceremony takes until 10pm. Men now even more stinky. It has also become abundantly clear that you simply cannot fit a quart into a half pint pot. By this I mean that the big, nice, comfortable house which we’ve just left was clearly about twice as big as the new house we’re moving in to. Our two large sofas won’t go in. At all. They are deposited in the garage, to rot with damp. Ditto dining table and wardrobe. Boxes are literally piled to the ceilings. I cannot get to the sink in the kitchen. Boxes are  indiscriminately piled everywhere – there are photos in the bathroom, and kitchen essentials in the garage. Beds have not been erected. Children are being SO naughty I am considering giving them to a charity shop.

Bob goes back to work and here I am, adrift in this desert of cardboard with the naughty kids and the naughty, carpet-peeing pets. We go to the shops. On the way back Ollie is sick all over himself. I strip him off and let us in the house. I pop out to the garden to get something, calling “stay there, Ol – don’t shut the d……!” Yep, he went and locked us out of this stupid, Yale locking, tiny, box-filled house!!!!!Aaaarghhh! I have no phone, no key, and a naked child who has  been sick. What a great time to go and meet the new neighbours…….Luckily, they rescue me by lending me a phone – I have to get hubby out of work to come and let us back in. Not exactly the start I had hoped for, this.

And then the holiday – more on that later. A breath of air and a lot of booze.

We come back on Sunday afternoon to the box situation. The pets are collected from the kennels. OMG the dogs have got very fat – they look like sausage rolls! They also stink so have to be  bathed. Tomorrow the boys start at their new schools. George asks where his school shoes are – I am pretending that I have some idea, but in truth I am completely at sea. But somehow I manage to get the boys dressed and breakfasted and ready to go. We are all very nervous today – a new primary school in a town where we know absolutely NO ONE, and a new nursery too. George is very brave and looks incredibly handsome in his new school tie. Ollie just Ollie – being a pain and getting time on the naughty step.

I have been taking a ‘first day of term’ photo of George every year since he started Reception. I have added them to his lifeline so that we can look back and admire his progress. I shall, of course, do the same for Oliver.

So far, so good. There have been no tears before or after school. George already has a female admirer in his class. Ollie is entertaining the troops with his mad antics at Nursery. And me? I am left wondering why the heck I ever thought all this was a good idea.

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