Sunday, 8 November 2009

Best Laid Plans

Our moving-in day went pretty well and we are fairly straight although there are still a few packing boxes to be gone through. My plan was to get all that done at a reasonably leisurely pace and then begin preparing for our first Christmas here.

However, combined with the stresses of the move etc we have had a cry for help from family in Australia so later today I will be heading for Heathrow Airport to catch a flight bound for Adelaide. OH has a few commitments over the next couple of weeks but will be joining me and we will fly home together, arriving back in UK on 10 December. So I will be back in touch again sometime after that.

I will be attempting to show some pictures of the view from our windows but amongst all the upheaval our computer decided enough was enough and "died" on us. I have been trying to get to grips with new one but have not yet worked out how to deal with photos for the blog and now I haven't time! Such is life - sigh!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

We're finally moving in!

In early May, about the 7th, we accepted an offer on our house, which had been for sale for about 15 months. We were given to understand that a completion date of 19 June was expected. Rather quick we thought but it's fine - we can do that! Time went on. It soon became obvious that it was not going to happen that quickly and then we were told that the first couple in our very small "chain" needed 4 weeks from exchange of contracts to completion as they were in rented accommodation and were required to give that amount of notice. A completion date of 10 September was suggested. We thought - that's fine, that will give us time to order a new kitchen and find some temporary accommodation whilst the renovations and decorations were carried out on our new home.

On 22 August we exchanged contracts, the completion date still being 10 September. We ordered our new kitchen the next day. "Delivery will be 4 to 6 weeks" the man said! OK, well that was a little longer than we had anticipated but if it comes in 4 weeks it won't be so bad. Our kitchen fitter man was on holiday but was due back on 21 September and there was plenty to be getting on with until then. We contacted the plumber to arrange all the necessary (he had been on "stand-by" from the start) and chose our new bathroom fixtures and fittings.

We had a little trouble finding some temporary accommodation. Relatives and friends had said "come and stay with us". Fortunately, we thanked them but declined their very kind offer! We live by the sea, a holiday destination. By 10 September, we thought, the children will be back to school and there will be plenty of holiday homes to choose from. Not so. Once the school holidays are over our more mature citizens take advantage of the "offers" that are made to take a late holiday. However, because OH has a lot to do with tourism in this area we were offered the use of a luxury caravan on one of the local holiday parks - "for as long as you need it, no charge". Fantastic!

We had a week's holiday on the Isle of Wight with our daughter and grand-daughter, arriving back home on 5 September. The weather had not been brilliant but on about 7 September the sun came out and stayed out. The weather was hot and sunny when we moved out of our house on 10 September and I was pleased that the new owners would have the chance to enjoy their new home and garden in such conditions (they were so excited about coming to live there). Also, for us in a caravan, it was a bonus, like being on holiday again!

The work began on our new home, stripping out the old kitchen and bathroom, removing the old heaters, replacing doors etc. The painting and decoration began. The kitchen finally arrived after nearly 8 weeks and as I have aleady posted our kitchen fitter had taken himself off to another job and although we had told him it was due to be delivered on 15 October and he had marked it in his diary, he was not able to begin the job until 21 October.

Our furniture was stored for us by the removal firm and we had to give them 5 days' notice when we wanted it returned. We rang giving them about 10 days' notice. "Could you bring our furniture on 2 November please"? "Sorry" came the reply "first available date is 5 November"! So today is the day!

We have been so lucky in having a real "Indian Summer" here, the weather has been fabulous. "You wait until the day we move in" I said to OH, "it will blow an absolute hooley". I was right! The rain has been torrential although as I write it is dry. Oh, did I mention that we have moved into a first floor apartment on the sea front. Wonderful views and an ever changing scene and we are thrilled with it, but there is absolutely no protection from the elements. Of course the removal men could drive round to the back but then they would have to negotiate two flights of stairs! Oh well, I'll just keep the tea and biscuits coming to help them keep their strength up.

Wish us luck!