Welcome home!

‘Sorry. Your front room’s in a bit of a pickle love’ 

Last famous words from the Phil the removal man. 

I can’t have too much of a go at him as they were brilliant seeing as I was alone that day. Paul, not being able to get the day off work due to others on holiday, left Winterscroft that morning at 7am and came home to a new home that day. Weird to say the least. 

Phil and his men had Winterscroft completely cleared out by noon, garage and a couple of plant pots too that I shoved on at the last minute. I had dismantled the bed and the cots single-handed, roaming the house with my Phillips screwdriver and an Allan key and feeling very ‘handy Andy’ I must admit. The solicitor had phoned to say we had received our buyers’ money and so it should only be another half an hour for completion. 

Brilliant news! 

On that note I phoned my buyer, Mr Elliott (remember him?) and arranged to hand over the keys if he could get there as it was all going very much to plan. 

The 28th June was a massively hot day, whereas Phil on the day of quotation had told me to leave the kettle and tea bags till last he hadn’t mentioned cold drinks, so I phoned up grandad to do the honors and he nipped out to Morrisons’ for me and cane back with bags of water, coke and soft drinks. Just as well as they were all sweltering in the heat and so was I! 

‘bit’ of a pickle?

Anyway, keys handed over, Phil and his men gone, I made my way round to nans’ where the girls were with my mum, nan and grandad. A light lunch was prepared for me which I woofed down in nano seconds – hungry work being a handy Andy I can tell you! and I waited and waited for my phone call. 

‘They’ve all gone to lunch’ (mum) 

‘The money has got held up in a queue’ – (Grandad – ex banker) 

2.00pm I call the solicitor for info. ? ‘Oh yes, who knows what has happened? You know sometimes there’s just a delay – anyway all over now. (yes, and did you have a nice lunch??? ggrrr) 

2.30 I collect the keys = Very Excited Mari :-) 

Putting the key in the lock for the first time is quite something. Is this really happening? Will we be happy here? Wonder if the neighbours are looking? Which room shall we do first? Hundreds of questions that went through my mind. 

The house was quiet, musty smelling and HOT, I made a point of rushing around and opening every window I could to let some air in. 

Now the decor guys, leaves a lot to be desired but that’s part of the project right? I think the tops is the downstairs toilet/shower room which is 70’s vintage – or that’s how I’m selling it for now, grey blue tiles and light blue formica…nice eh? 

The entire afternoon was spent unloading the two vans and trying to make some sort of organisation out of pure chaos. the girls were very much left to their own devices in the overgrown back garden until I had an afterthought about sun cream and dragged them inside again much to their dislike. 

moving in

Mum trying to make sense of the kitchen

Paul came home to a nightmare and slowly slowly we started to get our new life together. The girls went to bed filthy that day but in clean cots and wearing clean pyjamas (one day won’t hurt!) and we managed to put our bed together before crashing on top of it. Yes, on top as it was far too hot to sleep in it. 

And that ladies and gentlemen is the day we moved to Shorne.

Well it’s all coming to a head right now after 3 weeks of waiting for the others in the chain to get their act together which has been so frustrating. I mean why call up extra enquiries the week we’re supposed to exchange contracts, especially if you’ve had longer than us to get them all done?

Anyway, I have had the solicitor on the phone asking me for available dates and as we’re going on holiday and not back till the 27th we cannot do before then.

Mr Parkinson, on the other hand, goes on holiday on the 29th and is pushing for the 28th! (Mr bloody Parkinson is also the one who’s been faffing about until now -grrr) There’s always one isn’t there?

So the big question for us this morning – can we do the 28th fresh back from Lake Garda? Yes of course I said, thinking it’s going to be a nightmare anyway, let’s just get on with it. To be honest, I’d rather be in my new place unpacking and sorting myself out than here and waiting. So. Bring it on!

I have managed to provisionally book a removal company just now and thankfully I have boxed up most of our stuff so there’s only a small amount of packing to be done to add to the panic of move day morning but on the whole, we’re in a pretty good place.

I will have to inform the gas and electric people today plus Virgin media and maybe the council too?

Who knows?

Anyway, far too busy to be waffling on here that’s for sure.

See you all soon, folks. There will be a couple of scheduled posts coming your way, and if I manage to get on I will say hello from Italia too.

Take care and have fun, Mari xx

Our new lounge. No 1 on the redecor list!

So near and yet so far, that’s where we are currently. 

It’s a five house chain and we’re at the end of it praying that all goes smoothly so we can move soon. 

Our solicitor has confirmed that we are ready to go with contracts signed but it’s the others who are holding us up, Mr Elliot, our buyer, was on holiday last week (cheek!) and the first time buyers at the bottom of the chain are buying a leasehold which apparently needs more legal work. 

We have been told that we may expect an exchange this coming week with a date for moving obviously on that contract. We are off to Lake Garda on the 10th June so we’re hoping to move before then but realise this may not be possible. If so it’ll be after the 27th on our return. Watch this space. 

Our new place is currently empty as the family moved out in February so I cheekily asked the estate agents acting for both if us to see if, after we’ve paid the 10% deposit along with the signed contracts, would she be happy for me to go in one weekend and clean the place as it’s been standing closed for so long? Not only that but it would make our moving in easier, especially where the girls are concerned. 

She doesn’t mind, so long as she knows beforehand so she can go along and check for post. Brilliant news! So that’ll be coming up in a week or two I hope. 

Our house is looking more and more like a warehouse every day as I find things I won’t be needing and pack them away in boxes. I have already found I’ve packed things I need, like the needlework basket for some buttons that need sewing and CD’s as I seem to have lost my iTunes (?) dammit. 

This morning I spent a couple of hours in our back garden, trimming back all the growth (it was everywhere!), I’m pleased with the result and hope it looks a little better now for Mr Elliot. I was also thinking of writing him a note with details of rubbish night, who the neighbours are and other things that come to mind that he may find useful. 

Should I tell him that over the past weeks, ok months, the downstairs toilet flush makes a funny noise on use? If he opens the cold tap the noise disappears, it’s obviously not mega important but I don’t know whether to let him find out by himself or not? 

Nice weather today, we’re most likely going to the beach tomorrow and this evening we’re invited to a barbecue with our good friends where I hope a photo opportunity arises for Tara’s The Gallery this week. I’ve missed it for a while now so it would be nice to catch up with her. 

Have a great weekend all, Mari :)

Writing workshopWhat a fabulous word – excited.

That’s the emotion I would have chosen to enter Josie’s Writing workshop this week. But with all of my birthday celebrations and then catching up on day to day tasks, I had to bow out this week.

So what’s all this excitement about? I hear you ponder. Well I’m moving house and all of the legal requirements are moving along so fast, they reckon we could be out of here in a month so I’m busy packing away our worldly goods into boxes and the house is looking more like a warehouse with each passing day.

Excited, incredibly excited as my daughter Megan will be over next week bringing my darling Gracey with her. They’ll be staying here with me for 5 days and I’m beside myself with excitement. I shall take lots of photos :)

Excited as today T Mobile are sending me a USB stick enabling me to go WiFi whenever I want and wherever I want for free for one month and then only £10 a month from then on. Amazing, seeing as I was thinking of cancelling Virgin Media as we just don’t use the TV channels and rely on our mobiles for the odd phone call anyway.

Excited as I have a holiday coming up fast to Lake Garda in northern Italy, doubly excited as I will see Megan, Gracey and Tommy again. Excited as it is a beautiful part of the world and I’m allowed to buy a painting to bring home for my belated birthday present and I’ll see all my lovely Italian friends again. Can’t wait.

Excited at the prospect of a brand new house to decorate and do up as I have been planning for so long. Can’t wait to get my teeth into this project.

Excited at making a vegetable patch. No, I truly am. I realise it will be hard work but I’m ready for it. The only bit that bothers me are the insects…

You see why 44 is so good now? I have so much to look forward to.

I could list the parties to hold and to go to over the summer, the long weekends spent on the beach, digging, making sand castles and crabbing. The trip to London to pop in and see the girls at the Italian Tourist Board.

So much more, but yes, excitement is the strongest emotion I’m feeling right now, I hope some of it has rubbed off on you.

They’re the worst aren’t they?

You hear occasionally in the papers of neighbours warring and ending up in court as they won’t turn their music down, or tidy their front/back gardens dragging down the whole area.

Well here on The Croft we’re very lucky.

It’s a little peaceful haven and to be honest there’s not an awful lot to gossip about. We’re all very polite with our ‘mornings and ‘evenings, asking elderly Ted after his wife Leah who’s undergoing the umpteenth trial at removing cancer from her breasts definitely.

I’ve lent my sieve to Emma opposite on a couple of occasions and my magical potion PoxClin for chicken pox to Vicky on the back row when Josh followed my girls with the itchy disease.

We have been known to share drinks out front in the summer, come out after midnight on New Year’s Eve to pass on our good wishes for the new year and the kids play together, in general it’s a happy community…until last night that is.

I glanced at the clock as I woke. It’s a habit since the girls arrived just to see how much sleep I’ve had and unlikely of getting unless they go straight back down. It was 0.42

I tried to turn over and go back to sleep thinking I was having another hot flush but I could hear this woman’s voice in my head and couldn’t turn her off. A car alarm went off and I knew it wasn’t one of those scratched disc moments but real life.

We both went to the window to make sure it wasn’t our car and lo and behold there were number 69 shouting at the top of their heads and wrestling on the pavement.

She stood up.

He didn’t move and we could see he had a huge holdall with him, he just lay in the gutter whilst she poked him with her foot.

Incensed that she wasn’t getting any reaction from him she jumped into her car and started to rev up the engine madly.

She reversed away from him not taking her eyes off him for a second and then drove the bumper right up to him, nudging him to move. The engine was straining under the continued revs and making a hell of a racket but that didn’t stop her. And I couldn’t take my eyes off the scene unfolding beneath me.

The car next to her went off for the second time.

‘Shall I call the police?’ He asked me. No, it’s a domestic, it’ll be all over in a minute.

We watched, as he dragged himself to an upright position and started to walk away. She got out of the car, leaving it in the middle of the street and they met in front of the car. She started to punch him, hefty angry punches and at one point she was smashing his head against the bonnet.

She was one angry lady.

He fell to the floor and she started to kick him, venting her anger on him.

He managed to break away and holdall over his shoulder started to walk out of the Croft.

Was she going to leave him be? Hell no. She jumped in her car and making a Formula 1 racket followed him.

I jumped back into bed at this stage tired and worried the girls might wake and keep me truly awake. Paul followed and sleep swiftly followed.

Would you have intervened?