We moved house last week, hence my recent blog and Twitter radio silence. My oh my, I've worked like a pack horse over this last week packing, cleaning, unpacking, cleaning, shopping, building, cleaning, arranging, drilling and filling.
The miraculous sale
HappyHusband and I put our teeny weeny cottage on the market back in September after we realised we needed more space for us, the LLO and The Professor and Mo-Mo (I'll introduce these feline friends properly another time). Once we appeared on Rightmove, we fully expected the house to be up for sale for at least a year or so as the properties near us had been.
Three days later, the right person was in the right place at the right time and we sold! By the end of that week, we had our offer accepted on a new place for us and the solicitors were off to work! So fast, and so unexpected. We couldn't and still can't quite believe it what with The Current Economic Climate an' all.
Other than a week of doubt due to a COMPLETELY INEPT SURVEYOR (watch out you as I am going to make a proper complaint, ggrrrr) making our house sound like some sort of health hazard, things went along remarkably smooth. Too smooth...
Ready or not, here we come ... Oh. You're not actually ready then.
After a great deal of effort to pack the house up, Moving Day had come. The LLO was safely stowed away with grandparents the night before and HappyHusband and I were so excited that we could barely sleep. This meant we were all bleary-eyed and wired on caffeine by the time the removal men turned up the following morning.
Apparently, we had achieved "a good tight pack". I took quite an unexpected amount of pride in this packaging compliment.
The boxes and furniture were piled into the lorry and The Professor and Mo-Mo were put in a big dog cage in the car. Even though we washed it down, it still smelt a bit doggy, so this was probably quite stressful for them. But better that than them completely freaking out and resulting in blood loss from all of us at the cattery. The cattery ranks just one above the vets in their list of all time great days out.
THEN at 1030, the phone rang and our fabulous solicitor told me we had completed. The removal men's little faces lit up at the thought of an early finish and said this was very early for completion on a Friday and wasn't that JUST marvellous.
Hmm. A little too easy...?
I skipped off to the estate agent to get the keys for our new abode leaving HappyHusband in the old house going for it with the mop and bucket. The estate agent told me that our vendors were just cleaning up and would be ready in about an hour.
Hmm. This is all going rather well isn't it? A little too well...?
After leaving our beloved cottage as spotless as a holiday home, along with a helpful note about bins etc and new home card for the buyer, we were pleased to be all done, safe in the knowledge that the new place was being cleaned and that all that was left to do was unpack at our leisure.
Oh, dear reader, if only this were true.
On arriving at the new place after 1pm, the vendors were extremely stressed AND. STILL. PACKING. There were still things fixed to the wall - not just small things like pictures but more serious things like a TV. I am not quite sure how they managed to get into the position where at lunchtime on Moving Day, they were still not packed. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that they must have spent most of the day before removing absolutely everything except the lightbulbs and filling the holes left behind in the walls with some sort of filler that is still sqidgy a week later.
To cut a long story short, we were incredulous but helpful and reasonable, the removal men were livid but willing, Scary Elaine at the removals office got heavy and talked about extra charges, the vendors were stressed and markedly unapologetic (is that a word?) but also clearly embarrassed, the cats slept and it started to hail.
It was all rather tense with the vendors. We offered to help them pack and lug but they were quite offhand in their stress to the point that I felt quite sorry for them. But that was whilst my sense of humour and calm was still in tact.
The vendors and their pretty useless removals firm managed to clear a couple of rooms so we could start to get our stuff in, but not before we had the pleasure of cleaning everything. Twice. Once because the vendors hadn't cleaned, and once after both sets of removal men traipsed mud throughout the house, carpets and all. This is where my sense of humour started to evaporate.
At 7pm, their removal men finally left and we collapsed into a curry and the cats made themselves at home.
Despite the drama and a week spent making bookcases, buying lampshades and helping (hindering) my amazing Mum make curtains, we are really pleased with our new home. The LLO can waddle more than five paces without encountering a wall and we are taking childish delight in things like an upstairs bathroom, double glazing and FINALLY a much longed for kitchen table.
Home sweet home.