You will probably know that I retired last August as a head teacher. You may have read about our six months travels round Australia and New Zealand. You can flick back over the past 14 posts to see our voyage around Turkey and Greece, but the stark reality of being retired does not just sit with travel and adventures.
Anyone who has been on holiday knows they come home to a pile of laundry. Even though we threw away the clothes we had literally worn out while traveling, there still seemed to be mountains of dirty clothes and ironing.
Add to this the fact that our daughter and her family have been house sitting for six months and we have arranged for them to remain at our house while we re-established our relationship with our grandson. This makes 5 in the house, lots of noise, laughter, and running up and down the hall corridor. Not to mention the fact that we need to separate their things from ours because it has become one comfortable whole rather than two families.
My daughter has lived in this house most of her life. She loathes it for its familiarity and loves it for its comfort. She has been an excellent house keeper, but running a massive house and a not quite two year old is very hard work. She enjoys a few weeks of Nonna (that’s me!) taking over, before the real work begins.
By the time we return from Greece, they have packed their belongings but have no job, nowhere to live. Her husband moves out with a van load of stuff to Devon, in search of their future. She, wisely decides to remain here with Keoni, until he has secured a home and job.
It takes a week to further disentangle our belongings. Much of their stuff is piled into our shed, but we still have boxes of fragile things to contend with.
In short, it is a dreadful mess! My dreams of putting our house in order within days and putting it on the market, crash around my feet. My daughter becomes an amazing tower of strength. She cajoles, reasons, plans and moves. There is the constant need to keep an eye on Keoni but between three adults we manage well. Bag loads of stuff are carried to the charity shops in town. Boxes are re-housed in my daughter’s room, rather than scattered throughout the house. A schedule of tasks is written and we all try hard to stick to it.
Each of us in turn, dips into doldrums. It is an impossible job and we will never do it. When this happens the other two work harder to impress the success of the venture. Gradually, very gradually, the house separates into two and the grand spring clean commences.
My daughter has a brilliant eye for decor. She can move a vase, an ornament and a cushion and create harmony, where I would shove things together in over similar mode to create something altogether too heavy and dreary.
Today, we have been at it for ten days! We had a day off for the Queen’s 60th Jubilee, and a day at the farm with Keoni.
Still to do…
1. Touch up paint in our bedroom
2. Re-paint kitchen
3. Store my daughter’s things in the attic so her room is more livable
4. Hire a carpet cleaner for the whole house.
5. Spring clean front room, my daughter’s room and dining room
6. Pressure hose patio
Problem with 6 is we are in a hosepipe ban, so it looks as if it might be a hand situation. Yuk!
I hope we will be going to the estate agents by the end of next week at the latest.
What do you reckon are my chances?