Moving House


 

After a hectic day of packing the day before, all our belongings are stowed onto the two trucks.  Our moving team are incredibly efficient and we arrive in the small village of Piddletrenthide, Dorset by about two o’clock.  The next few hours fly by.  The house owner, Kim, has just finished painting the dining room to hide the damp.  She greets us warmly.  Clearly this is her family house, but due to illness she needs to live with relatives for a while.  She loves it and hopes to return soon.  That is why the house has such a lovely feel to it, unlike many buy to lets.

John is occupied by the estate agent and her twenty page list of notches and marks throughout the house.  What do people expect from a house which is two hundred years old?  The removal team ask for a two minute debrief on what might go where and they use their initiative to place the furniture and the sixty boxes.

We are here!  The next stage of our retirement project!

There is such a mix of emotion.  Exhaustion! Exhilaration! Bewilderment!

We have no mobile signal in the valley: no landline so no phone calls are possible until we discover that we can walk up the hill almost a mile off!  There is no internet set up.  We suddenly feel very cut off from friends and family.

Once everyone has gone, we walk happily up the garden hill in the hope of getting a signal.  We clutch a bottle of champagne and a plate of food.    We climb over the style at the end of our grass area and enter the wooded section.I had no idea the hill would be so steep.  I end up grasping roots and pulling myself up.  There is the remains of a tree house to the right.  Ivy clings to the trees, making it darker.  Soon we reach the opening and a path which runs along the ridge behind everyone’s garden.  Disappointed there is no where to sit we descend again a little way and perch on a fallen tree trunk.  Here we sip champagne and wonder at the beauty and difference!

The view over the valley beyond, the farmland, the rooftops is wonderful.  I think I will be happy to call this home for the next six months or so.

 

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Exhilaration


It’s a whirlwind! It’s very exciting! It feels more than a bit risky…and I’m loving it!

Having found a buyer for our home of 24 years standing, the paperwork is nearly complete. Surveys done, solicitors engaged and dates are being spoken of…our buyer seems very keen to move in. They have new schools to enrol in, and no doubt want to start at the beginning of the UK school year. (That would be the beginning of September)

We are rooting through our belongings, happily taking stuff down to the charity shop or recycling centre on an almost daily basis. Probably not taking it quite as seriously as we should.

Occasionally we drive down to West Sussex and mooch around villages, debating their merit; or we might browse the web and estate agents, searching our ideal home. This is apparently not there! They are too big, located too close to a road, too far from the town, too new, too old….

My daughter and her son, who have been living here for many months now (and looked after the house and cats while we traveled round Australia) are also packing to move to Devon next weekend. On one level I am thrilled that they are up and running again, on another more profound level, I cannot bear the fact that Keoni will not give me my daily hug and insist that I play trains with him.

The house is filling up with boxes again as she gathers her possessions. For the first time, despite her 30 years, she has to gather everything! Girlish diaries, school book memories, pieces of childish art, a lifetime of nicknacks. Plus, of course, all her clothes, books, Keoni’s toys etc etc. It’s quite a hoard! And it will reduce the amount I have to pack and move.

Then, quite suddenly, our buyers suggest moving on 24th August. That is three weeks away!

It strikes us! We have nowhere to live! No decision. No short list.

We have been planning this for nearly two years. I am in no doubt at all that we want to move. W want to experience the country, rather than the city. I have always lived in London. It is time for a change. We looked at North Devon, ourselves initially. Beautiful countryside with incredible variety, but not very hot on shopping towns of the kind I might need. That lead us to Dorset, which we both love for the soft rolls of countryside and the warm stone houses. We are spoiled for villages in Dorset. Yet, for some reason, we had jumped to West Sussex recently.

OK. I know why we changed to West Sussex. We had been on a family day out, had a great time and just went for it!

Now, I know I should be ‘having kittens’, horrified that we have nothing firm planned. But it’s brilliant! I spent today, on the phone, persuading removal firms to come to assess our needs.

“What day will you be moving?” they asked
“Well, I’m not sure. Maybe 24th but we might prefer to do it earlier if we can find somewhere to move.”. Small pause.
“You don’t have a moving address?”
“Not yet!”. I smile “but I think it will be in Dorset!”

I always knew this would get to be exciting enough to blog about!

I’ll keep you posted!

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