At last… Broadband… Hello again, 21st Century

So. The move went pretty well.

The removal company arrived bang on time on the Wednesday and beavered away all day loading about ¾ of our worldly goods onto the lorry, leaving us with the sofa, a bed and a few bits and pieces. Not that these items constitute the other ¼, but you get the idea. And yes, the kitchen was cleaned to within an inch of its life, so it was one last trip to The Marsh Cat on that Wednesday evening. We were touched by the generosity of two of the waitresses there who bought glasses of Prosecco for us, which was very nice of them indeed.

Thursday brought that situation where the lorries (a second one was required to complete the task) were full and the crews raring to go. But we hadn’t yet completed… After several calls to the solicitor, we were told that the monies were moving up the chain and that we were OK to leave the keys with the agent and head off. I did not look back and surprisingly had neither a tear in my eye nor a lump in my throat as I drove away from the house we called home for 22 years and the lovely village it sits in. Such is life.

At exactly 1 o’clock, while driving to the new house, I received the call in the car that we had all completed and I could now collect the keys.

We had taken the opportunity on the Tuesday before completion to clean the new place as best we could, given the short time available (more of this later). The carpets were vacuumed and the kitchen and bathrooms cleaned, but to see the place without the old lady’s furniture was a bit of a shock. The rooms were smaller and darker than I had remembered them.

I am going to insert a cheeky “Top Tip” in at this juncture. If you are downsizing – do it properly.

Get rid of the things that you think you don’t need. That’s the easy bit. Then get rid of half the stuff you think that you do need. You don’t need it. If you miss out the second step, on trying to fit a 3 ½ bedroom house with two receptions, a big kitchen, a decent sized utility room and a large garage into a smaller 2 ½ bedroom bungalow with a smaller kitchen, no utility and a smaller garage, you will find that your stuff doesn’t fit. It’s bleeding obvious really, but worth repeating.

Our situation is exacerbated to a certain extent because we have been keeping some furniture ready for our daughter who is about to move into an unfurnished house. If only she’d done so LAST month… Still, we should see the wood for the trees by the weekend.

On moving in, and looking more deeply than was possible on the Tuesday, we actually found that the kitchen was in a disgusting state and required the intervention of a far more accomplished cleaner than me, armed with those Brillo pads with the soap in the middle. (It took Ann 4 hours to make it bearable). We daren’t use the oven, which would probably kill us, so the replacement kitchen has become an imperative.

We have been in only 10 days now, but we have achieved quite a lot. The living and dining room are tidy and arranged properly – just need redecorating. It’s amazing how quickly you can turn someone else’s living room into your own when your furniture is in it and your photographs and paintings are on the walls. The main bedroom is currently being redecorated. The old shed has been demolished and a new one ordered. A shelving system is waiting to be installed in the study. A start has been made on the garden, gutters and drains have been cleared. A skip is half full. Work will being on the utility room at the weekend. Quotes are in the process of being obtained for the replacement kitchen and for electrical work that is required. Choosing a new kitchen is pretty good fun, but a bit overwhelming, given the choice of styles and options, but I think that we have settled on a style – will maybe go for a bit of colour in the cabinetry – who knows!? I have been getting some very good advice from those that know about these things at work, so that has made a big difference.

Finding a garden clearance firm that isn’t a joke is proving difficult though.

And finally, today, BT plugged in the broadband. (Hurrah!!!)

They managed to get the phone itself working last week, but it required three visits from “engineers” to work out that a wire needed to be attached to something in the green cabinet at the end of the road. Oh well – phone calls to the Mumbai call-centre into double figures, working through the lies and the falsehoods given by the operators there and staying in while someone didn’t need to gain access to the house at all, finally paid off.

Now, I can finally catch up with The Archers and stop having to buy extra data from EE on the mobile.

Back in the land of the connected.

Oh, and this is the view from the kitchen window…

The next door neighbour

.. and I can be home from the office in less than 40 minutes.

When all the to-do list items are done, this is what it’s really all about.