I haven’t written a post for a couple of weeks as it’s been a bit lively on the domestic front, not to mention somewhat stressful. However, I’m now pleased to say that on Monday 9th November 2015 we exchanged contracts on our house and we’re moving to North Norfolk on 4th December 2015. Our buyers have been an absolute nightmare (the wife shouted at our estate agent and complained about one of their employees!) and it was only when we gave them a deadline that they finally got their act together. I think they plan to use the house for some sort of commercial venture rather than live in it but once we’ve left it, they can do what they like. Mind you, I’d find it rather amusing if they couldn’t get planning permission.
This move has been a long held dream for my husband and me following a couple of difficult years (he almost died from a heart condition he didn’t know he had, I was nearly killed when I got hit by a car plus a few other challenging unforeseen events happened) but now it’s actually going ahead it’s a little bit scary. Not the part about living in Norfolk but all the preparation beforehand. We’re looking forward to a better quality of life, cleaner air, stars in the sky at night (there aren’t a lot visible over the Croydon area), excellent beaches (Holkham here we come), outstanding walking areas for the pooch and a good work-life balance.
As I have to work for most of my notice period up to 27th November 2015, Andrew (the husband) has gone into highly organised mode phoning up removals companies, drafting up a list of who we need to write to notifying of our change of address, letting the utility companies know we’re leaving, and so on. He’s already been highly irritated by the chap at Virgin Media (not an uncommon thing given the rather patchy levels of customer service we’ve experienced to date) who said we need to return the router when we move. That in itself is not an issue as Virgin will send a box for us to post it back in. Andrew said on our last day in the house, he’ll send the router back. Oh no, says Virgin man who is clearly blessed with an acute lack of common sense, you have to take the router with you to your new address (where there is actually BT not Virgin) and then post it back to us!
Initially we’ll be living in a very small cottage my mum owns in a village called Overstrand so that we can take time to find our ideal house in the country. This means that pretty much all of our possessions and furniture will go into storage for a few months. As we are leaving a large house, you can imagine we have a lot of stuff including, Andrew told me recently, 6,000 books. He did try to assuage my shock by saying “some of them are yours” but even so, that’s an awful lot of reading material.
The cottage is so tiny that we’ll only be able to take clothes and a wash bag each although we have a few ‘issues’ with some of my mum’s furniture so we will have to negotiate with her about that. For instance, she has a very small, Victorian type double bed that has a really soft mattress and when two people lie on it, they roll into the middle. Perhaps that’s not a bad thing, I hear you say, but after 30 years (almost) of marriage, we both appreciate our space and as Andrew tells me I sleep splayed out like a frog and steal the duvet every night, we really will have to look at the sleeping arrangements.
There are 5 or 6 removals people coming to our house next week to give us quotes and so we can’t actually start packing before then. At least Andrew will be in charge of packing most of the books (that would be the 5,972 that are his) and carting the boxes downstairs.
My challenge will be sorting out all my cooking and baking stuff and getting that packed up. I seem to have accumulated rather a lot of ‘necessary’ kitchen items and I’m a bit upset I won’t be able to use any of them while we live in the cottage. There isn’t even room in the cottage kitchen for my beloved Kitchenaid stand mixer. I know I’ll feel like someone has cut my arm off if I can’t bake anything for months!
I’m going to the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show on 14th November 2015 as well as the BBC Good Food Show which is at the same venue, so no doubt a few more ‘essential’ cooking items or foodie products will find their way into my shopping bags.
There are only 3 weekends left before we go so there really isn’t a lot of time. Bear with me if the blog isn’t updated too frequently over the next month or so as I will probably be spending my evenings sorting our possessions out into three piles: keep; chuck or charity shop.
I’ve set up another blog which will detail our move from London to Norfolk – the ups and downs, the house hunting, the job hunting and the whole experience of living in Norfolk. The blog is called “Mid Life Norfolk Wife” (Life after London) which I thought was a pretty nifty title (though I say it myself) which really sums up the situation.
The next stage of my life is beginning and I’d love you to share my adventures by following my new blog www.midlifenorfolkwife.com