Friday, 20 June 2014

So many boxes, so little time

We’re moved into the new house. I don’t have broadband connected yet due to a series of frustrating events, so I’m blogging from work because it’s too hard trying to blog from an iPad on 3G.

The move went fine, we were lucky with the weather being neither too hot nor too wet.  The movers were adequate, not as careful as they could have been so there are a few nicks and scrapes, but no breakages and they were friendly and helpful. It was just a really long day, lots of waiting around while they loaded, and ditto while they unloaded.

We are now in the terrible aftermath, surrounded by boxes, trying to find things like clothes to wear to work and trying to put in place the mechanisms for daily living like getting the kitchen set up and somewhere to sit in the evening, and trying to get services connected and addresses changed on accounts.  We don’t have much furniture and this is a much bigger house, so there isn’t really anywhere to unpack into. So a lot of stuff is like winter clothing is just having to go into boxes stacked in corners.  Plus it is dispiriting knowing that at some point this summer everything has got to be packed back up to make room for decorating, new kitchen etc. I felt pretty depressed the second night, wondering what we had gotten ourselves into, and sad about every room looking like a disaster.   I know it will all look wonderful eventually but I’m still really struggling trying to find a builder (the first one still hasn’t got back to me with a quote two weeks later, the second eventually got back to me but still hasn’t been, the third ignored me, the fourth is ignoring me so far). I’ve also been intensely frustrated by a lot of my careful advance planning coming to nought: our telephone provider reneged on their promise to keep our number and I’m still waiting for them to sort that out, our cable provider can’t connect to the house and the alternative, Sky, can’t get a signal to their satellite in our garden because it’s blocked by other buildings (we’re not allowed to put a dish on the front of the house because it’s in a conservation area) so we’ve only got Freeview from a TV antenna which I know DS is going to be very unhappy with.  We don’t have broadband because Sky no longer lets you have broadband unless you use their telephone services, and I’m not buying broadband from the telephone provider unless they sort out our number.  So DS will be doubly unhappy as he won’t be able to game online either.  I am bracing myself for some teenage strop when we collect him this weekend from Uni.

Anyway, enough moaning, I am trying to feel grateful that our long rootless period has come to an end and we have a permanent home again.  The rest of our stuff will be coming out of storage in mid July, although I don’t know where we are going to put it all, but at least all of our possessions will be under one roof for the first time in over a year.  I am looking forward to the day I can take out all my yarn and fabric stash ready for use, it will be like Christmas. Meanwhile I am concentrating on trying to get the right craft stuff onto the right floor:  sewing and dollshouse stuff in the basement, knitting stuff in the attic.

While I was waiting around for the removers to finish on Monday, I was knitting on my vanilla socks and finished them that night apart from I need to Kitchener stitch the second toe.  I then had a few days with nothing to knit on while commuting because everything I still had out needed a chart.  Yesterday I found the bits of the teddy bear ‘George’ that I knit before the move, he was a free kit with Simply Knitting magazine I think.  So I stitched him up and stuffed him.  I’ve given him to a work colleague who has a lot of young children in her extended family, although I’ve warned her to take the bow off if she is going to give it to a baby.

Sadly on Monday we are attending a funeral as a family friend of mine, a very skilled quilter and dressmaker whom I have known for 20 years, has passed away after a short stay in a nursing home.  I own a lovely Double Wedding Ring quilt that she made, I so wish I could take it to the funeral but unfortunately it is in storage with everything else.  Several of the ladies from my previous quilting groups will also be there so it will be good to see them but for a very sad reason. I seem to have hit that age band where we are losing the previous generation – four of my friends have recently lost a parent and a fifth person had their elderly parent in hospital for several weeks. This must mean that I’m getting old myself, and makes me more conscious that time is limited and you have only a certain window for big plans, big trips, and big houses full of moving boxes.

Monday, 9 June 2014

I am simultaneously excited and scared

We're in the new house!  Or to be more accurate, we've been in and out of the new house all the past week. We're not actually moving in to live there until next week.

We took the first week off work and I arranged a packed schedule of visits from kitchen designers (3), a chimney sweep (we have 11 flues!), a builder, an exterior painter, an interior painter, the conservation officer, the council landscape officer (who protects trees and we want to fell one in the back garden), a tree surgeon, and two blokes who took away a manky wooden garden shed for free.  In between those visits we were driving to and from the DIY store, the paint store or the key/lock store, taking deliveries of furniture and appliances, plumbing in a dishwasher, changing a lock, collecting more IKEA bookcases off eBay, painting up squares of lining paper with potential interior colours, and shooting back to our rental to be there for potential tenants viewing the property.  It's been exhausting but touch wood everything seems fine with the house and no major bombshells, or even very many minor ones.  But I'm bracing myself to see what all the quotes add up to, especially the new kitchen.  I hope we can afford to do all the priority stuff even if we have to wait a few years for the lower-priority jobs.

We're really pleased with the house, it's twice as big as our old modern-build house and has lovely high ceilings and some of the original features such as fireplaces and some cornicing.  It's over four floors because it's build on a sloping site so there is a cellar that becomes the bottom storey, and an attic that used to be servants' quarters.

This will be my sewing room.  It's about 14' square. Apart from the fireplace there aren't really any original features and the floor is a replacement. As this is the cellar-storey, the ceiling is a fairly normal height.

This is one of the attic spaces - one side will be for my knitting machines and the other side of the room (it's divided by a chimney) will be my knitting stash.

This is one of the main rooms that still has some original features - not my choice of colour scheme!  I am going to have most of the rooms painted in a warm neutral and we will live with that for a few years before we maybe choose some wallpaper for a few rooms.

So there hasn't been much time for crafting but I did do some knitting on the lace bodices of the Low Tide Vest and I've started a vanilla sock in Opal 'Der Kleine Prinz' colour 7767 which I really like.

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