braindribbles

Archive for the ‘Moving House’ Category

Well, hello again. I do hope you are all keeping well.

I have to confess, last year was something of a washout for me. Mild depression and major fatigue were significant elements, but I worked through it, felt just fine on plenty of occasions throughout the year, got some proper sleep after Christmas and the world righted itself. Being an optimistic person, these things often do work out fine in the end. Once you have worked out how to crank the handle and put your life back into gear.

Anyhow, I’ve been itching to blog again for a few weeks now. I thought you might like to know where things are at chez Braindribbles.

Oldest one is 9. He’s just at the point where putting everything into mock inverted commas is a major part of his humour. Thinner than a beanpole and hungrier than a mammoth, I am starting to question the laws of physics. Or biology. Either way, it’s a mystery.

The photo below is from our trip to Snowdonia last spring, at a moment when he turned around to find the Easter Bunny right there and offering him a small Easter gift. He was rooted to the spot with embarrassment for a full minute. It was hilarious. For me, anyway…

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Middle child is 7. She is loving finally being at the same school as her brother. It has solved so many issues for us. She’s also been industrious artistically – her recent paintings have merged her two favourite things: Hello Kitty and Star Wars. I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.

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Smallest one is 2. She’s completely out of nappies, thanks to the most sensible potty training book I have read so far. Her favourite song right now is ‘Three little monkeys’, often sung whilst jumping on my bed, while I’m still in it. Here she is, kidnapping my teaching dolls. Again. (Photo credit to middle child, by the way)

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All of them are providing me with many many delightful cuddles through the day.

Loved one is being lovely as usual. He works so hard that he doesn’t feature much in the blog. Maybe that will change one day. He has something exciting in the pipeline and I may one day be allowed to tell you more about it…

As for me, well, I did qualify and I have a shiny diploma certificate to prove it. Somewhere. Buried in the piles of clutter I am still trying to work my way around. I’m loving my work, still getting used to the extra dynamic it brings but feeling more settled about it after 9 months of regular teaching.

I’m much more involved in my music too…more on that another day, but it’s all good.

As for the house move and settling in, well, we have the loveliest bunch of neighbours you ever met (they don’t read this blog so I’m not just saying that to humour them!), and have been so, so helpful in a challenging year and also become good friends. We intend to let the builders loose on our home in the next month or two, so we hope they will stay good friends in spite of the disruption!

And my general wellbeing has been restored by, would you believe, hypnotherapy…? Yup. I went on a Natal Hypnotherapy study day back in May as part of my ongoing training, and realised the possibilities for both my work and personal life. Of course, I didn’t take any steps to sort this out till Christmastime, but when I did, and did it properly, wow, what a difference. I’ve been using the CDs from Trance Solutions, an Aussie clinic that had the thought to make their work available on iTunes (a heap better than some of the other choices up there) and now I drift to sleep to a soothing antipodean voice and soft unintrusive music. And, after a couple of weeks, I started to feel like a completely new person.

Things are just as busy. I am just as forgetful. Things are just as messy. But they are slowly improving and, most importantly of all, I am feeling the way I ought to feel once more. Life is good.

Next post? Well, don’t hold your breath. But no doubt the itchy fingers will be back to give you a glimpse into my brain dribbles again soon ūüôā

Halloo dear readers. Look, a post! A real, live braindribbles post! Alas no pictures – I pressed that new button on the WordPress home page and it’s confused me a little. Can’t seem to ‘save draft’ while I hunt down the relevant pictures. Oh well.

So, to fill you in, we are in that interim period. We are out of Bedfordshire and in Buckinghamshire, just not in the new place quite yet.

My fabulous in-laws are putting us up in the meantime. Rental was a possibility but frighteningly expensive…monthly rental on a two-bed flat would have been almost twice as much as our old mortgage, which was a four-bed detached. Loved one persuaded me that it would be OK with the in-laws. He was right, from our perspective, though I do worry about their blood pressure with three children haring around the place.

Anyhow, whilst it’s nice and relaxing spending time with the in-laws, who are the sort who make life easier rather than harder – in both the physical and metaphorical sense – it’s still very odd actually living here. I can’t seem to establish a routine or get a sense of normal.

Of course, that’s not helped by the fact that the kids have no school as yet. There seem to be no free places in any schools around here at the moment. I’ve got to the point where I’m giving up trying, and muddling through a bit of home education till we get into the new place…at which point we make a real fight to get them into the local school. With claws out, if it comes to it. (I hope it doesn’t, mind you, but I suspect it probably will.)

My own studies, unsurprisingly, are suffering…but last week I found a great childminder to look after smallest one once or twice a week. So that should pick up again. That is, if I can persuade the older ones to get on with their workbooks in the local library without bothering me, anyway.

So it’s tricky.

Having said that, the in-laws live right in the country. The views, the sky at night, the peace and quiet, mother-in-law’s old-fashioned yet delicious home cooking every other night, the sense of outside space is all to die for. We’ll miss all of that when we move into semi-suburbia.

I won’t miss sharing a room with smallest one, though. She’s waking every time I turn in bed, wanting a cuddle.

Nor will I miss the sense of limbo. A little home security goes a long way.

And I Just. Can’t. Wait. to sleep in my own bed again…

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A little postscript for my regular readers. Thanks for bearing with me for the weeks of no posting. Can’t promise another post all that soon, but don’t unsubscribe just yet! Things will return to normal, and positivity will eventually rule!

Well, things have become insanely busy round here! Admittedly it has rather more with trying to say goodbye to friends and keeping track of an increasingly intrepid toddler, than to do with any packing that should be being done… Indeed, the only reason I am sitting down to blog about it is because Loved One bought me a shiny new iPad for my birthday and I wanted to try out the WordPress app. Which is OK, but very basic. Nothing but plain text and NO pictures. Which might explain the rather boring appearance of this particular post..

Here are six things I am slowly starting to realise about moving:

One
Take all offers of childcare you can beg, bribe or blag – you need every second of child free time you can get.

Two
Try and keep doing things you enjoy if you can. Don’t let the packing demons force you into a hermit-like existence or you will become a person devoid of good humour and your children will hide from you.

Three
When you are doing things you enjoy, try and ensure it doesn’t involve more laundry or catering than normal. Swimming, for instance, will give you a double headache because you have to find somewhere to dry the kit afterward. And on no account do it three times in the last ten days.

Four
When trying to chase up school admission departments who seem to have no idea of the urgency of the situation, do so before 2pm and on a weekday, or the entire department will have gone home and left nothing but an irritating answer machine message telling you to call back at a more suitable time.

Five
If you have been running around like a headless chicken all day, do not expect to be able to pull out endless reserves of stamina to deal with yet more headless chicken impressions in the evening. You will get the kids in bed and you will no longer be any good to anyone.

Six
When contemplating the sheer enormity of what you need to achieve, do not let your urge to procrastinate inspire you to blog about your predicament rather than picking your socks up and actually getting on with it.

Yes,well…

I look forward to updating you when the dust settles. And if you catch me blogging between now and then, feel free to give me the severe reprimand I deserve.

Once again my life is gathering pace, hurtling towards our move deadline at increasing speed.

I’m quite pleased that I’ve blogged every weekday for some time now…but it’s now got to the point where I can’t sustain it and meet the other demands on my time, so I will save it till things have calmed down a little.

You might get the odd post once in a while, especially if the events of the coming weeks are too interesting to keep to myself, but I doubt I will be regular again till early to mid October.

Thanks for being such great readers! ¬†I’ll be back before you know it ‚ėļ

Comparing removal quotes tonight, I suddenly realised that this house move is finding me nose deep in spreadsheets most of the time. Considering I generally don’t use the application, this is quite a dramatic change for me.

If it’s not comparing quotes from removal companies, it’s planning rooms, checking items off lists, and so on. ¬†Look…

See what I mean? ¬†If nothing else, it’s made me realise I’ve not been sitting idle…

Will I still be this into spreadsheets after the move is over?

Hmm… Probably not.

Yes, we’ve exchanged contracts on our house sale. ¬†It was in the offing all last week, but nevertheless a considerable weight was lifted from our shoulders when our solicitor rang at 9.05 a.m. last Friday to give us the news.

We have another month before we complete, and you can never be sure of anything these days, but it is still some kind of a milestone and means we have a tiny bit more ammunition for the school admissions officials.

In the meantime, I’m trying to work out what to take with us to the in-laws, what to put into storage till we can move into the new place, and what to sneakily throw away while nobody is looking.

So far my latter pile is far too small. ¬†It doesn’t help that the kids are on school holiday, so I can’t get rid of their junk quite as easily as I’d hoped. The British Heart Foundation are coming to take away a big heap of furniture in a week’s time though. ¬†The trick will be to hack a way through the garage junk to make it possible for them to remove the relevant items.

Maybe once I have access to the dark depths of the ¬†garage I can stealthily donate a few more boxes to charity. I’m messy, but when I de-clutter I’m ruthless. ¬†I’m especially ruthless with other people’s possessions. ¬†Even more so when such items have been gathering dust in the garage for a good five years without being missed. ¬†I say this; loved one has a knack for spotting what’s gone, and very impressive look of outrageous indignation. ¬†I reckon he must have played those visual memory games a lot as a kid.

I had some boxes delivered for packing the items to take to the in-laws. The best ones of all are the wardrobe boxes – particularly fabulous for playing peekaboo with a one-year-old. The cardboard door will swing naturally shut, then suddenly swoosh open with a big ‘beebo’, a huge grin and lots of giggles.

OK, so moving house is stressful, but it’s also fun.

I’m off now to sneak some items into the charity box while loved one’s away. (Shhh, don’t tell.)

I couldn’t help but post a status update on Facebook when our offer was finally accepted (yes, the one I had already re-designed the kitchen¬†for). ¬†So it’s probably no longer a surprise to most of you. ¬†But I have to admit, even though it could all go horribly wrong, it is wonderful¬†to be out of property limbo at last.

It reminds me a little of when loved one proposed to me all those years ago. ¬†He likened it – after the hankies had been handed out – to pressing the ‘go’ button on the wedding plan. ¬†It all began, and didn’t stop till we were married.

And indeed, within an hour of the offer being accepted, I’d phoned the solicitor, emailed a couple of surveyors for quotes, ditto for the removal company, and by 9.30 this morning I’d arranged the mortgage application appointment and been contacted by all three schools within walking distance. ¬†My ear is hot from having a phone surgically attached to my ear and my back aching from being hunched over the laptop emailing non-stop.

Unfortunately, all the local schools are full for the years that middle and oldest ones will be coming into. ¬†We solved the rental issue, though. ¬†For the two months or so, loved one’s darling parents have kindly agreed to have us stay with them. This will save us a couple of thousand pounds. It also puts us in the correct local authority for schools, although unfortunately it won’t get us into the right catchment.

I reckon what will swing the schools will be the attitude of the council officer in charge of our case. If they understand and they are on our side, they will find a way to make it work for us.

If they don’t, well, I might find myself fumbling around the world of home education until a suitable solution is found. ¬†And, as was pointed out to me this morning, a couple of months’ break from the rigours of school life won’t ruin them.

To be honest, if we were trying to rent in a strange new place as well, the concept of home educating would just be too much, especialy when I have my own studies to consider. But anticipating the calming presence of my mother-in-law has made me feel it could be a possibility.

But only if absolutely necessary. Let’s hope the council come up trumps and magic me up a couple of school places.