Saturday, April 25, 2009

Writing the To Do List

Now I'm the owner of a house, I have far more space. Unfortunately, I am coming to realise that I also have far more things that need attention. I knew it would be like this, but I didn't know it would be like this, if you know what I mean.

Before in the flat, there was the dishes, the laundry and that's about pretty much all the things that I really HAD to do. Now I've moved, of course there are still people I need to inform, I've also had to sort some niggly things, like the upstairs loo and the leaking shower. I have a garden and a pond. With the hot weather, half the damn pond has disappeared and I'm buggered if I can be arsed to fill the damn thing up with a bucket, which means I have to bite the bullet and get a hose. I also need to find a handyman to deal with the bits and pieces left behind by the previous owners, random stairgate cups on doorways, a hole in the ceiling in the downstairs bathroom, weird shelving and so the list continues.

Not to mention the fact that I still haven't unpacked my study yet and I've got hell and all shit that really needs to go up in the loft. Or the baskets for paperwork which are still sat by my front door. Or the piles stashed under the stairs. It didn't seem like a lot left to do when I moved. Sitting here looking at the crap, I'm begining to wonder.

I have a new bed on the way and new bedroom furniture. How exciting is this? I've opted for a kingsize iron bed, it's very girlie. I'm so excited. The mattress is fantastic, it's soft and supportive, when I lay on it in the showroom, it was like being hugged. The wardrobe is a bit of overkill, in that it's a triple with lots of hanging rails and shelves and I'm getting a matching chest of drawers, a blanket box and the bedside tables. I suspect I'll lose a lot of space in my bedroom to the imposing furniture, but the theory is with the adequate storage space, I can keep it tidy. Hah!

I'm currently sitting here with 3 lists in front of me: Need To Do, Ought To Do, Nice To Do. All blank at the minute. I really ought to get round to filling them in. Unfortunately, I've just remembered I've an appointment for a waxing in 45 mins time. Damn. I'll just have to go into town instead.

I think I'm really getting the hang of this procrastination lark.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What Plan?

It's funny really. I know exactly what to do in a crisis, I can problem solve for other people in a heartbeat, I can get on the phone and give Richard Branson shit for not sorting out my wretched box, or blast a solicitor for giving me 24 hours notice to transfer money across into their holding account. I'm just not very sure what to do when things are turning out well.

Life is so much easier, if you've got a Plan that goes tits up, or even occaisionally a Plan that goes right (though I've not had much experience of that one). I'm now sitting here with a vague sense of unease that something is about to go completely pear-shaped and I should be addressing it immediately. But I just can't figure out why. Yes, I'm procrastinating shouting at the tax people and I still haven't looked for my metres or sorted out my TV License...but these are balls which I know are sitting at my feet.

I suspect I'm just not used to things working out well for me. My job is going well. I met a friend who I haven't seen in years and we were talking about work and study and my house move and she laughed and said 'ah you're a grown-up now'. And I realised she's right. These are grown-up decisions I've been making. I want a stable and comfortable home for Boy, the Cat and me. I want regular employment, I want a car that gets me from A to B in a reliable, but fun way. In the last 6 months I have come to value paying bills on time, buying food without thinking 'how much?'. There is much to be said for going shopping without the guilt for the Indulgencies. I am getting used to this.

Does this mean I'm becoming 'normal'? This is slightly worrying for me. I mean I'm paying a mortgage, living in a semi, driving a BMW, earning an honest living. Am I turning into someone I never wanted to be? Am I turning into a suburban, net-curtain twitching, repressed woman?

Dunno. Only time will tell. Perhaps this blog will soon be filled with the mis-adventures of shopping in John Lewis? I hope not.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I'm sat here trying to come up with the right words to describe how I feel at the moment.

The last three days have been whizzed past, and by some miracle, there are only 6 boxes left to unpack. Bearing in mind that my books alone were 30 boxes, not to mention many tens of boxes of my crap. But as I look about our new house, filled with our stuff, it feels like home. So much so, I am waiting for someone to leap out and say 'fooled you, it's not yours - you didn't really think you could live here?'

Don't get me wrong, there is still loads to sort out. We might have unpacked, but we're still figuring out the best place to put things. Last night, when Boy cleared off with his mates, I wondered around with a feeling of such bliss, such ease. This feels so right, it's almost scary. This was love at first sight, and I was afraid to trust it, afraid to hope that this could be mine, now I'm here, I just feel incredibly lucky; and thankful.

I have much to be thankful for. Life may not have been easy and things don't go smoothly, but I am thankful for my friends who love me for myself and are open and generous with their time and affection; I am thankful to my Boy, who might be a teenager, but is still truly wonderful and I still think there is sunshine in his bony, little backside; I am thankful for our new home, may we have many happy years here.

I would also like to thank Richard Branson. All of you know how he has brought me despair in the past, from the moment I pick up the phone and wade my way through his telephone labyrinth, I want to consume my body weight in valium. But today, I have to take it all back. Even he came through for me. Tuesday morning, I was on the futon, trying to stay out of the movers way, making as many of the 'we're moving' calls. I gritted my teeth, rang Virgin, got a very nice guy who happily organised a package upgrade, as well as the house move. He told me the engineer would be out between 13:00 and 18:00 hours today. I wrote off my afternoon.

Early afternoon, I was playing with my new washing machine and dryer; the phone rang, it was the engineer, letting me know he'd be with me at 13.30. At 13.15, he knocked on my door. By 14.30, he set me up with a ridiculously fast internet, new tv box and switched on my phone. I did another load of laundry, slapped some gloss on and went to chat up up my favourite BMW salesman (of course he needs to change my address, so all of the fabulous brochures know where to find me).

I am beginning to feel more like myself again, I didn't realise how tightly I was holding it all together. It feels like I'm letting the tension go, one vertebra at a time. For the first time in weeks, I painted my toe nails - hot, sparkly pink. Tomorrow, I go for a massage and a facial.

Life isn't too bad at all, really.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Moving Day

Times, they are a changin'.

After I wrote the last blog post and worked over yet another weekend, pulled some more late nights and started at the crack of sparrowfart...the thought of moving filled me with even more dread, horror and exhaustion than I could cope with. I was Rabbit in the Headlights.

The Director, during one of the many phone calls exchanged, heard this and made a suggestion 'why don't you hire a removal company, if you're not going to decorate?'

It was as if I could suddenly breathe again. The tightness disappeared round my chest, my shoulders dropped from round my ears. Not having to worry about packing...wonderful.

The house sale went through no problem on Wednesday and I'm now the proud owner of a fabulous semi-detached, 3 bedroomed house, complete with garden, driveway and a pond. On Thursday, I huffed Boy out of bed so we could wait for the Bastard Plumber to boot up my gas and water. While I waited I rang a removals company, I intended to do the best of three. A cheerful bloke on the other end said 'I'm just drinking a cup of tea, I'm not in a suit or anything, but I can be with you in 10 mins to give you a quote.' And he was, 10 mins later wandering around, saying hi to the Cat, gave me a quote and arranged to have a guy round later to pack up my bookshelves (3 full-length, double stacked, plus a small one).

Tomorrow, they move us.

Today, Boy and I will be pottering about getting ready. Although, they will pack clothes etc. I'm thinking I don't want them handling my pants or porn. Also, they'll move us over 2 days, so we'll have to get the stuff we'll need for the next few days. Thursday, the new fridge/freezer, washing machine and tumble drier get delivered. I'm not getting a dishwasher, as much as I want one, there simply is no room.

Sometime tomorrow, in between moving boxes, making tea and being stressed, I will also have to work up the courage to talk to Virgin Media and get them to set me up in the new house. If I can achieve this without losing my temper, or several strands of hair, I will be very pleased with myself. Unfortunately, it'll probably mean at least a couple of weeks without internet at home.

It's not all doom and gloom though. I finished work at 7pm Thursday, came home nodded to Boy, cracked open a bottle of cider and headed to bed at 8.30, I didn't remove myself from there until 10am the next day. I made a start in catching up with people I haven't seen or been sociable with for ages, which unfortunately, is a very long list and I'm not going to be able to get round to everyone. So if I haven't rung, texted, e-mailed, it's not that I don't love you...promise. I've also been catching up on my sleep, the dark circles are nearly gone, but my energy levels haven't caught up yet. I still feel very knackered.

I can only do, what I can do. It really is as simple as that. I wish I had boundless energy that my friends have; their ability to do loads of things at any one time and still have a Life. I don't. And it's a constant source of frustration and angst for me. But that's the way it is and beating myself up about it, isn't making it any better.

I'm just going to keep taking small steps with the hope and faith that I really am going in the right direction.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Moving on Up

It's been a fraught couple of weeks. A task that I'd been given months ago, and have been successfully avoiding, became due, added to which was writing website content for the shiny new website which needs to go live in the next few days. In order not to let my bosses down, this is the second weekend in a row which I've worked. Which is fine, except I haven't written anything serious since my dissertation, I know sweet FA about the technical side of heat pumps and their associated technology and it has taken me ages to get back into the swing of things again.

Don't get me wrong, it's been good writing again. And I know when this is all done I will get a bollocking for not doing the damned case studies - rightly so. Working for a living is a lot different than being a grubby writing student, that's for sure. But I continue to make the adjustment; and as long as they understand I'm willing, I'll hopefully still have the opportunity.

Everything's changing and at times I really do struggle with it. Even the good stuff.

We exchanged contracts last Friday and will complete on Wednesday. In my head, I thought I'd take it leisurely. Get in a decorator, get it nice before moving in, move in about 4 weeks time. Now the time is here and I've peered in through the windows like an orphan in a Dickens story, I'm thinking 'fuck it'. I want in now. Thanks to Gee, I found a local furniture place that will build exactly the type of bedroom furniture I want and at a very reasonable cost.

Of course the problem is, I haven't packed anything yet. Nada. Zip. Nowt. I have no boxes. I haven't even started to even prepare my To Do List. I freeze every time I think about it. The good thing is there's the long weekend, which hopefully will mean I won't have to take time off for the move. Unfortunately, as it's a long weekend, organising things like the delivery of fridges etc is going to be awkward. I haven't got a clue where to start. I'm doing the Rabbit in the Headlights impression.

Therefore, I am going to do what all procrastinators do when confronted with a task - I'm going to go have coffee and breakfast in a cafe.

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