Friday, July 26, 2013

Settling In and Austerity Measures

Before you ask: no, the curtains still aren't up.  Both Ponita and LX have kindly offered to help put up curtain poles. I'm still waiting for them to turn up. Given they are both far more practical than I, their help would be more than appreciated. But I tell myself, I have 2 degrees, all I have to do is follow the instructions and take my time. I can do this.

It's getting to the point where I begin to wonder whether it's safe to write a To Do List again. After writing one at the beginning of June, I didn't dare write anymore because it scared me so badly.

*deep breath*

I am in now. That's all that matters. It's a bit messy still. I've got bags and DIY bits everywhere. It gets tidy and then there's another job to do and it gets messy. And then, I want to eat, Boy wants to shower and it's messy with life and DIY. I'll get it done. It's getting in the way, because in the midst of this, I am aware that the move was part of  a Plan. Now that's been implemented it's time to kick off the rest of it. I'm not sure I'm ready for the rest of it with all these little, niggly jobs waiting, accusing me.

Of course my back has thrown a wobbly. Then I realised, with the current layout of my front room, I am pushed for floor space for my exercise DVDs. If I'm canny, I'll be able to manage the Davina workouts, but the Yogalates for my back is going to be a little more interesting. If I am to get back to Davina, my back must improve first. It's got the potential to be a vicious circle. Yes, I could do classes and drop in sessions in the city. But they cost money I don't have right now. I'll find a way to make it work.

Speaking of costing money. I'm on a massive spending cut. I've been shaving money off my day to day bills. In the most part, I've been successful. But now the bills for getting the flat ready for us and the house ready for tenants are trickling in. Money is like time in that the time I thought it would take to get everything ready...I had to multiply that by 2.5. I don't know how I could have done it by spending less. 

It doesn't matter. I'm in now. I have the money now. When I pay for everything, I won't have much in reserve. But at least I will have some reserve. Moving in here was definitely the right thing to do financially. The flat is much, much cheaper to run than the house. One of the things I will do in September is prepare a budget. I will wait till then, to get all the interim bills out of the way. I promised myself a pamper - get hair, nails and a facial. I will have the final part of that done next week.

I am learning to implement austerity measures. It occurs to me that I am a very, very lucky woman. I have a great foundation here. Yes, I've got the moving bills to pay, but I know if I am canny, I can still have a pretty good time, for not a lot of money. I think I am doing pretty well so far. It will be interesting to see how much more I can do. 

There are a couple of things I know are still left to purchase: Boy's bedroom curtains and rails, a new pair of jeans to replace the ones which are currently covered in paint. But apart from that, there isn't really anything I really need. Buying food and other things, I have made fast friends with Sainsbury's Basics range and I don't buy much meat any more. With more canny thinking, I am sure there are further savings to be made.

Right, I'm going to crack on. The plan is to get these jobs jobbed (as we say in Norfolk) and then work on stirring up some inspiration so I have something to write!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Another collection of random thoughts for your amusement and edification:
  • I am actually smokin' hot at the moment. I'm unpacked and settled in!
  • My bookcases are now more-or-less organised. Not that the organisation will mean anything to anyone else, because we really needed another 3 to make everything fit
  • I had a really good day at work yesterday, felt good to start the week off well
  • I have spent more time on the telephone listening to hold music as I have tried to get through to everyone who needs to know I've moved
  • Saving money on a day-to-day basis requires time and craftiness. It's too easy to ignore things or go for the less tedious option
  • Boy is currently all loved up with new GF. Consequently, our food bill has plummeted. I miss him though. Given he's off in September, I'd better get used to it
  • I am tired of companies sending me free recycling. I've been cackling evilly, sending back all their marketing bumpf in their freepost envelopes with - NOT INTERESTED TAKE ME OFF YOUR MAILING LIST scrawled across it
  • I like the hot weather. I've been waiting for it all year. I am happy
  • The Cat is content here. She likes sitting and watching people go by outside
  • Pedestrians seem to take an extra dose of Stupid in the hot weather - they wander aimlessly around - slowly
  • Cyclists seem to take an extra dose of Stupid and cycle in sandals and floaty skirts One hopes their bicycle chain does not eat toes or fabric
  • My admin basket, normally not seen because of all the paperwork overflowing, is now empty. Yes, you read that right. My admin is up to date
  • I was hoping to do some writing work today, instead I've been on the phone and sorting out my admin. I'm hoping I will get to it soon. I need it
  • I still have no curtains, I may well rectify that today, but don't put any money on it
  • My bedroom is now officially called The Bat Cave. I loves it so much! It's so cosy
  • I'm enjoying being here far more than I thought I would. I love the fact the Flat is so much smaller and compact, it's the perfect size for me and The Cat
  • The hallway is next on the Decorating To Do List, after the other miscellaneous jobs have completed (tiling, curtain hanging etc)
  • Apparently, it's going to throw it down with rain in a bit. Excellent. We really need a good rain
  • I am content.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Getting Sorted!

It has been a busy week. I've been in the office and then bringing the last bits over from the house and getting that ready for the tenants to move in. Then there has been the many hours spent on hold trying to get to talk to an actual person to tell The Powers that Be, I have moved. 

And then there were the boxes and bags of Stuff. I was as strategic as I could be getting it all unpacked and placed, only to move them once again because I needed that particular bit of floorspace to put something else there for the time being.

Happily, the kitchen, bathroom, front room and my bedroom are now all unpacked. No, you can't tell at the moment, because there are boxes piled up in the front room waiting to go to the charity shop tomorrow morning. It's quite frustrating.

At the house, when I wanted to get rid of Stuff I thought other people might like, I put it in boxes outside. It worked very well. I must have put about 8 boxes-worth of Stuff and the only things I couldn't get rid of were a saucer and 3 plastic curtain rails. Everything else went. At the Flat, I tried to do the same and in the end, after a couple of days I moved the boxes from outside the Flat to the house and within minutes they were gone. People were terribly polite. They banged on the door and asked if they could take the Stuff. I begged them to.

And still, there is more Stuff! 

Boy is going to hate me today. I am going to make him sort out his room. I had a quick look in there and honestly, there's no way we're going to get a bed in there at the moment. And he can't keep kipping on my front room floor.

I did keep the promise I made to myself: I now have good hair, sparkly green nails and two eyebrows.
Yeah, I am a bit tired!
This week will be more sorting and then some domestic stuff. I no longer have the room for a floordrobe, so will have to empty my laundry basket as soon as possible. The hallway is next on the list for decorating. It should be the most straightforward room to do, especially as it's partly been done.

The bathroom is a tale of woe, woe and thrice woe. We ripped up the floorboards because it was rotting in a corner. We dried it all out and merrily used the bath and sink to clean all the painting stuff. The wrong type of cleanser was used to clean the bath, with the result that it's surface has been stripped completely and it's badly stained (not helped by washing brushes there either). We've got a re-enamelling kit ready to go. But the real problem is the loo. It turns out it's leaking. A slow pesky leak. I tried catching the drips, but the container remains empty and the floor remains damp.

It turns out that the waste pipe is asbestos. The plumber was all for sealing it and leaving it well enough alone. I agreed. Until I cleaned the cistern and there underneath all the grime was a ruddy great crack! I might be postponing my dream of a dishwasher and eating beans on toast for months, but I am going to have a new loo and basin, even if it bankrupts me. With the leak, we can't put down new flooring, it would be a waste of time and money! So, it will be done. I just want a white, modern, dual flush loo and small basin. Nothing spectacular. The money will go on the removal and disposal of the damned asbestos pipe. *mutter mutter mutter*.

In the meantime, I am beginning to feel more myself again. It feels strange not having the weight of the move and the DIY on top of me. Like something is missing. I know that must now be filled with the reason why I needed to move in the first place: I must write! I know I need a bit of a break, get the flat fully sorted, but I also know: I can't spend any time procrastinating. There are stories to be told!

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Week, New Home

It's early and I'm drinking my first cup of coffee, wearing my Pink Fluffy Dressing Gown for the first time in my new/old home.

My brain cells aren't all firing at the moment and it's only partly due to caffeine deprivation, so here's a bullet list of what's been going on...

  • When we wanted to move the bulk of my furniture on Saturday, it was the hottest day of the year. Sunday was less so, but more humid
  • My liking good, solid furniture is not an advantage when moving
  • I had to lower my expectations as far as the decorating goes. The only room that is finished is Boy's. Adequate is the only term that covers it
  • I'm glad I didn't decorate the hall now
  • Even giving away a third of my books, my book shelves are still double stacked
  • I daren't write my To Do List for the flat, there's so much to be done still
  • The house isn't even empty yet, there are still odds and ends to come over. I've assigned that task to Boy
  • OMG! I never realised I was such a slattern. I was full-on horrified when the sofas were take out and I saw the rubbish underneath them...and we won't even talk about the washing machine
  • Dave is still talking to me. As is Boy. I am grateful
  • I only had one total meltdown on Saturday and a part of a meltdown on Sunday
  • I can't get my head around new curtains and neither can the menfolk. We wondered around arguing about them until the shop shut Sunday afternoon. I will be taking an executive decision
  • Decorating is not my forte
  • Neither is being The Brawn in moving day. My friends did the heavy lifting with good humour and bad language. I stood around being fairly useless to them. I did organise like a demon. And clean too
  • In the future, I will only move under two circumstances: 1. I am carried out feet first or 2. Removal company. I will not be moving myself again unless I'm running away to join the French Foreign Legion, in which case, I'll just lock the door behind me
  • The Cat is far less traumatised than I am. She's figured out the new kitty litter arrangement and is curled up on my desk purring as I type
  • I have got an incredibly busy week ahead at work and I really wish I could have another week off. This incredibly busy week, will be followed by many, many more...for which my Bank Manager will be grateful as I've been getting dirty looks recently
  • I really must get going now....
Happy Monday darlings! Hope it's good whatever you're doing, wherever you are. xx

Sunday, July 07, 2013

...And Counting

This is going to be a blog post in bullets and in no particular order. I don't think I have it in me to construct a coherent sentence, but I'm desperate to write something.

  • This is the last weekend in this house and I've hardly been here. It's very weird. Boy disappeared off to London and in a way, it feels like he's already left home.
  • I spent 2 hours looking at curtains for the flat. I came out of the shop with 2 plastic boxes and 2 lunch containers.
  • The exercise has worked! On Friday evening, Dave took me for a bike ride. It was the route that previously took me hours...I did it in 40 minutes and when we stopped, it was to look around. I think I surprised him somewhat.
  • My butt still hurts from the bike ride. 
  • I am really rubbish at DIY. Tomorrow, it will be the third time I try and get the kitchen right.
  • I have way too much shit in my house. Why do I have so many knick knacks? And stones. What is it about stones?
  • The flat is beginning to feel like home again. Even if it is filled with DIY detritus and has nothing of mine in it yet.
  • My neighbours are pleased to see me move back. It's really touching how they have all come up to me in the last few weeks to have a chat, to welcome me back.
  • When I first rocked back to the flat, I was shocked and appalled how badly maintained the outside was and spent half a day cleaning and clearing up the communal area. A couple of weeks later the family downstairs cleared out the patch of ground behind them.
  • The Cat knows something is up and is stressing. I'm concerned how she'll cope with the upheaval. Heck. I'm concerned with how I'm going to cope with the upheaval.
  • I'm putting the stuff I don't want outside the house, so people can help themselves. I don't have the time to spend cataloguing and flogging the stuff on-line. Also, if someone needs it and can use it, why not?
  • Acrylic nails are brilliant. I'm on my third set and they are lasting so well and it's lovely having good nails, even if they are covered in paint.
  • In the next 5 days, we will have finished the renovations on the flat and moved. 
  • If the previous statement doesn't show the power of positive thinking, I don't know what will.
  • Realistically, I'm going to move and then have about a month's worth of niggling tasks to finish off. 
  • I worry that the month's worth of tasks will remain unfinished for years.
  • I am desperate to get back to writing and working. It feels like my Life and Plans for World Domination have been on hold for the last 3 months. Not to mention the money that has been leaking from my bank account.
  • My hayfever is appalling at the moment. My eyes itch and stream. Ugh.
  • I beat sinusitis last week. I'm so chuffed. Though I definitely can't recommend anyone else snort Tea Tree Oil. I think I broke every aromatherapy rule with that one. But I'm still here and I'm not coughing up the greenies anymore.
  • The most difficult part of moving will be my study. My Goddess do I have a lot of crap in here and no, I mustn't lose anything. And that's not even talking about half of the books!
  • I have this week off. Next week, it'll be all Go Go Go! at work and then I will spend money I don't have to colour and cut my hair, get some eyebrows and have a facial.
  • All this exercise malarky has given me ideas above my station. I'm now thinking of taking up running and martial arts.
  • I am genuinely shocked Dave still wants to be with me after the last 3 months. I've leaned on him heavily and I know I've driven him nuts and he's got his own stuff to deal with. I think he's nuts. A sane man would have been running for the hills right about now. Instead, he spends his time contemplating my kitchen and how we are going to tile it.
  • I'm not going to worry about healthy eating this week. If I remember to eat at all, it's going to be a miracle.
  • I am now just a little bit excited about moving and the next part of my Life.