Moving house

ch ch ch changes....

{apologies, I know; I have that song stuck in my head now too. Might need to watch Shrek again...} 

 Obviously theres a lot of work to be done around here, not huge great drastic changes all the time but work all the same,  to improve the house and land, and to make this home 'Ours'.  Its been a week of slow steady progress, and I thought I'd share some of them with you. 

The twenty foot too long, faded, 900 year old, cobweb covered, sitting room curtains have been replaced with made-to-measure checked curtains.  I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of these beauties. And yes if getting excited about curtains of your choosing means I'm old; I'm old.  

Painted the sitting room too - its a subtle change but it was important. 

The one on the right is bulk buy scruffy magnolia, the one on the LEFT, still wet at time of photo, is dead flat matte, grey based putty colour. Its mostly about the dead flat finish for me.  
I am indeed a Farrow and Ball paint fan, but upon hearing enough decorators don't think its worth the money, I went on a mission to find flat emulsion at a better price. More fool me. Following several home blogger recommendations of  Hemsley Paint, Homebase's own version of Farrow and Ball, I happily purchased a large tin. 
Don't do it people! It was truly awful - watery, patchy, and requiring three coats to cover cream. Three coats! Who has time for that? Two days later I have finished and do indeed love the colour, but funnily enough spent so much on four tins of cheaper paint that I could have easily had my farrow and ball and one to two coats...  I've lost all enthusiasm to paint the rest of the house for a while yet too! 

Still, sat on my sofa that night, it was lovely to look around and see it much more like our house... excuse the iPhone pictures, you get the idea... 

This table came home with me, via eBay {and one heck of a drive over some mountains} and became my side table for all my lotions and potions in my room. 

Funny, when I picked it up the lady said she just didnt have time to upcycle it. It took me about 45 minutes!

The biggest job I did this week, was the front gate. This proves to me I have so much to learn about outdoor working; a couple of hours maximum was my estimate. FOUR hours it took. Four hours and a bit actually. What did? Well, the new front gate was naked bright new wood. It hung on a new fence post that looked like half a tree trunk, and sat amongst old but still sturdy fencing, with peeling brown woodstain and rusty barbed wire. {classy, I know}  The 'small bit of fence by the gate' is actually quite a long bit, it was just hidden under many feet of very scratchy ten foot high hawthorn bushes, the bottom rail of the fence was unpaintable due to foot high grasses and nettles... so you begin to get an idea of what 'creosoting the front gate' actually involved.  

here is my before picture


You can't really see the extent of rusty wire and lichen on the fence.... but trust me. 
heres my afterwards 



(It took so long that the girls came and sat with me and kept me company, hence the camping chair!)  I think the black is super smart. We still have some work to do, but yep, its coming together nicely :) 




One way or another.



In the blur that was moving day, a day of waiting, rushing and waiting and rushing again, I didn't think to write much down. 

The removal men were both great and yet vaguely annoying (can I say that? Well I just did…) They were brilliant at the job, but not without the grumbling and huffing and puffing about heavy things, heavy boxes, so much stuff etc etc.. I guess it comes with the job really.  They packed everything. Everything. Things that I had put to one side, things that weren't actually coming with us, and they even packed the pet carrier…. before the chickens could be put in it! (Chickens travelled in my pick up in a good old  cardboard box, they were fine, but the pet carrier is still brand new and unused hahaha…) 

They really did make me laugh tho, and I am grateful for their humour, even if it wasn't quite on the same level as mine.  I recall all of them stood open mouthed at me and one of my dearest friends who were stood sobbing, clutching each other, on the driveway as we said goodbye.  You’d think goodbyes were something they see everyday, but apparently not! 


In my car - the fun car ;) - was the youngest, the dog, the chickens, the iMac, the saddles and a billion little things I didn't realise I hadn't packed until the last minute. It was a very full car indeed. The playlist was mostly 80s and 90s old school - essential singing along stuff - and the sat nav was switched on. I’d agreed to follow my sat nav and not try to keep up with the husband. Follow it, he said, do not deviate. Got it. 


Sat navs, as you may know, are a law unto themselves. It began badly when it insisted I left the real road and head off down a single track road via a pretty favourite walk of mine. Whilst it was lovely to see this particular area before `I left, it was definitely NOT the usual way to Wales. Still, perhaps it knew something I did not, so fretting somewhat I followed my directions from the politest slightly snooty sat nav lady. Saw parts of Hampshire I had never ever seen, but hey, eventually we reached a real main road and I began to breath again. 


A handful of telephone check ins with the husband now and again to reassure me I was heading towards Wales and finally, after a lot of old school songs, Starbucks, such long dull motorways  and touches of road rage, we saw the big blue span of the bridge across to Wales. Hurrah!
but the sat nav had other ideas and suggested we turn left before the bridge got any closer.  Turn left…. Or head to the bridge I can just about see? Remembering I promised to follow the sat nav I turned left at the last minute……. And the bridge vanished from sight. Wait, what? Where was my bridge? Just as Daisy and I were freaking out about it, ta-da! the bridge came into view.  Carefully picking the right lane to pay the toll, and there we were on the blue bridge to Wales. Except, this bridge was white. And little.  Looking to the left I could see the blue bridge in the distance.   Brilliant; my sat nav had taken me across the old bridge, absolutely nowhere near the route I knew.  Probably not a good time to check in with the husband who was incredulous I could miss a main bridge like that. 



We did get here, we beat everyone else too, and got to collect the keys and be the first through the doors.  Which makes up a little for the fact me completely missing the big bridge is going to be one of those stories everyone in my family tells…




Making a list, checking it twice, losing it, making it again...

I am a list person. 
Not a very organised list person, but a list person none the less. 
Moving house creates some serious lists.  We have had the what kind of house would we want list stage, the what should we sort out before we chose an area lists, the shortlist of houses list, the what do we need at that house list, the schools list, the have you rung ... list, the what to pack list, and here we are at the frantic list stage.
Its no longer well thought out typed neat lists, oh no, now its random, erratic thoughts hurriedly scribbled on any old piece of paper.
"Defrost fridge!' and 'Pack bin bags!' shout at me from a post it note, theres a what to remember to pack in the car not the lorry list pinned to the fridge and theres a piece of paper just proclaiming 'Chickens!!!' on my desk.  (Luckily all my lists are aimed at myself, and I know that 'Chickens!!!' is an abbreviated way of reminding myself to clean out and hose down the chicken run before the removal men arrive) 

I am looking forward to throwing all these lists out. Cannot wait for that point where it is all done and too late to do anymore. Get in the car, shut the door and the only list is the list of directions the sat nav shouts on the way. I'm so tired of the 'almost time to move'. Just want to BE moved now.  T-minus 2 days!!

Excitement, worry and procrastination

If you could see my train of thought - terrible idea, my head is no doubt messier than my current house, but anyway - if you could, it would flip randomly from 
Oh my goodness can't wait, so exciting
how am I going to get all this stuff there!...
Its so perfect, Its amazing! we are so lucky!
will never be ready! have I packed the *insert random item  yet? where did I put...

And, incase you are wondering what you do when faced with quite a bit of pressure and an awful lot to achieve....

I create art. digitally.

Nothing like a head in the sand approach to the last few days of packing a house, right? 


{'painting' from a photo, created with a lot of work with PS filters, faffing with Nik filters, and some designer digitals details}


Haven't really got my head in the sand, its just that weird stage of 95% is already packed and its too soon to pack the rest/defrost the fridge/etc. From busy days where we are rushing about, packing, getting fetching, tidying and arranging things my mind doesn't really fancy just stopping and going to sleep, so I get to do soothing arty things on my beloved iMac in order to calm down. 


how do you pack...?

Help! how do you pack the last things? This will be my 14th house move. I know, you'd think by now I could pack up house in my sleep, right? To be fair I can pretty much. I know how to pack, what to pack - and how to unpack to reduce bedlam at the other end. What I am rubbish at is the packing of essentials. If I pack the kitchen up, I leave out 'just these few things' incase I need them. Only... how likely am I to need all my baking stuff in the week before we move? I don't have time to sit down never mind bake! Yet, ever the optimist, I leave out cake tins and scales, just  incase... I should also confess I left out my paints 'just incase' I had time to create something new. hahaha.....
I do not unplug my computer until the hours before we leave, and I have no idea how to begin packing the larder incase I need those ingredients for cooking something.... 

The husband is even worse, he refuses to acknowledge the move and the need to pack until oh, about 36 hours beforehand. So his man cave of musical instruments and business computer is untouched by boxes or packing tape.  I can't even look in there without breaking out into a cold sweat.

Make a box of essentials, they say, to take with you. Okay, but just the one box? I have essentials - kitchen, essentials - household, essentials - pet, and essentials -bathroom.  I essentially have a problem narrowing it all down. Maybe I need to stop thinking leave this out just incase, and start thinking pack it IN a case!!  T-minus 6 days. Excited. slightly panicky.