So, Saturday was moving day. Well, for the other half as he starts his new job Monday, and temporarily for me as I have to return to my job in Southampton until I secure work in the country (currently not going as well as I’d hoped).
Anyway, the day before the big move the van (which we spent a lot of money on getting back on the road) decided to start setting off alarms and flashing oil lights at us. Brilliant. Luckily after a bit of online research, it turned out the van might not be about to blow up after all, and it could just be a faulty bulb #phew. So, we risked it for a chocolate biscuit, and the other half in the van and me in the car with the dogs in convoy, loaded with our lives, made the 2.5hr journey to Devon.
I arrived first and went to get the dogs out of the boot, so they could have a wee and a sniff in their new surroundings. I was concerned they might both jump straight out and go tearing off up the field, so cautiously opened the boot and somehow in the process the boot flipped up faster than I thought, knocking me straight on the forehead. Cue lots of cursing and blood running down my head. After I patched myself up, now sporting a lovely cut/bump on my swede, we began the arduous task of unpacking everything. The dogs started charging about the place enjoying their new found freedom of a 3 bedroom spacious cottage, compared to our 3 room/one bedroom flat. They didn’t know what to do with themselves!
We then went to pick up some second hand furniture locally and were told that today Tiverton turns on its Christmas lights that evening which is accompanied by a carnival float through the town. Lovely. Apart from the fact they close off half the roads and you can’t get anywhere. So later, when I return to get some food it’s chaos and I spend 45 minutes driving in circles, not knowing where I’m going. Finally after some advice from a local resident I stumbled across a McDonalds. Not the ideal first meal in our new country cottage, but after a long day it certainly did the trick!
By the time I got back, the other half had set up the wood burner and we celebrated with a cup of Coca Cola each and Radio 2 on the DAB. Bliss. An early night with the electric blanket and the dogs at the foot of the bed, ended a very busy and tiring day.
The next morning we were up early to receive our delivery of a fridge, cooker and microwave, almost civilised! I took the dogs for a fresh morning walk and met the local farmers wife who is lovely and welcomed us to the area. I also met some of their organic dairy herd, what a couple of beauties! Up in the field looking back at the house I felt very lucky, you can see our yellow van parked up if you look closely!
When I got back to the house I embarked upon some full on cleaning. It’s not my favourite thing to do, and the size of the dead spiders in the bath were enough to curl your toes! And when I pulled back one of the doors to hoover behind it, it was like a spindly spider party on the wall! They didn’t last long with my new Hoover though, sorry guys, there was no way I was taking each one of them out in a glass and releasing them into the wild. And I’m pretty sure their friends will be back to visit us soon! I also realised that when unpacking the cutlery that the kitchen, which has an abundance of cupboards, does not have one single drawer! Where do country folk put their teaspoons?!
We then decided it was best to get some sofas, as there is currently no seating in the house. Unfortunately this was scuppered by the clutch in the van making a clunking noise and subsequently breaking. So the other half’s only form of transport is currently off-road until we see whether it’s worth the money to fix. And it was all going so well!
Onwards and upwards though, we still had lots to do, so we visited a nice little antique furniture shop in the town. It’s set up like someone’s house with an eclectic range of furniture and paintings. Some were way over budget but some lovely cheaper pieces, including a very old looking tin tool box we picked up for just £10! I loved the look of it and we’ll probably store our wood for the fire in. Bargain. Hopefully visit the shop again to pick up some more bits when we have more time.
It was Sunday after all, everything closes at 4pm and we still needed to get some bits from the hardware store and then fill up our new fridge with yummy things!
Back at the house as it was getting dark, we grabbed some dinner (microwaveable, as the oven hasn’t been wired in yet!) and sat down to mull over how far we’ve come in just a couple of days. Even though it’s not quite perfect yet and there’s lots to do, I can really see it coming together and becoming a beautiful home. And that’s worth all the bumps to the head and broken clutches in the world.
Shortly I’ll have to say goodbye to the other half and Woody the dog (I’m taking Billy the dog with me to keep me company), but only until the middle of next week and that will hopefully fly by. Until then, I’ll be returning to the city and making the most of accessible 24hr supermarkets and roads which are tarmac-ed and signposted!