Tired, Stretched but Not Scratchy

18 06 2012


The final days of moving from the angel wrapped house were quite something.

We camped out on Wednesday and Thursday night on the bedroom floor as Kirt inherited our lovely iron framed bed, TV and any other stig of the dump things he could find room for!

We had a couple of hairy solicitor moments (not that the solicitor was hirsute you understand, more that the legal stuff was getting us a bit on edge). Firstly, as a second time rounder in the marriage department (remember the saying, first the worst, second the best oh and third the old mans hairy chest! Actually Alistairs chest is quite hairy so hopefully I can merge second and third together), my signatures didn’t match on the documents I had sent over for exchange. Where to put my hands on my marriage certificate and passport immediately when most of my possessions were boxed and already in Gladys. Amazingly, and by fluke rather than organisation ,I had both of them to hand and we were able to scan and email them directly thus averting a small emotional tsunami in the now almost empty front room.

Second hairy moment; I received an email at 5pm Thursday evening from non hirsute solicitor saying that the final settlement figure from the Royal Bank of Scotland was still not in and without it the money could not be released. YIKES . Called RBS and was told that they were waiting to hear from the personal account department and that the information would take 24 hours to be collated and sent to the appropriate department for clearing. My response” I DON”T THINK SO” of course executed in a manner according to all stress management and communication skills known to man and the world renowned Centre for Stress Management!

Back on the phone at 0830 Friday 15th June, having been up since 5am packing the final bits and bobs (by the way I am sure there is actually a bits and bobs monster that continually generates bits and bobs whilst your back is turned) and starting to clean the place for Mr and Mrs O. After a 30 minute conversation with the young advisor she advised me that the personal accounts department had received the request and that they would be dealing with it but it couldn’t be guaranteed that it would be done before lunchtime as there were other people’s requests ahead of mine. Obviously the young advisor was also using her communication skills techniques and for those in the know was using the thoroughly annoying ‘broken record technique’: “I do hear what you are saying Mrs Rhind but there is nothing that can be done, I do hear what you are saying Mrs Rhind but there is nothing more I can do , I do hear what you are saying Mrs Rhind and I am sorry that we are out of time on this but this is nothing more that we can do”, you get the picture. Final piece of advice from advisor, would I like to speak to the complaints team so they can action an investigation. NO I want to speak to the  manager of the Personal Accounts Department to get my account to the top of the pile!!!

Through to the complaints department.

Finally, somebody who didn’t use the broken record technique, who listened and created a solution and went out of her way to make sure that everything that could be done would be done and, I didn’t even have to resort to my final girl power technique….crying hysterically and giving this whole cancer curve ball and selling up and leaving my home and blah blah blah story. Lucky for Christine in complaints!

10am Christine from complaints called to say the team were working on it and it would be faxed as soon as possible, as near to 12 as they could, Hurrah for Christine in complaints.

11am, non hirsute solicitor called to say they had the final settlement figure and everything was being processed and actioned.

So, it was finally all good to go. And go we did.

Alistair and a very hung over Kirt, after delivering a car full of boxes (the bits and bobs monster has been at large and increased the tally of archive boxes somewhat) to an extremely kind and accommodating  Pagan, headed up on the Harley to Bicester to fetch Gladys back complete with new trailer for the Harley.

Meanwhile I continued to battle the bits and bobs monster, cleaned, remembered I had forgotten to empty the contents of the fridge freezer ( I loved that fridge freezer), dried the last bit of laundry (launderettes from now on for us unless any family members don’t mind our smalls and stuff coming to visit their washing machine when we visit them), took more stuff to an even more accommodating Pagan and went to the dump with the bits that nobody wanted and couldn’t be recycled.

12pm  non hirsute lady phoned, YIKES… money transferred, keys to be exchanged… property to be vacated by 1pm!!!!!! Sometimes I wonder at my own ability to manage. There were still kitchen cupboards to clean, floors to mop, rooms to be hoovered, the lean-to to be swept and more bloody bits and bobs to do something with.  And it was whilst I was cleaning up the raw cocoa powder that had spilt sometime ago in the corner cupboard of the kitchen that it finally all caught up with me, you know those wails from the depths of your belly, that start with a deep breath in and a couple of short breaths out and then……waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So I wailed (whilst still cleaning the corner cupboard, I was up against the clock here) and thanked the house and the old lady whose spirit I am sure had looked after us, and said my goodbyes to each and every part of the most adored and treasured home that I had ever lived in in my whole entire life, ever.

1.40pm Done, completely frazzled, bright red and with slight palpitations I found sanctuary and a cup of Three ginger tea at an ever more accommodating Pagans house. Pippin arrived home shortly after (remember she moved in with Pagan and Al a few weeks back) slightly less enamoured with the accumulation of bits and bobs being stored in boxes in the hallway but very impressed with the hoover that she had inherited from us. After testing out the hoover she, Pagan and I sat and whiled away the afternoon waiting for news of Gladys’ progress from Bicester to her new destination in Essex. Oh, I also used the equity that had just landed into my account to pay for Gladys and then spent some wonderful time deleting some rather heavy direct debits from my bank account, you know, mortgage, council tax, gas and electric, telephone rental, Phew what a relief!

640pm: Kirt and Alistair’s ETA was half an hour from the camp site where were staying (no, not Dale Farm), so Pipps and I braced ourselves and made our way over, both of our little C1’s filled to the brim, ready for the final part of the days activities, namely, unpacking, finding the ropes (still not a barge in sight) oh and cooking something for tea; no takeaways allowed not even on move days!

730pm: Well the boys did fabulously well, Kirt, starved but less over hung, had co piloted brilliantly and had I been wearing a hat I would have taken it off to Alistair, manoeuvring a 33ft RV and towing the Harley without a practice run to my mind is awesome, manly and that’s why I love him.

If you could only have seen us, boxes, bedding, bags, food shopping, coats, wellies, crates, tubs, suitcases, work bags all being carted into Gladys, Candace and I resolute that it would all be OK, Alistair shaking his head and muttering’ no more boxes, no more boxes’ Kirt figuring out how things worked whilst satiating his empty stomach. What a sight, what an accomplishment, what a feat oh and one thing the RV dealer didn’t mention, the slide out on Gladys that extends her from ‘skinny narrow and more narrow’ to much wider and livable in doesn’t bloody work!

Pippin is certainly her mothers daughter. By 930-ish everything was done, all clothes hung away, bed made, throws in place, cushions plumped, C1’s loaded back to the brim with cast off’s and Gladys’ old decor that wasn’t to our liking (very green velour cushions, loads of them). And at long last wild Alaskan salmon with salad and wholemeal pittas cooked for supper. Those kids are amazing x

10.40pm: And so, finally at the end of  very long day we said goodnight to Pipps and Kirt and we crept into our new queen size bed  and slept, well I slept, whereas Alistairs head was full of mince and tatties about all sorts of Gladys related mens stuff that’s not for girls to worry about so his sleep was more fitful.

Saturday, no rest though, we had 2 cats to collect from our friends Mike and Lindsey’s, 2 dogs to collect from kennels and glass bottled water to fetch from Waitrose (we couldn’t bring our reverse osmosis water filter with us so until we source one that will fit in Gladys it will have to be bottled, not Plastic due to the BPA content).

We did have 2 cats… Nitten was missing at Lindseys! What a start. We left with Brian and kept our fingers crossed that Nitten would turn up on our return the next day. We made an executive decision to extend the dogs stay in Kennels until Monday 18th, a bit of breathing space. Alistair had mens stuff to do! Can you believe that Gladys had been sold with grey and black waste tanks still full (YUK, that means other people’s jobbies were still in the tank. That’s why it’s like a Yorkie bar job, not for girls). The fresh water tank needed filling and we didn’t have 100 metres worth of hose. True to form, I buggered off to do the Waitrose run( I know its against my principles to use a supermarket but needs must and I figured Waitrose at least has decent animal welfare and also has a good range of organic food).

Yippee, on my return all jobbies removed, water tank full and a modicum of calm in Gladys

Pippin and Roy visited for an early Fathers day meal, Pippin was distraught about a missing Nitten and then all of us experienced a rise in anxiety as Brian ventured out and promptly disappeared.

Quite frankly, we are all exhausted, emotionally overwhelmed and still coming to terms with the enormity of our lifestyle change. As Candace said quite rightly, in our heads it all seemed fine and we knew it was happening but in our feelings it is yet to sink in and become normal and fine. Missing cats don’t help !

Saturday Night: Still no Brian,just before dark I took a final wander around the field, ‘Brian, Brian, come on Brian where are you’ honestly,  the other people must think we are bonkers, no Brian in sight until just as I reached the front door, Brian Popped out. Yay

Not so Yay, we were still pacifying a very discombobulated  Brian at 1am in the morning, at 2am Alistair had had enough and put him outside, at 2.30am Alistair got up feeling guilty at putting him out and was wandering about outside calling for him. At 3am I was up making us sleepy tea and joining in the Brian hunt. Finally, by 3.30am Brian, Alistair and I were all settled back down to sleep at last!

Sunday and a new day dawned. An abundance of all manner of different birds welcomed the morning in for us and a few rabbits made their presence known. Sunlight was gently filtering through the beautiful old oak tree under which Gladys is shaded and an equally beautiful old willow also lends its charm and energy for us to enjoy. Finally I was able to take in and appreciate my new surroundings after the busyness and strain of the past couple of days, wonderful, truly wonderful, an oak tree and a willow gently energising us as we started to recoup and recharge  our batteries.

Fathers day however wasn’t put on hold for moving! There was my old dad to visit, the children coming to Gladys to visit their old dad and to give Gladys a Rhind lunch baptism and a Nitten to be found. And find her we did, hiding out in Lindseys bedroom! There were smiles all round on her homecoming to Gladys.

Gladys coped amazingly well with 8 of us for lunch, even without her extending side. The children coped amazingly well in Gladys, they didn’t find it too strange and were completely affirming of their old folks alternative living style. As Hannah said, “It suits you, not because you are weird, because you are free spirits” so that was nice. Kirt, to Holly’s joy managed to get the TV working as there was an aerial in the roof that we didn’t know was there, so there is a semblance of entertainment for those who want it.

So we were blessed with all of the children visiting over the weekend and Brian and Nitten. Just Laddie and Ebony and then our new home will be complete.

Monday the 18th June, a day off for us both. I asked Alistair this morning if he had any itches that needed scratching, no he said he wasn’t itchy at all and didn’t need any scratching. I was very pleased to hear that as today is our 7th wedding anniversary, so I can continue to be contented and settle into our new life in Gladys, letting the energy of the old oak tree soothe our souls and heal our selves.

I am so thankful to everyone who has given encouragement, support and love to us as we have ventured along the path of difference. I am especially thankful to Candace and Kirt for being so generous with their time and effort on move day and to all of the children for their loyalty and support of us. We love you.

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