We're here. We love it.
Oh, you want more? Ok then....
As I'm on Lizzie's computer, no chance of photos yet, although there are many, but I'll post them later, so that you can love it too. Meantime, here are the bare bones of a most eventful week:
Moving day (Monday): Lottie in puppy crate with the two boys, Scooter occasionally giving a little "Mew!" but otherwise everyone quiet and calm. Millie in a solo carrier, as her ferocious growling indicated a horror of being bundled in with the others. Flossie a bit cramped on a single back seat with a harness, Tosca on my knee on a beanbag. The car stuffed to the roof with what would be needed for the journey, that night and the day to follow before the removals wagon would arrive.
Somewhere in there was a plastic box containing a lamb tagine and cous cous made by friend Lynn for our dinner that night, a saucepan, plates and cutlery. Except that the dinner seems to have been packed inside something else by mistake and put on the wagon: it hasn't appeared yet, so may have to be searched for by sniffer dogs trained in detecting toxic waste.
Arrival : a slow journey, in hot sunshine, with several stops. Reached the cottage after 8-and-a-half hours of travel. Thank goodness for M&S at motorway services. The animals behaved perfectly; no bodily functions in evidence at all. Cats decanted into utility area for the night, Hamish leaping up onto a beam and declaring that he would never come down again. Until his dinner appeared. I forget what we had for dinner, but it wasn't lamb tagine.
The Lovely Son was under orders not to tell me if he hated the cottage. But he loved it from the moment he walked in, and said that it immediately felt like home. Cards were waiting, including from some of you - thank you!
Tuesday: The removals men arrived, after long slow diversion off closed motorway. Unloaded enormous van in narrow road, in hot sunshine; everyone now knows me and what my worldy goods consist of. Cats remained locked in utility, dogs helped the removals men. Neighbours were friendly and welcoming, and no one complained audibly about having to negotiate driving round a huge wagon obstructing the highway. Amazing and impressive to watch the wagon being reversed adeptly down the road and round the corner at the end of the day; people came out of the pub to watch.
Wednesday: Day of the Good Fairies. I was expecting friend Lynn, who had booked a day return flight and car hire to see the cottage for the first time, and to help me unpack. Tearful greetings and welcome ensued. Two minutes later, the doorknocker sounded, and there stood Sandra, secretly travelling with Lynn. Underslept and overwhelmed, I wept all over her. Two minutes later.... there was Annie. The three Good Fairies had arrived with flowers, plants, lunch, and the declared intention of doing as much work as they could manage in the time before getting their flight home that evening. The Lovely Son (who had known of the 3GFs' plot) had to get the bus and train home, but the 3GFs sorted the kitchen cupboards, watered the garden, served and ate lunch, and later we all trooped off in hot sunshine to lovely Dunster for a cream tea. An amazing day, and a wonderful start to my new life, surrounded by love, support and help from dear friends.
Thursday: Boxes. Boxes. Boxes. Walks with Lizzie, who is a tower of strength and support. Found the towels. Didn't find the lamb tagine.
Friday: Two new-laid eggs from my neighbour's chickens. Yet more lovely cards in the post. Found my computer, although I'm not online yet. We will exchange and complete on the house today, and I won't need to be a non-rent-paying tenant in the cottage any longer (thank you, lovely Lady Vendor!) The flying freehold issue remains a mystery, but I won't bore you with the details.
More in due course. I am never moving house again.
I must get on.... The Search For The Lamb Tagine: my life's work.