Friday, 1 July 2011

Hectic days


I have packed almost all the books and got rid of some mouldering horrors weighty tomes that I will never read. (I could say "re-read" but you wouldn't believe me, and you'd be right.)


I have cast a beady eye over how much unnecessary junk I'm on the verge of moving with me, and will apply some ruthlessness. A box has been marked 'charity shop' and will be filled.

I have walked one dog, medicated and cosseted the other, and tried to find out who amongst the cats is peeing in Flossie's bed. (Scooter or Lottie, I reckon; both worrying in different ways.)

I have gone to bed early and woken regularly at 4 a.m. with a head full of drama and crisis, and fears of "what will I do if things go wrong?" Worries that mount up and overwhelm. I have jittered, and wept, and babbled anxiously at everyone. Little wonder that one of the team wees in another's bed....

But this, appearing yesterday, was a lovely calming influence.


I have stuck faithfully to my healthy diet, apart from a nice lunch out with Anne, where we ate sandwiches and a large piece of fruit pie and cream, and I have lost 16 pounds - that's 32 packs of lard, you know!


But mostly I have spent hours and hours and hours online, searching, sifting, sorting, discarding, suffering motion sickness on Google street view as I whizz up and down those winding country lanes, prioritising likely properties to view, and dealing with estate agents.

Ah yes, the estate agents:  they fall into two camps - the hearty (male) dishonest ones who don't tell you about the planned bypass link road and housing development that is about to be unleashed on the land across the road from the house you're arranging to view, and the cheerful friendly (female) ones who warn you about that attractive, quiet, secluded house actually backing onto a secluded but busy road.

I have a full itinerary for Monday - 3 properties to view in the morning, and another 3 late in the afternoon. All empty, having been lived in by retired elderly couples, or could be vacated very quickly by owners who are becoming less independent. All have gardens, some have views, some have er...interesting garden features. I may post pictures. Other houses will be viewed during the rest of my stay with Lizzie, after some drive-by excursions - Google street view for real.

I have changed my house hunting criteria too - these are all small, much smaller than I originally planned, but have gardens, and all will need work of some sort, cosmetic only if I'm lucky, major upheaval if I'm not, but all affordable. I have become thrifty, less ruled by my heart, scaling down but not compromising my list of essentials.

And the house I've been kept hanging on for? No longer at the top of the list - in fact, it has just about slipped off the list entirely, although the vendor hasn't been told this yet.

And, coincidentally, what has just popped up again? The house I lost last year when the dratted Dr D failed to buy my house. The house that I have never really stopped regretting, for its ample rooms, generous land, its beautiful mature copper beech, the little stream at the end, the scope to really create a garden of my own. I gave it up, but never really said goodbye to it properly.

It has had some improvements made by the person who bought it last year, and the garden has been tackled very nicely. I doubt if I could afford it now, and it's not close to the sea. Perhaps I should view it, just to close off that chapter.

And anyway, I rather relish the challenge of downsizing, of turning a tired little house in need of work and TLC into the serene haven of my dreams. A pocket-sized haven.

So I shall be flying down on Sunday, and by the end of the week will know if the dream is attainable. Watch this space!

29 comments:

John said...

Good luck Rachel, I will be thinking of you on Monday. I like your revised plans. Viva la version 2!

the veg artist said...

Ooohhh. This sounds much more hopeful! A smaller house will be easier and cheaper to run once renovations are complete, and you could end up with something that is tailor-made perfect for you and your tribe! A pocket-sized haven indeed! Will be thinking of you, small-house hunting!!

annie hoff said...

Go for it Rachel....you're in a good position. I'll be thinking of you on Monday too!

A Heron's View said...

A smaller home is more manageable and easier to run, I use the premise that :large houses have large mouths that gobble money :)

Very best of luck to you !

frayedattheedge said...

I want to tell your many fans that you were lovely, bright company on Wednesday, not the raving, weeping woman that you have portrayed here!! I once sacked an estate agent - when I read the schedule, the directions took you to the Town Hall, not my flat on the other side of the road ...... and it was riddled with spelling mistakes (the excuse?- 'the girl who types the schedules doesn't have spellcheck on her computer'!!) Enjoy the househunting - stay positive ...... the house for you is out there somewhere!!

Dartford Warbler said...

How exciting to hear that things are moving again, even if it just boxes of books at this stage! You sound so much more positive. Have a lovely time in the West Country on Monday. Good luck!

Arthur Ransome said...

Why has no one mentioned the 16lbs???!!! That's absolutely brilliant! Well done. And all the best for the viewings. We're all on tenterhooks here waiting to see what you choose.

Anne said...

Have a lovely time staying with your friend and househunting, I hope you find the home of your dreams!

Frances said...

Wow.....16 pounds! That's a whole stone and a bit more !!! Well done you, and you are not weeing in anybody's bed either..stressed but not that much. Good luck with the new house hunting....sounds like a plan to me!

Susan said...

Wow ! Yikes ! Go Team Go !!

or should we say Go Team (leader) Go !!
We will hang with bated breath and promise to not uncross anything until we get the full report (No.73 I do believe). May the Force be with you !

xoxoxo Susan, Doug, Winnie D, Sam, BleetNess, Oliver & Virgil (I know, I know, how come the dogs come before the cats)

jabblog said...

Be lucky! Enjoy your viewings and don't drop your standards:-)

Rose H (UK) said...

Hope you have a successful weekend Rachel. I can't imagine moving house - we've lived here for 33 years! I'd be tempted to go and view the one you losr, as you said close the chapter. I pass a house we looked at about 20 years ago and couldn't afford it when we discovered it came with 2 acres of woodland..I STILL wonder what if though.

Mary Ann said...

Good luck with the house hunting. I would like to move but I dread the packing up...we have been here 34 years. I would have no problem throwing stuff out because I'm not the hoarding type but my hubby is...oh well. Take care:)

flwrjane said...

You have been very busy and now you are getting very thin.

Cheers Rachel.

Enjoy your house hunting, this is a very good set of problems to have.

xoxo see you soon slim.

Jane

Lucille said...

Very best of luck on Monday. Congratulations on your personal downsizing too!

Isabelle said...

I'll be watching. (Got plenty time now...)

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I wonder what you'd weigh now if , instead of dieting , you'd eaten 32 packs of lard ? And whether you'd have gone biliously green ?
Good luck with your extremely well planned househunting marathon next week .Knowing that you'll be ready to pounce on the perfect find straight away will make it all much more enjoyable .

Pam said...

Good luck Rachel! Congratulations on the weight loss!

HAZEL said...

I know you will find the absolutely right house...or one that will become the absolutely right house. i will be thinking about you this weekend. Good luck!

judy in ky said...

I am definitely in your corner, cheering you on from afar. You have a way of getting things done that inspires admiration. Can't wait to see what you find. My best to your animal friends, too.

Dragonfly Dreams said...

Rachel, out of all of the blogs I follow, I keep returning to yours because I am hoping against hope that you will find your perfect place...good luck! I am pulling for you here across the pond!

Hazel said...

Er - it's not you having anxious pees in Floss's bed....? Jus' asking. ;-)

Keep your chin up, Rachel - life does have a knack of working out alright in the end - even if you don't see that right now!

Dan said...

Wow, I'm really intrigued by your new househunting plans!! I'd love to see what you're looking at - there's nothing I like more than browsing estate agents particulars, which is how we ended up with our 'project'.
Good luck with your search, and I hope you find the place you want to call home.
Dan
-x-

Toffeeapple said...

Well done on the weight loss! Keeping everything crossed, still, that it all goes swimmingly.

mountainear said...

Love the positivity. It's out there somewhere and I'm sure you'll winkle it out.

And the weight loss! Wow! Well done you.

Look forward to reading the next installment.

love those cupcakes said...

I applaud you, I really do. You have the moving house big stuff going on and all the usual little stuff too, yet not only do you remain sanguine you drop 16 pounds. I would have comfort ate to the tune of two dress sizes by now.

Lyn said...

Hope everything works out fine for you, I am sure it will!
xxx

Diane said...

Best of luck for the house hunting - and huge congratulations for the weight loss.

Planet Penny said...

Wow! All that lard! well done, you're inspiring me to carry on with my own weightloss regime. I do hope the weekend was successful for you, I sahll be back to find out!Penny x(Planet Penny)

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