Thursday, 18 June 2015

Scary Stuff

A friend recently posted on Facebook a picture of a load of badges/stickers with a message to the effect that it was a shame that as adults, we don't get 'well done' stickers and gold stars for all the things we successfully do or even just cope with. Now we're grown up, we are expected to take everything in our stride. Mostly, and with some help from partners and friends, we do. Well, you have to. It's either that, or have a nervous breakdown.

In the past month, I have (more or less in this order) been:
  • cleaning, sorting and packing
  • tried to save one of my two remaining hens who had a prolapse (but she died)
  • exchanged contracts
  • had a recall after a recent mammogram, driven down to Swansea, had a biopsy after which I was told not to go lifting heavy boxes for a few days (in the middle of a house move, for goodness' sake! And in fact, I was much too sore anyway, and had to take a breather on my drive home)
  • spent my few days 'taking it easy' by organising the utilities (it takes hours!)
  • completed contracts
  • moved a few things into the house and repainted my office here
  • received the good news that I had a (benign) fibroadenoma which didn't need further surgery,
  • moved my last hen to join a friends little flock, (they manage their 'pet' hens in exactly the same way as I did, so I hope she'll be be happy there!)
  • renewed my DBS certificate
  • done more packing and organising
  • booked the cats into a cattery to keep them safe for a few days
  • moved house with a removals firm helping with the packing and providing much needed muscle, since I was behind on my original plan and still somewhat sore, and cannot carry loads like I used to
  • took delivery of my new washing machine, freezer and fridge, familiarised myself with them and also how to work the dishwasher, heating, hot water, shower, ovens and hob
  • went to a great belly dance training weekend
  • picked the cats up from the cattery, introduced them to their new home and sat cuddling them, all of us in some sort of shock
  • chased up and set up my new house phone
  • set up the compost bins and found out the bin days and recycling routine
  • litter-picked the patio and garden (some bits of broken bottle and lots of bottle caps, the aftermath of the previous resident's leaving party)
  • then, a steady stream of trying to create a place for everything, more cleaning, unpacking and sorting from boxes, and trying to find things (seriously - it took me four days to find my mobile charger and a fortnight to find the box with essentials like the can opener, because it wasn't labelled and I wasn't the one who packed it!
  • punctuated by text processing exams
  • teaching a few dance classes
  • cleaning and setting up the rotary line (temporarily, while I decide its permanent spot in the garden), 
  • doing laundry
  • cleaning up after the cats' 'accidents' while they are supposed to be using their litter trays,
  • more organising utilities
  • set up the router/hub, chasing down issues to make it work with my old PC (solved by buying a 15 metre Ethernet cable and running it down the stair well, held against the ceiling with white tack!),
  • starting the long process of letting all and sundry know my new address, and just trying to get back to some sort of normal (or establish a new 'normal') as soon as possible.
Everything takes so long to do, especially if I have to make trips up and down the stairs. Even deciding which kitchen cupboard will best fit the various pans and ingredients is a challenge; the cupboards seem narrower, with shallower shelves than the kitchen in the farm cottage, and all need a clean first. The house is stuffed full of stuff and I'm fed up with sidling between stacks of boxes, and not being able to find what I want. It's difficult and impractical to live like this and I'm finding that by 8.00 pm, I've run out of energy. The trouble is, there's scarcely space to move anything around, including myself. I'm covered in bruises from knocking against boxes, walls, door handles and worktops. I'm trying to work around an impasse where the furniture needs to be cleaned and moved into place so that I can unpack boxes into it, but can't move for boxes and furniture in the wrong place. It's like one of those puzzles of squares, where you can only move one square at a time because that's the free space, except that I have perhaps a quarter space until I unpack some more boxes, having only managed to unpack a dozen so far.

I have so much stash and just stuff in general that I have also had to do a few trips back to the farm to pick up more (and return some of S's things, having sorted them out), and the last of it is coming with the lovely Easi Move removals chaps tomorrow, including the heavy garden pots.

At the moment it feels like I've jumped out of the frying pan into the fire - I've changed location but the chaotic mess is the same. Still, I vowed to get organised and I am determined that it will all come together, preferably sooner rather than later.

I think I deserve at least one gold star.

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