Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Well, we’ve moved. Or, to be exact, we are in the process of moving: we are still have stuff to retrieve from our old flat and there are still many things lying around on the living room floor, or in boxes, looking for a place to live. But the heavy lifting is done, the massive payouts are now just a painful memory and most of the initial maintenance has been completed – more on that in a moment.

We were without a phone or internet for two weeks after we moved in because, well, Britain. And we spent a lot more than we should have needed to on maintenance materials.

As mentioned in my previous post, we are being held to exacting standards vis-à-vis the condition of our erstwhile flat, but it seems the people leaving here were not, nor did the landlord care to give the place a quick once-over. And so, in addition to the headache of moving in, we had to deal with the dust and dirt and the pervading aroma of “old person’s house,”

Not only was the place not cleaned thoroughly, it was…well, take a look at these:

This is the inside of the cabinet in the dining area.

This is what happened to the towel holder when I touched it.
Some bright spark drew instructions for the burners, but didn't think
to tell us which was was "Hotter" and which was "Less Hot."
This is the inside of a kitchen cabinet.
And this is the inside of the other dining room cabinet.

I do give the landlord credit, however, for being tenacious enough to seek out the cheapest, flimsiest, most insubstantial shower curtain I have ever seen. He obviously puts a great deal of effort into sparing no inexpense.

In short, if this place was a hotel room or a holiday cottage, I would give it two stars.

We then set about the task of trying to fit ten pounds of shit into a five-pound sack, which involved the shedding of furniture, the building of a bespoke (US: custom made) desk that would fit into the tiny office, the hanging of shelves and the creation of an airing cupboard and storage cabinet where there had once been a large but useless space in the bathroom. Then there was the painting and the general maintenance, but much of that is also behind us (he says with the smell of fresh paint wafting through the air).

And in the middle of all this, our car died. It was ten-years old and had over 100k miles on it, but it seemed robust and we were quite fond of it, but then it just, quite suddenly, gave up the ghost. “Cam-belt,” the car-guy said, as he pronounced it DOA. At least it didn’t suffer.

So then we had the experience of trying to buy another car, while not having a car, and in the middle of moving, without the aid of a phone or the internet.

So, do I have anything good to report. Certainly:

The flat, while smallish, is adequate, and we are quickly making it our home. The area we moved to is quiet and close to town and has a Co-Op mini-market around the corner, a pub across the road and a theme restaurant (The Smith and Western, Yee Ha!) next to it. It also has a covered balcony, which has come in really handy these past two weeks.

The other good thing is, with all this heavy lifting, DIY and running about, I have lost nearly 10 pounds. But don’t worry, it’s got to be around here somewhere, I’m sure it will turn up again soon.

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