What an active weekend we had. But the work took us a little longer than we thought it would.
We headed over to the other house but had to go out again to get longer ladders. We had steps with us, but we’d forgotten how much higher the ceilings are in that old Edwardian building than in this Stuart building or the last more modern house. (I thought this current house we’re in was Jacobean but it seems it’s actually from the Caroline era … I’ve never even heard of that one.) We also picked up dustbin liners and some provisions.
Back at the old house we spent the best part of the day emptying the loft, transferring everything to the main bedroom, and identifying what was going with us and what was going straight to the tip. The stuff that was going with us still needed sorting, but there are financial and business records in there dating back to 1985 that need burning.
With no more time or energy to do anything other than that, we came back home with a view to having baths and showers – we were very dirty after crawling around the loft and lugging boxes and rubbish around – a nice tea, and then going out to see friends of ours in their ska covers band. By 8pm, though, we were still dirty, hungry and tired, so we decided to stay in and watch telly.
Sunday morning we were back. First of all we sorted out the garage here, which is still filled with boxes we haven’t gone through yet. We ended up with a full carload for the tip just from here. So we went back to the other house via the tip. When we got to the house we managed to get all the stuff we were keeping into the car first, and we managed to get all of the stuff going to the tip into the car too.
Then we took meter readings, checked everywhere was empty, grabbed a shelf unit we’d forgotten, for the garage, turned off the gas and electricity, left keys and paperwork, and headed home via the tip again. We have one set of keys left, which we’ll be getting to the estate agent Friday midday, in time for a 2pm completion. We have snow forecast later this week. I’m hoping this doesn’t hold anything up.
On the way home we also treated ourselves to a nice lunch, went to the pet shop to get the dog a new basket and some toothpaste, and nipped next door to the home bargains shop to get an incinerator. Then, when we got home, we emptied what was left in the car and put it all in the garage. A lot of stuff went to the tip this weekend, and we can now access pretty much everything still in the garage. We both went out to see if we could find something last night, and we both put our hands on what we wanted straight away. That feels so good.
The poet’s arms and shoulders are killing him as he did most of the lifting down from the loft and then down the narrow, steep stairs. We’re both quite achey and we’re both quite physically weary. But it’s another massive job ticked off the list, and a cracking weekend workout.
This week he’s working between Barnsley and Manchester – Manchester today. He’s going to get some new front tyres on his car because the journey over the Pennines in this current weather can be quite scary and we know the tyres are close to illegal. We don’t want to spend a lot, though, as the car’s due to be chopped in next month or the month after. But he still needs to be safe. And legal. Next week, weather permitting, my car goes in for its first service since I left Corus/Tata. The poor thing will feel like it’s having a birthday and will probably faint with shock.
I didn’t get any work done at the weekend, and I didn’t finish what I wanted to on Friday. So today I’m doing those electronic edits. I was going to take some time out to make some crusty bread rolls, but the poet put the bread machine on this morning before he went to work so I’ll probably make some later on in the week. That means I should also get some writing or editing of my own done too.
The week hasn’t been planned yet – shock, horror – but I know I have 2 more books in to start editing, I have a book of my own to continue editing, I have a new book to continue writing, and I have short writing work to get cracking with.
The poet didn’t get much chance to practise with his camera at the weekend, so the nuthatch above is the one I promised you last week. As you can see, this is already better than Friday’s blue tits.
What’s in your WIP this week?
This week, on the home front, we’ve had a garage door repair team out, a pair of carpet fitters in the house for a whole day, another carpet fitter delivering a room-size rug and making sure it fits, I’ve been to get routine blood tests and results (all normal), the poet has been to Stockport for one day and to Scotland for 2 days – the latter of which means taxi duties for me – the boiler packed up again so the gas man had to come and fix that – again – and we had to get 6 doors planed and rehung.
In between all of this I’ve edited 3 books and pitched for 10 new jobs. Oh yes, and we finally exchanged contracts on the other house.
Phew! It’s all go.
The weather here hasn’t been as bad as in other parts of the country, but it has been bitterly cold and incredibly windy – not good when the boiler packed up. We still had a fire and a hob, and there was hot water stored in the tank. But this is quite a draughty house (it’s its nature, being an old farm building dating back to 1628 – it’s a listed building too), so the cold nipped a bit. I had to put the fire on in the living room and work in there and, when the boiler was fixed, I left the heating on quite high overnight to warm everywhere up again.
This is a picture of His Lordship enjoying the fire.
You can also see the rug we had made for this massive living room. We were torn between leaving the lovely stone flags exposed and in character, or covering them with a fitted carpet and making the place feel homely. So when they told us we couldn’t have our carpet of choice because the room was too big and they wouldn’t be able to join it, we asked them to make the rug instead. It’s almost 3m x 4m and still there’s lots of floor around the outside.
The picture above is also quite nice in that it represents both the poet and me. His is the guitar to the left, mine is the notebook, pencil and Kindle to the right. You can also see His Lordship’s basket. The hampers were Christmas presents that were left there during the holiday, and looked so nice we decided to keep them there.
The picture to the left shows our 3rd landing and how we carried the carpet up the open plan stairs so that the 2 parts of the house are linked.
There’s a window to the left of Abbey Road, and we have curtains to match those in the living room too, which are the ones from the other house that the gig buddy made for me and has adapted to fit the new house for us. The spare bedroom and the bathroom are off this landing. Our bedroom and an airing cupboard are off the 2nd landing, the 1st landing is a turning point on the stairs.
The Abbey Road sign was a present to the poet from son #2 and was on the door of the office/studio at the last house.
Because we have 3 landings on the stairs, and because 10 of the stairs are open plan, this job took the carpet fitters considerably longer than a regular staircase would take. They were here all day, but they did the bedroom too (in a different carpet). It’s a busy carpet, but a cottagey one that we think fits in nicely.
So that’s part of what we’ve been up to and the week isn’t even over yet. We have runs to do at the weekend to both Doncaster and Birmingham. And I have electronic edits to complete before then.
What are you up to this weekend?
We seem to be having a good week.
The new work that came in is being steadily worked through, the quick one I did on Monday has already been paid for, and the one I delivered yesterday has been acknowledged and appreciated.
The poet managed to come back from Scotland without anything wrong with him.
And NaNoWriMo is still on schedule too. This morning I cleared 11,000 words, and am only 5 shy of 12,000. I think this is the most I’ve ever managed for NaNo and, of course, the novel has taken on a new lease of life with the added contemporary scenes and more narratives from the viewpoints of different characters.
We didn’t manage another fireworks display on Wednesday because that was the day the poet came home from Scotland. Had we not been to one on Saturday, then we might have made the effort. But he was weary from travel and glad to be home. So we watched what we could from the garden, in between telling the dog to stop shouting. The dog didn’t like the fireworks at all, but he’s definitely more fearless when there’s a brick wall between him and them. The cats weren’t bothered at all, just slept through it.
This morning I signed the contract for the sale of the other house. Later today we go to the new house to measure up, to see if our furniture will fit or if we have to do some swapsies with anyone. On the way back from there we’ll probably visit his family in Doncaster. Tomorrow morning we’re off to Birmingham, and tomorrow evening we have a friend’s 50th birthday party to go to in Leeds. On Sunday I think we’ll be chilling and packing.
There definitely seems to be an end in sight to all of this busy-ness. Meanwhile we’ll continue to plod through everything at a steady pace.
Have a great weekend.
There are only 2 more weeks, including this one, of disrupted living with the poet working up in Scotland. He’s shortening his weeks up there to 3 days, then he may just do an overnight the week after next. But there’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel.
On Friday we just chilled.
On Saturday we took the dog to see if he liked our new home. He loved bouncing through the fields in the long grass and we had a walk around the lake too.
We did some shopping, we half got ready to go out, then we supervised a viewing over at the other house.
On Saturday evening we finished getting ready and then went over to Sheffield to celebrate our friends’ wedding, who got married in Kos a few weeks ago. It really was like a who’s who of the local music scene at their party. We were able to put names to new faces of people we hadn’t yet met via the gig list, and – best of all – I was able to catch up with all of my lovely friends from my Bellhouse Road WMC days (before they closed it).
Sunday was supposed to be a chill day too, but son #1 was starting to get desperate for a half-decent telly, so we took one of our spares and the spare microwave over to his new house, had a look around, then drove him over to the poet’s parents. There he took the dog for a walk while we had something to eat. And then we dropped him back before going home ourselves.
On our way there we went back to the new house again to take some pictures, so we had something to show the family. And we timed how long the trip would take from there to poet’s son #1, poet’s daughter and poet’s parents. We also did the run from his usual work … that was down from 40 minutes to 4 minutes …
This morning I dropped him off at the station again before coming back and doing a load of online/IT stuff.
I have a new book to start editing this afternoon, and I want to grease the writing muscle some more. Once we do move, I’m already getting ideas for articles. It’s nice to see the freelance muscle doesn’t need that much oiling from that side of things.
What are you up to this week?
This week I had several people around to value my little house and I was over the moon to discover that it’s actually worth slightly more now than it was a few years ago. It was also interesting to see how overpriced 3 other houses are in my street, all either gone up for sale in March or “re-valued” in March (probably as a result of the other 2 going up far too high – in my opinion).
The next piece of good news was that my redemption figure is not as high on my current mortgage as I thought it was, and there’s no penalty fee for early settlement. This is a proper double-whammy. I don’t think I’ve ever had to redeem a mortgage without some kind of financial penalty imposed.
The next house up from mine (which just happens to be next door) is up for approximately £5,000 more than anyone thinks it’s worth (apx $8,245). The one across the street and another up the road a bit are £10,000 more than anyone thinks they’re worth (apx $16,490). Apart from, obviously, the people selling them. As we’re happy to go in at what the house is actually worth, if we decide to sell, we can use these 3 overpriced houses to our advantage.
Whether we rent or sell the house is still open for discussion over the weekend, but regardless of either, any money raised will be used to clear existing debt and also go towards our Big Adventure next year. Either way, things are looking a lot rosier than they were just a month ago.
This is just the icing on the cake at the moment, as everything else is going so well and so positively. The Cosmos has certainly come up with the goods here.
I’m really very busy at the moment, which is really very good, but it means I don’t have very long to stay. And this weekend is Mother’s Day in the UK, so we’ll be having a busy time then too. We also have our big shop to do and a small dog to big walk.
It’s the wrong time of year for roses, so here’s a picture of some heather taken at Langest Reservoir last summer – he’s really very proud of it. 🙂
Have a great weekend.