A wee cup of tea please.

Right now I am having a tea break and reading this link: 22 Teas From Around The World

I am fairly sure even those of you who are not tea drinkers will want to go put the kettle on now. In fact I feel inspired to try new varieties of tea, although I feel bad that when I lived in Hong Kong I didn’t try any ‘Silk stocking tea’ (No. 7) but I did drink a lot of Jasmine Tea in my Hong Kong days.

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Other happenings this week

I am not sure if I have mentioned before that I am a member of Girl Guiding. Before we moved house I was an assistant leader at a Brownie Unit but I’ve been involved with Guiding for over 20 years. For those who aren’t sure what Girl Guiding is have a look at the UK website: Girl Guiding UK IMG_20150201_150554

After we moved I didn’t volunteer again straight away. We’ve had a busy year and I’ve been working hard on beating my chronic headaches and migraines, I felt that a little break wasn’t a bad thing. Guiding is huge fun, but it is a commitment and I didn’t want to start helping again and not have the energy to enjoy it. Just before Christmas I started thinking about getting back involved again. I was debating this when my colleague found a notice in a local newsletter that said the Guide unit in my village needed help. I wandered in, found out that they needed a new leader and now we’re in the New Year and I have myself a Guide Unit. There are 10 girls and they seem like a really lovely group. The meeting is every Monday evening but there are already fun ‘extra’ activities planned, like a Thinking Day Party, a trip to the swimming pool and county camp in May. I really enjoy Guiding and I will dedicate a full blog post about Guiding soon and share some of the ideas and activities we are doing.

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Getting involve with Guiding in the village has also meant getting to know a few more people in our village and the Boyo and I were invited to the village ball last weekend. A chance to put on a pretty dress, eat nice food, chat to our neighbours and a bit of ceilidh dancing was very much enjoyed by both of us. I really enjoy village life and whilst we don’t know if we will live there long term for the next 2 years I can certainly see it being a happy place for us.

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Tomorrow the Boyo and I will pick up a van and he will drive us 130 miles to my home town. We have needed a new bed for a while and there is one that is not needed in my parents house. It is exactly the kind of bed the Boyo and I wanted so it makes sense to get it. Whilst we have the van I’ll pick up the last of my books and bits and bobs that have been sitting in my parents home for years. The Boyo plans to have a quiet night in on Friday whilst my Mum and I go to a fashion show organised by a family friend. The Boyo and I will have to hit the road on Saturday by 7am to get the bed returned so our weekend wanderings on Sunday will entirely depend on how we feel after our 260 mile round trip.

The prospect of getting the bed has prompted me to sort out a few more things round the house, I spent last night hanging pictures up that have been sitting in a box since our house move and tonight I’m going to tackle the cupboard with all the bedlinen in. I guess I’m on a spring cleaning kick… but spring is still a while away yet. I’m starting to see little signs though;  the mornings have not been quite so dark and I saw some pretty little snowdrops on one of the walks near our house. The thought of Spring definitely makes me feel a little bit more Merry.

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Tuesday Thoughts – A busy week!

Apologies for my social media silence – although I’m sure no-one really noticed- I have this week moved house, hooray!!!

So on Wednesday for our last meal in the wee town which was our home we went to our favourite Indian restaurant, it was very delicious and we left with very full tummies. The last bits & bobs took longer to pack than anticipated but we had my Mum up to help us with the move and by midnight we were all packed and ready for bed. I did not sleep well at all that night, the house felt strange with all the boxes and I was very anxious about the actual process of moving and how things were going to work out in our new location. It didn’t help that there was a MASSIVE spider in our bedroom that the boyo had to squish (yes cruel but my irrational fear is huge & irrational).

On Thursday the removal people arrived on time at 8.30am. Mum & I stayed to see them begin to load up the big lorry then we headed off to Dunelm Mill and The Range for a couple of bits and pieces. This was a dangerous move on our part as suddenly when you have a new house everything in homeware shops look tempting. We made a couple of purchases that were necessary (a new mop) and a couple that weren’t (new lamp & tablecloth). Then we headed over to the new house to get ready for the removal lorry. We had a bed that Mum had brought up to build and a wee bit cleaning etc.

The removal lorry arrived and I directed where all the boxes were to go. The removal boys were very happy that the mountain of boxes of books were staying in the lounge and they didn’t have to heave them upstairs. Everything was unloaded by 4pm. The only casualties of the move were 1 glass lampshade and a bookcase. Not bad!

So we’ve been in the new house for 6 days and the boyo and I are really happy. The couple of purchases such as the tablecloth have really finished off a couple of the rooms. The nearest train station is closer than we originally thought, everyone in the new village is friendly and we both already feel much more relaxed and happy. I only have 1 box left to unpack and my clothes to put away. We still have a lot of pictures to hang but are awaiting a visit from someone with a drill. I feel this is really not bad going – I thought it would take much longer to unpack and get sorted but the new house has accommodated all our belongings very nicely. We have a list of things we’d like to get to finish off the house but nothing urgent. The only thing we deemed was immediately necessary was blackout curtains for our very lovely and bright bedroom. I’m finding waking up with the sun actually beneficial but it is driving the poor boyo demented. They should arrive by Friday.

Anything I would do differently?

Organise – Be slightly more organised prior to moving day – packing up those last bit and pieces the night before really added to my anxiety, it would have been better to have it done and had a properly relaxed evening as no doubt I would have been anxious anyway.

Structure – Pack the rooms in a more systematic way – I started out packing one room at a time then got side-tracked and my lounge became a huge mess of stuff half packed and piles of random stuff.

Purge – this move happened fairly quickly and it was easier to just pack more or less everything than go through and properly sort out stuff to go out/ recycle etc. I’m going to be a bit more ruthless and try to minimise stuff in the future. We did throw out some stuff but the trips to the recycling centre were rushed due to our short timescale.

Measure – I judged where our furniture and belongings would go in the new house just by looking, I was lucky everything fitted apart from one bookcase. If I had actually measured I would have known that the bookcase was far too tall and actually it was done anyway. So we needlessly brought it to the new house and then had to break it up and take it to the recycling centre. I could have saved ourselves and my parents who were helping us a bit of work.

And things I would do again…

Label – Label all your boxes clearly with what is in the box and where it is to go. This helped us and the removal people so much on moving day and it has really helped to do the unpacking in a speedy and efficient way. It also helped the removal people that I wrote in big red letters ‘FRAGILE’ or ‘HEAVY’ on those boxes that were – it meant they were able to take a look and plan quickly how they were loading the lorry. It means if you have people helping you then they are not asking every couple minutes where something is to go. Everyone can just get on with it.

Removal – Getting a removals company was pricey but it was worth it. We have a lot of furniture and we could have mustered up help and hired a van but the stress levels would have been pretty high and it wouldn’t have been nearly as efficient. The removal people knew how to handle everything and how to move our bulky items with minimal hassle and no injuries. So we would definitely pay for their service again.

Eat – eat out the night before you move – enjoy a little relaxing time in a favourite place. You will likely have all your kitchen stuff packed up anyway. Eating a take-away amongst the boxes means (if you are like me) you’ll be looking at all the boxes and your mind will be doing overtime thinking about the next day. So just put aside a little money and have a wee meal with good company – for us it was a fitting way to say good-bye to the town we lived in and our favourite restaurant had 35% off promotion running as well = happy!

Help – Accept help, I had my parents up helping and they really were a huge help, there were a few wee jobs that arose and it would have been very difficult without them around.

So just a few wee hints from our own experiences. We are (so far) really happy with our move and are really enjoying getting to know our new home and village.

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