I spent the last two days at the new house, which is a small cottage in a village not all that far away from the old house, but with quite a different feel. I’ve never lived in a house where people could look straight in from the street, so it was an unusual experience to be sitting at the kitchen table and look up to see someone peering into the flowerbeds just outside. The road running past is fairly busy for such a rural village, but it is busy with hikers, cyclists, land rovers and tractors – not a lot of normal cars. Apparently the Yorkshire cycle route runs along that road for a while, which explains all the bikes.
When we first arrived on Saturday, we were just ahead of the removal van which was bringing a wardrobe and various other pieces of large furniture. The bouncing, friendly, eight-years-old-but-still-a-puppy-inside Labradoodle is always extremely keen to meet new people, and the general feeling was that his keenness would not be an asset when heavy items were being lifted, so I took him out for a walk down the “public footpath”. I’m not exactly sure whether we stuck to the footpath or not, because the walls between the fields we were crossing had crumbled so badly it was impossible to work out what was public and what was not, but no one shot at us and we had a fair tramp until I saw the van driving off again. Then we went back so that I could have a proper look around.
It’s a lovely little house and reminds me very strongly of the old house, which is where I am tonight. I think that’s because of the deep windows, the Yorkshire stone and the wooden beams on the ceiling – probably the self-same things that led my family to buy the new place. The room I slept in was advertised as a study, because it isn’t really big enough to fit in a bed. Well, it would be, but for some unknown reason a sort of step has been built into the corner of the room and the remaining space against the wall isn’t quite long enough to place a bed. We aren’t put off by such impossibilities, however, so I spent the last two nights sleeping on a camp bed propped at a slightly off-level angle on top of the step. The room, never having been a bedroom before, has no curtains. The neighbour has a bright outside light. I slept surprisingly well.
My favourite room is probably the kitchen. There’s an Aga, which keeps the house lovely and warm and means that making toast is almost too easy. The sunlight streams in and there’s a gorgeous view out of the window. The dog has his own little bedroom in the disused fireplace and there’s a proper farmyard sink. All over the house there are nooks set into the walls. For some reason my brother has carefully filled each one with Furbies.
Now I’m back at the old house. I had hoped to be here by late morning so that I could get something useful done, but in the end we made it here around 2pm and I spent the next hour reorganising the freezer while the huge fish tank was dismantled and removed. The parentals sped off to get the tank set up in its new home before the fish suffocated, and I cleaned up a bit and planned a few meals for the next week.
At five thirty the Tesco order arrived. We’d put in the order last night, or rather I had made a shopping list on my Tesco account and then read it aloud to my dad so that he could place the order from his account and get his precious Clubcard points. Through a miracle of ineptitude and bad website design, only four of the items on my list actually arrived – all the items ordered in multiples. The remaining dozen items were never actually added to the basket. So I rapidly changed my plans for dinner and put in another order. It will arrive between 9pm and 11pm tomorrow, because that is of course the ideal time for shopping to arrive at the door.
When my brother got home we ate instant pasta and terrible flapjack, then went for a cycle ride on the electric bicycles. He cycles on his electric bike to school and back each day, up and down steep hills for several miles, so is completely used to the odd feeling of pushing down on a pedal and flying forwards 30 yards, even uphill. I took a while longer to warm to the idea; in fact I’m not sure I entirely enjoyed it even after almost an hour but it’s certainly an efficient way to move. I’m seriously considering the possibility of buying my own when I start my midwifery degree (when, not if – I’m employing a Positive Mental Attitude to applying for a course that often gets 40 applicants for every place) as it’ll be a whole lot cheaper than a car and a lot more convenient than the bus.
Now it’s time for bed. I’m planning on getting up at 7am when lil bro’s alarm goes off for school, so that we can fight for the shower and the cereal bowls. If the weather is fine, I’ll go out and weed the garden for a bit before it gets too hot and then settle in for a proper blitz on the junk in my bedroom. If the weather isn’t fine then I will consult the arm’s-length list of tasks I’ve been left to do. It’s occasionally slightly disheartening to look round this house and see just how much stuff there is to pack, throw away, clean and fix.