This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
Unlike the agony of exchange, completion couldn’t have been easier. However, there was that one shock moment I mentioned in my last post which came a week before we moved. I had just had a lovely shower and was in a pretty buoyant mood. Then I went downstairs and checked my emails. One of them was a statement of account from our solicitor asking us to pay a shortfall…. of £40,000 !!! I went hot and cold and, with a madly thumping heart, told Husband that I must have made a massive miscalculation and what the hell were we going to do? Interesting that I immediately blamed myself because it transpired, forty heart wrenching minutes and a few desperate phone calls later, that the solicitor had made an error. Whew.
So, finally, the big day arrived and I drove away from our old home with barely a lump in my throat. Strange that because we had enjoyed fourteen truly wonderful years there. And I wasn’t sure what awaited us at the tiny new cottage. I needn’t have worried – the lightbulbs were intact and everything was spick and span. Shortly after I walked in, Husband and the removal vans arrived. Our removal company – a local family firm called Lomers – were, quite simply, amazing. They charged a fair price, worked solidly, were cheerful, careful, helpful and polite – nothing was too much trouble. I cannot recommend them highly enough. So, if you happen to live in West Sussex or Surrey….
Over the course of the next five days Husband and I found energy reserves we didn’t know we had. I don’t think we stopped or sat down (apart from collapsing into bed each night). There was always something to be unpacked, put away, rearranged, found, or purchased. Husband was an absolute superstar, working tirelessly to get the new house transformed into our new home. Of course we are having to get used to the vaguaries of the central heating, find out how to stop the log burner filling the snug with smoke, discover when the bin men collect, and how to work the new condenser tumble dryer – the cottage walls are too thick to drill a 4″ hole through for our (now redundant) vented version. The internet connection is erratic – but when it’s working, it’s wonderfully fast; the old house speed was 4mb, the new 47mb. Not downsizing webwise then!
Our snagging/house improvements to do list is already enormous. But we are going to wait a few weeks before we make any firm decisions on what improvements will take priority (and, of course, which of them we can afford). Plus the friends that have visited us over the last few days have all been forthcoming with ideas on how to improve the cottage’s layout. Some of them have been very clever ideas too (thank you Sally!). One thing is a no brainer – we are going to sell the inherited gas range and invest in a reconditioned Aga. Once an Aga fan, always an Aga fan.
Our two old dogs seem to have settled in without too much stress. My very helpful cleaner looked after them at her house for a week so our pooches didn’t get a whiff of a packing box – seems to have kept them calm. I wish they could speak though – would love to hear what they think of their new environment.
Everything takes twice as long to do because it is all new, but I think we are getting there slowly. Downsizing has been a breeze. We are happy in our little cosy cottage and all is well with the world (so far)…