500 Year Vision

Take pleasure from walking lightly on this Earth

Back to normal?

June5

So, I’m back at my computer, back in Tábor. The only difference from two weeks ago is being physically exhausted from the horrible daily slog of the last 14  days, and the fact that our remaining worldly possessions are in a transit van somewhere.

Things went to plan… sort of. Many people turned up as arranged to collect their various Ebay purchases. This was mostly fine, though I spent a lot of time cleaning – especially garden furniture & the fridges & freezer… but I wanted people to be happy with their purchases. There were a couple of times where the buyer has not collected the item, & not bothered to contact us about it. Annoying to have to move things that we had sold in principle, in a van with absolutely no spare capacity. The charity shops and scrap metal merchants did very well out of us!

There were some great coincidences – like the day some students knocked on the door asking if they could have the enamel bath just as I was wondering how to dispose of it. They wanted to actually use it as a bath as their house was without one. I sent them away with that, an armchair & the radiator cover cupboard from the bathroom. And one guy asked if he could buy the ornamental grass I’d planted in the front garden! 

One of our flatmates has an alcohol problem, and far more severe than I suspected. This meant that he had failed to find himself a new place to live. He had volunteered to take our resident stray cat Penny, but on the Friday before we moved, it became apparent that this was not going to happen. If we had known a few weeks before we would have been able to make arrangements to take her with us (ie rabies vaccine & pet passport), but this was not possible at the last minute. It was particularly upsetting seeing as we had lost Melia a couple of weeks previously, it feels like our little family has been halved. After a fraught & very distressing few days, a friend of a friend stepped in to help us. They had been planning to adopt a cat in the near future anyway & are very cat orientated, I feel incredibly lucky that Penny has gone to such nice people.

The day of the move was like playing a huge & heavy 3d Tetris game… every box & item slotted into the closest fitting space. I am covered in bruises. Despite packing into a mock up of the dimensions of the van, in the dining room, it became apparent about a meter away from the back doors of the real thing that we were going to run out of space & had to shed a few more items than we had envisaged (such as the main part of the bbq, patio heater, the push along lawn mower & a habitat garden table – all things I could have sold on Ebay – thanks janice5587!). As we had extra items to dispose of, we also ran out of time, but Oulsnams were very nice & agreed to collect the keys the next day, giving us a few more hours to tidy up & give things away.

We also had to take Penny to her new home that evening. She is a lovely animal and it was really sad to part with her, but I know it’s the best thing to do, she does not speak Czech & is happy with just about any company so it would be cruel to put her through a 24 hour journey just because it would be best for me – she was scared as hell just being in the cat box on the way up to Moseley. She’s even moved upmarket! I’m sure she’ll be happy.

By Friday night we were too tired to be emotional about leaving Birmingham, and then two miles into the journey the van broke down… luckily outside the house of our friends, who we’d stayed with the night before. So… after yet another final night in Birmingham and visiting several too busy garages the next morning, we managed to get the van sorted (a heating pipe had sprung a leak… the emergency Saturday morning fix for this problem was a cable tie to block off this apparently inessential pipe).

It has been lovely to spend time with friends and family over the last week… but I’m glad to be back… and without the responsibility of running a shared house in Birmingham. I wonder if it will feel different living here now that we don’t have a base in the UK?

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