Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Too busy to even blink right now!! Plus photos from our new house

 Well, you all know the saying about fitting a quart into a pint pot - here it feels like a gallon is trying to be squeezed in - dozens of boxes of books and "stuff", quite a bit of which is being jettisoned into boxes market Car Boot, to go into storage.  We had SO much room at Ynyswen, and although this is still quite a roomy house at things go (a tad under 2,000 square feet) but  with more limited storage,  and although there is a BIG dry attic, it is up a very steep flight of stairs - "Sheffield Stairs" Tam calls them, from her years in Sheffield where so many houses were shoe-horned into steep hillsides and the stairs are almost like ladders!  Anyway, we will get straight sooner or later and I will just have minimal china on display in future.  I have hardened my heart - although it took this move to make me realize that I have so many pieces just through habit.

Library - with the bedhead which didn't fit up the stairs!  It has gone back to live with the folk at our old house, who were happy to buy it.

    I will go through my books again too - most of the archaeology books will go - I'll concentrate on my Pictish/Insular Art ones and some Celtic books.  There will be further culls of my cookery and countryside books, and even my literary biographies - have SO much on Thomas Hardy, and the ones I have read I am unlikely to read fully again.

Kitchen in chaos!

    Knowing which box holds something we actually NEED is a right PITA, but we will gradually get there.  I am spending time unpacking in the kitchen (all morning today) and then this afternoon I will crack on with the books.  We're trying not to think about the Pink Bedroom and Guest Bedroom contents.

Living room with chairs and tv!

    Anyway, everything is here now so we just need to get it sorted.  Priorities have been established too!

    Just a few photos of the house interior at the weekend - when we just had the bare minimum delivered last Friday.  There will be more as we get straight in each room.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

We have finally MOVED

 I can finally write that it has come to pass and we are now living in our new forever home, and the relief is tremendous.  We had worked so hard on Ynyswen down the years - we had lived therefor nearly 33 years, and it had been a huge money-pit, but we had brought it back from the brink of dereliction, restored its features and given it a future.  Yet when it came to selling,  people would come along and expect to find it in its own private estate, rather than a lovely old Welsh farmhouse that - by its definition - was next to a farm.  FINALLY the right people came and fell in love with it and they couldn't wait to get in and it is THEIR new forever home now.

    We finally got away at 2 p.m. ish, for the hour drive up to Builth.  The cats travelled pretty well apart from a few complaints, and a poo from Theo in the first 5 minutes which meant windows needed to be opened!!  They had to go up in the attic straight away, and be locked in so that everything could be unloaded - the Essentials that was.  The rest is delivered on Monday and Tuesday.  

Above and below: the view from our bedroom window that we woke up to this morning. A bit gloomy due to the weather, but you get the idea.

    The cats racketed around up there - Alfie trying to open doors which then shut with a bang!  Not conducive to a good night's sleep and so Tam and I had to open the attic door and put up with Alfie and Little Whale complaining in loud voices and taking it in turns to come on the bed.  Ah yes, the bed - we couldn't get our tall headboard up the stairs so are on the mattress on the floor.  We are going to try and remove the top batten of the door frame tomorrow in the hope that will make the difference.  We have already had to take an axe (!!! all we had to hand) to knock out a worktop in the Utility Room to make room for the fridge-freezer to go back against the wall.  When plumbing in the washing machine we had to ease the water inlet out of a pipe clip which prevented us connecting the other end.  I got it free with a large screwdriver, and managed to bend my little finger nail right back.  It is still feeling rather sore.

View from Tam's window.

    Anyway, all the boxes we had marked Kitchen, E for essential, are now unpacked and unwrapped and put away and the kitchen looks a lot more like home.  

View from the pink bedroom - hills behind the stables.


    Tam and I got a short walk in this afternoon, exploring, and have found an inviting footpath which we will walk when we have a bit more time.  We took some photos today, but the internet is bad (we have it through a hotspot via a mobile) and so I'll try and add some later.

I said there were lovely views - this is from the lane close to the house.

Right, back to bed now.  It's 5.42 a.m. and I couldn't sleep, so came downstairs to finish this post.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Probably the last post from our old home

 Well, we're nearly there.  The Removal people come today to start packing away our goods and chattels - they will have 40 fits when they see how many boxes are books (ahem!) not to mention how many boxes have Fragile on them . . .  

    The last few days have been non-stop - yesterday was a 12 hour working day, and Monday was 14 hours.  This includes deep cleaning where possible.  Some rooms have to wait until Friday when the last of the furniture vacates the property.

    We are sad to leave, after nearly 33 years here, but also greatly relieved as the maintenance here is just too onerous financially and physically.  Keith can't climb ladders any more so any maintenance jobs have to go be paid for now, rather than done by ourselves.  Getting the gutters cleaned costs £140 and the only chap available is a bit of a waste of space - either the gutters aren't emptied properly or he manages to block the downpipe.  Hopefully when we move the Odd Job man used at the new house will be up to scratch - he comes highly recommended and has been doing work there when necessary for years.

    Heating bills are big too - we can only afford to have the heating on a couple of hours in the morning and again after our evening meal.  It is SUCH a big house (4,500 square feet).  

    Despite having lime plaster and render, there is still a damp problem in the attic, which I have had to try and disguise every winter because of being on the market.  Something we can do little about as the quality of the stone used in the top of the chimney stack got worse the higher they built (and ran out of good stuff and used porous shale instead).

    Our buyers will find there is a leak in the inglenook chimney - I assume the capping is letting water in, but we can't climb up a ladder to check and as the house had sold, and he's had his surveys done, and brings fresh money to the house, he will have to get it sorted.

    The UV filters were fixed yesterday, but the company need to come back on Monday to finish the job.  We have UV filters at the new house too (private water supply).  

    The Pandemic is a real worry, especially with moving and having lots of strangers touching all our belongings and being in the house, so we will have to be very careful and all windows and doors will be open and wipe everything down with Dettol spray. 

    Keith gets his first jab on Monday - would you believe, AFTER we have moved and it's first thing in the morning so he and Tam will have to be away by 7.30 to get to Carmarthen in time.  I will probably get mine around mid-February and I have noticed there is a Vaccination Centre in Builth so that will be a lot more convenient - 2 mile journey instead of 50 miles.

    Anyway, stay with me.  We have a temporary set up for broadband until signing up with another company so I hope I will be able to post when the dust has settled and we aren't clambering over boxes.

    Keep safe everyone.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Never underestimate the power of a Jammy Dodger

 Haven't had one for years so a packet sneaked into last week's shopping was very welcome! Just one and it was BLISS - the wee sugar hit I needed after ironing, packing, packing and more . . . packing.  Nearly there now.

My friend's geese.

Right, back to the bubble wrap.  Now have a roll taller than me and 100m long, but we are still getting through it at a great rate, as much needed for all the prints paintings here.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Having a two-cat lap . . .


This was the photo Tam took of me earlier on, with a tabby cat under each arm! Theo to the left and Ghengis to the right.  They were both SO happy to have cuddles!

Ghengis gets SO jealous if Theo has beaten him to it on the lap stakes and yesterday was absolutely GLARING at Theo, very put out!  Tonight they were happy to share me.

Fluff breeds under the bath . . .


Slowly, we are inching towards the "done" and closer towards stuff being taken from this home to our new one (all kicks off next Wednesday).  Paperwork is being read and signed and we are rather hoping we don't get bad weather to put things on hold.

    The last couple of days have seen all the airing cupboard and a coffer full of bed-linen being emptied and bagged and the last two spare duvets being put in ziplock bags to flatten and travel smaller. Plus packing of more awkward stuff.   Today the deep-cleaning began and the main bathroom is now sparkling.  I couldn't believe the mass of fluff under the bath!

    I have 3 more bathrooms to render pristine but those shouldn't take too long.  I had a good vacuum up in the master suite as there were lots of dead cluster flies (I shan't miss those when we leave!) and we had our Removal chappy coming to do a final recce and bring more supplies yesterday.


    Footprints in the snow on a recent cold walk - the size of them suggested Badger (and there are LOTS around here).

    I cannot quite believe what Trump incited in America.  The man is an utter lunatic and needs removing from power soonest.  

    People might be moaning about the speed of the rollout of the vaccine for Covid, but hearing about what hoops people have to jump through in France, at least we're well ahead of them!

    Still enjoying Shameless, and enjoying nature programmes which give us wonderful armchair travel to all parts of the world.

    Keep safe everyone.

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Great Uncle George's Antlers!!


I have now gotten to that stage of the packing where I am having to contemplate the difficult-to-wrap items, like the Antelope shot in India by Great Uncle George.  As you can see, the Army also had difficulty in sending it home to England too, hence the antlers being chopped and pinned . . .  I think it may have to travel independently with us in the car!

I think, all in all, we have some things to travel with us which aren't exactly run of the mill . . .

Sorry for blurry picture.  These are 3 of my earthenware storage jars accumulated down the years and a big Chinese vase on the right.  All were meant to be being passed on before moving - like THAT was going to happen in 2020!  They will go up in the attic and be passed on when we can safely do car boot sales or the occasional Fair (to clear our stock) again.

We are nearly right out of bubble wrap - I shall use the last of the thick heavy bubble wrap on the pictures, but we had stacks of those (some from the house, some bought to sell which have obviously not had an outing!) and I just have to hope I can contact the removal people via phone or email though they are not working until Monday week . . .  

Trying to be positive but right now I am getting quite worried (scared even) about the move because of Covid and this new rampant variety, and the possibility of a return visit from the Beast from the East again - that would be making its presence felt exactly at the time we are moving (mid-January).  The route from here to Builth has some hills (not the least the ones getting to our house!) and the thought of trying to negotiate the tight steep uphill bends of the Sugarloaf in snow and ice (if indeed possible) is not a cheering thought.

Anyway, another photo from a recent walk to round off: