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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Moving house and friendly slugs

It’s been a long time, too long in fact, six whole weeks since I last posted. Anyone would think we’d just moved house.
Just kidding

So much has happened in the last few weeks that I don’t know where or how to start. Should it be with our makelaar (special adviser) with his film star looks, temperamental phone call returning service, and ability to secure us our dream house? Or, perhaps with the Dutch bank and the notaries and their fascination with Andy’s imminent demise?

Nah, that’s all too much for my return post, I think I should start by telling you about our new home.

Bye bye apartment
Three weeks ago we packed up our lives once more into cardboard, had a serious chat with Alfie about behaving and waited by the phone for news of the keys.

Alfie promised to be good (he lied by the way)

Twenty days ago, three strong, selfless men turned up at our apartment at noon with no more incentive than a pint with Mr Sunshine and carried our lives into the hire van, a thankless task really as they had to do the same in reverse a few hours later.

Our new home

They left after several hours with our not only with our gratitude and promise of dinner, but the realisation of the amazing friendships we've made since we became expats. Back home in the UK, it is only family who would give so much without expecting anything in return. Only family would break their backs humping box after box of our useless processions, smile at Mr Sunshine’s off the wall removal techniques or restack my attempts at filling the removal van without even a sigh. But of course our families are miles away and these three lovely men stepped in to fill the void. Thank you Martin, Robbie and Jack you make the world a much nicer place for a couple of middle aged expats like us.

Arriving at our new home was more than a little unnerving. The words ‘what have we done’ danced around my brain more than once as I: gaped at the wreck of a garden, made friends with the giant slug who makes his way into the kitchen via the gap under the door,

Spot the slug

built up courage to descend the vertical, narrow stairs, 
not good with vertigo


found yet another patch of damp
Rising damp?

and listened to the burrowing of the woodworm. 
Same sound as money going down a drain

The heating doesn't work properly, neither does the spare bedroom light, the doors don't close and all the windows come with built in drafts. Corners have been cut at every conceivable point and the builder only speaks Dutch and Polish. But we love it.

Some people may make house buying decisions based on practicality and finance - we’re working on that.  We made the decision based on nearness to dog walks and pubs, space for an office, guest bedroom and extra toilet. For me personally, I can’t speak for Mr Sunshine, I love and I mean really love that fact this house has almost no right angled walls, everything is slightly twisted, off centre, asymmetrical, unbalanced, it feels like a home from a fairy-tale where beauty is found in flaws and the imperfect.

Kinda suits us.

Looking good in his new office

One of our new walks

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