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Posts Tagged ‘moving’

  1. Short update

    July 29, 2011 by superlative

    This is just going to be a short update on how things are going, partly because it’s been a while since I posted and partly because I don’t want to ruin my Post A Week 2011 attempt when I’ve been doing so well.

    Things are continuing to improve with the flat, slowly but surely. Plusnet finally stopped fingering themselves and managed to turn our phone and broadband back on on Monday, and it has been LOVELY to have the internet back. It’s amazing how cut off you feel without a landline or access to the web. I’m actually writing this post from home for once instead of from my work computer! (I write them in my lunch hour, before you ask. Honest. Erm.)

    I have also at long last got the money back for our big fat sofa that didn’t fit. It only took about six phone calls to Dwell to get it off them. That’s a relief though, because it was a lot of money to be without, and it has meant we can make a second attempt at buying a sofa. The new one is due to come next Thursday and the website GUARANTEES their sofas will fit into your home. So it better fucking fit, that’s all I can say.

    We made a quick run up to Ikea on Monday and got some curtains and rug for the living room too, and it is surprising what a difference it has made to the look of the room. It is a lot more homely now, and I think it is starting to look really nice. Chris took a few pictures the other day; I’ll try to post a couple on here when I’m not in such a rush.

    We are off out to a lesbian wedding in a minute, so I had better go and put my face on. It wouldn’t do to be out-glammed by a bunch of lesbians, after all. I might try to post again tomorrow, if I haven’t got too much of a lesbian hangover. Lesbians give you those, right?


  2. Update on the move

    July 22, 2011 by superlative

    It has now been just over a week since we moved to our new home, and since I wrote my last middle-of-the-night freakout post.

    It has not been too bad and things are slowly improving as time goes on. There have been a series of small disasters though, and my freakout continued from last Wednesday well into the weekend. It is only now that I feel I am starting to settle down and get used to the new flat really.

    The move itself didn’t go too badly at all. Chris’ Dad got down to us insanely early at about 7.30am, and despite my notion it would take about 50 trips back and forth in the car to move everything it actually only took six. By lunchtime everything had been moved, nothing had been broken, and the only thing to go wrong was Chris’ Dad giving himself a black eye with the arm of the sofa.

    It was hugely exhausting, and by lunchtime I felt like it must be 8pm already. The fact I didn’t want to move really didn’t help at all; it just made it harder work moving boxes into a flat I didn’t really want to move into.

    Our new bed arrived in the afternoon and has been AMAZING. We got it all put together without a hitch, and it is so comfortable and enormous. It was only one of the cheaper ones from Bensons for Beds, but I really like it, and it was worth the bit extra we spent on a memory foam mattress.

    Not everything has gone so smoothly however.

    Much to my relief, Chris did stay home on Friday morning to help me deal with the sofa delivery. Much to my distress, it did not fit. It came in three slightly smaller packs than I was expecting, but it was just too fat to fit down our stupid narrow stairs and the deliverymen almost ripped our drainpipe off trying to get it in. So we had to abort and send it back, which fortunately turned out to be an option, and they didn’t just dump it on the pavement or anything. I am told I can get a refund and that’s no problem, because it’s not a custom-made sofa or anything so it can just go back to the warehouse, but it has been a week already and I’m still chasing them up for the money. I won’t be comfortable about it until I know we’ve got the money back, and I don’t want to order a different sofa from anywhere else until we do either.

    So that was our first small disaster, which was a shame because the sofa looked really nice. The coffee table from the same place fitted in at least and that looks really good.

    Our new oven came on Friday too, and that was delivered and installed in about five minutes, so I should be grateful for small blessings really.

    The sofa wasn’t the end of our furniture woes though, as we had a delivery from Next of two cupboards, a sideboard and a dining table on Sunday. They were all flat-packed, but they were not cheap at all and the whole lot cost us more than £1,500. We set to work with a cupboard first of all, and in the end it took us six whole hours spread over two days to complete it. And at the last stage… it’s faulty. One of the drawer runners is warped and unusable, so you can’t put the drawer in. So we ring them up, and guess what? In the intervening seven days since bought it the whole range has been discontinued, so they can’t supply a replacement part. They can only send a Furniture Doctor (what the fuck? you mean a carpenter yeah?) to try to fix it. Which they haven’t done because we’ve not heard back from them.

    It turns out you can buy a new drawer runner online anyway, so I might just do that and fix the bloody thing myself. Not very good though.

    The sideboard seems OK now that we’ve finished it, but the dining table has chips in the paint on the leg. We’re just going to paint over those with Tippex or something. It’s still not great that we have to do that, but I can’t be bothered to ring them up again. We haven’t opened the second cupboard yet, God knows what we’re going to find when we do. Poor show Next, poor show.

    To make sorting things like this out even more annoying, Plusnet have fucked up the transfer of our phone and broadband, so we’ve been without both for a week and a half already and we’re looking at Monday before even the phone starts working again. What was the point in giving them three weeks’ notice before we moved? Absolutely none apparently, because they didn’t do anything at all about transferring the service until I rang them up again on the day of the move. They claim it’s not their fault because the previous owners had already filed to have their service disconnected before I requested our transfer – erm, isn’t that what ALWAYS happens? People move out, they cancel their service about the same time as you request to take over the line. It seems ridiculous that this somehow impeded them from doing anything until the previous service had ceased. So I’m not happy with them, and we’ve spent millions of pounds on our mobiles phoning them and other companies because our landline is out of action. Stupid Plusnet.

    Oh yeah, and mobile reception in our flat is patchy because it’s a basement. You have to stand near the windows. Helpful.

    But aside from all of THOSE things, the main problem with the flat has been noise from the property above. They have wooden floors, like everyone these days, and two toddlers, which is really fucking annoying. They didn’t live there when we bought the place. I’ve never lived in close proximity to small children before, but apparently their main occupation is running from one end of the flat to the other non-stop for hours on end, and then dropping toys on the floor repeatedly. We’ve already had to complain twice, and while the parents have been quite nice about it, it hasn’t actually made any difference to the noise. Fortunately we found out from them that they’re only there for a month, so them and their stupid toddlers will be fucking off at some point, and that makes it a bit more bearable. I’m worried about who we’ll get up there afterwards, but I can’t really do anything about that until it happens.

    It has been pointed out to me that in the terms of our lease (and therefore most likely theirs as well) we are meant to keep the floors covered with carpet and underlay at all times. If the noise ends up being a real problem we could remind the owners of that or try to enforce it in some way. I hope it doesn’t come to that though, and we just get an adult couple living up there and we get used to the more general noise of people moving about who aren’t toddlers and who don’t enjoy indoor running.

    So yeah, that’s a long list of things that have gone wrong, and given we’re quite stressed and tired each of them has felt like a bit of a disaster. We are starting to settle in though, and get used to things, and like it a bit more. As we gradually make it nicer in there and fix the things we don’t like I’m hopeful that will continue to improve.

    It’s been a tough week, but maybe in a year I’ll be saying God I love our flat and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Maybe. Please. Hopefully.


  3. M-Day + 3 hours

    July 14, 2011 by superlative

    I’m writing this at 3.30am on the day of our move. I haven’t slept tonight yet, because I’ve got too much going round in my head, so at the moment I’m facing moving home on no sleep at all. Chris’ Dad is due to arrive here to start the move in four hours. Fuck.

    I’m feeling really stressed, and at the moment I don’t want to move at all. When I collected our keys today, there were lots of little things that I didn’t like about the new flat, things I hadn’t noticed before, and although they’re pretty much all quite minor they made me freak out a bit. There are just various bits of it that are quite shabby, or are broken, or weren’t how I was expecting, and it made me want to cling to what I have already simply because it’s familiar and safe.

    You could hear people clumping around through the ceiling too, and that upset me a bit. I wanted the new place to be quiet, to feel like I was away from other people. A stupid hope really, considering it’s a flat in busy Brighton. Chris said the clumping noise probably won’t be as noticeable once we’re not standing in a silent, empty flat, with no furnishings to absorb any of it. He’s probably right, but my head’s too all over the place at the moment to agree.

    A huge, huge worry that we both now have on top of this is that our brand new sofa, that we have ordered at huge expense to arrive on Friday, will not fit down the stairs to the property. I had considered the doorways when I ordered it, and they should be fine, but I had no recollection at all of how narrow the stairs are. The bedroom windows bow out into them as you go down, and so for a long stretch they are literally only 65cm across. And that is really rather fucking narrow for large furniture items to pass through. I’ve even had to dismantle our dining table this evening before we move it, because I couldn’t see how else we’d get it down there.

    What the fuck do I do if the sofa won’t fit? What will the delivery men do? Will they just dump it on the pavement and go? I’ve read things about sofa delivery men doing that. You’re meant to have measured, if it doesn’t fit it’s your fault not theirs, they don’t do returns just because you’re too much of a cock to have worked out if you can get the sofa inside or not.

    Chris and I are clinging to the hope that with the packing off and the cushions off, the sofa will be just about wigglable through the gap. It might, it very nearly might, but it’s an unusual shape and I’m really not convinced. I’m so scared we’ve wasted all that money.

    The people living there before us had two sofas in their front room. How did they get them in and out? They weren’t such an odd shape though, and maybe the arms could come off or something. I don’t know. I’m really scared.

    I was meant to be at home on my own when the sofa comes on Friday, but I’m really hoping Chris can take the day off with me, even if he has to pull a sicky, so I don’t have to deal with it on my own if it won’t fit. Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck.

    I’m so tired, and so stressed, and so disappointed not to be excited about the flat. I hope it feels better and nicer once we’re in and our furniture is in (if any of it fits). Chris is sad that I’m not pleased with it, and I’m dragging him down. One day he’ll leave me for being such hard work, and such a miserable fuck. I need to hold on to that thought and bury my stress deep down inside me. We’re moving, and I can’t stop it, and we’re moving for good reasons, and the place should be nice once we’re in and we’ve made it nice. We’re moving. But at the moment I really really don’t want to.


  4. M-Day in 168 hours

    July 7, 2011 by superlative

    We are moving in exactly one week’s time.

    I have decided to refer to it as M-Day, as it’s a nice geeky reference for any comic book fans reading this.

    It really doesn’t seem all that far away suddenly, and I’m finding it quite odd that in a week I won’t be living in the flat that has been our home for eight years. It’s a good thing, I keep reminding myself, and you can’t live in the same place forever. But at the same time I’m sure I’ll miss it, and I’ll miss things about it. I’ll miss the way the sun shines in during the afternoon and Chris sunbathing on the carpet. I’ll miss how close it is to town and the station. I’ll miss that we can pop out for a drink on the spur of the moment if we want – although we never do, so really I’ll just miss having the option. I’ll miss being the most central of our friends, so everyone always comes to us before we go out. There are lots of things I’ll miss.

    There are very many good things about the place we are moving to though, and I need to remember that. It is even closer to the sea than we are already. It has a patio. It’s bigger, and the living room is enormous. We can have a proper guest bedroom, albeit a little tiny one. And most importantly, it will be ours. We won’t be dependent on our landlord to fix anything, or prey to him deciding rents in the area have gone up so he should put ours up too, or worried that he’ll be annoyed by the massive mayonnaise stain in the middle of the carpet. It’ll be our own little home, with its own front door, and I think it may even feel more like a little house than a flat. It will be a good thing, but I’m still a bit scared.

    I’ve done a fair bit of the admin work involved in the move. The utilities are all sorted (although I’m certain Plusnet are going to fuck up the broadband for a while). I’ve done quite a few of the address changes, and the ones that are left aren’t especially urgent and most can just be done online. I’ve also got 20 boxes for free from a bookshop, which I was quite pleased about considering in some cases you have to actually buy new ones if you can’t find a kindly retailer to nick them from.

    We have also ordered a nice new bed with a posh Memoryfoam mattress, and we have picked out the sofa, coffee table, dining table and cabinets that we want. Everything is hideously expensive, so my credit card will be taking a pounding, but having all new things should be nice. We’ll probably order some of the items we’ve picked tonight, and then they can arrive in the first few days after the move. It’ll mean me waiting in all day for deliveries, which I hate, but once everything is in it will start to look really nice in there.

    This weekend is packing weekend. I can’t decide if it’s going to take three hours or three days to pack everything. We don’t have that much stuff, and it seems like it should be fairly easy when you know that everything has to be packed. We don’t have to pick and choose like when you’re packing for a holiday; it’ll be more like when you pack to come home from a holiday, and you know that everything has to go in the case. Much faster. I’ll feel a bit better once I’ve done some of it though.

    It’s probably a bit less than 168 hours away actually, as we’ll start moving about 8 or 9am hopefully. So that makes it 164 hours. Eek eek eek. But also exciting eek.


  5. Contracts you say? Let me exchange those for you.

    June 24, 2011 by superlative

    We’re moooooooooooooooooooooooooving! We exchanged contracts yesterday afternoon and now we are absolutely definitely moving and it can’t fall through. Or rather it can fall through but it would cost so much money in penalties that it’s not very likely.

    So hooray! Now I can actually allow myself to think about the new place without having to add on little caveats in my head all the time like “as long as it doesn’t fall through”, “if all goes well”, “assuming we do buy it” etc etc.

    And mostly I am thinking fuuuuuuuuuuuuck I hope it’s all alright! I hope the flat is still nice when we see it again, and I hope there aren’t any huge problems with it that we and the surveyor somehow missed, and I really really hope it’s not a noisy place to live. They’ve said quite categorically “we never hear the neighbours”, but I know you can’t really trust a seller to tell you the whole story. If we get there and it’s really noisy I’m going to be devastated though…

    But anyway, I always assume the worst case scenario will be true, and I need to stop it. As everyone keeps saying to me, I’m sure it will be FINE. And it’ll be our own place, and there will be no landlord, and we can make it nice, and we’ll be proper grown ups.

    We’re completing on 13 July, and we’re going to move our stuff on the 14th. So in less than three weeks we should be living there. It feels weird to think that we’ll be living somewhere else; we’ve been in our rented flat for almost eight years, ever since we moved out of our final student house in 2003. In lots of ways I don’t like the flat any more – it’s quite noisy, it’s not very big, and it needs redecorating – but it has also been my home for a very long time. The only place I have lived in for longer is my childhood home where we stayed until I was 13. Even the house my parents live in now I was only at for five years.

    We never intended to stay put for eight years like this; it just happened, due to convenience and house prices and things. So this will be the start of a whole new chapter for us. I hope it’s a good one.

    We’ll be buying lots of new furniture, because again we’ve had half our stuff for eight years or more, the other half belongs to our landlord, and the stuff we bought was really rather cheap. Can you believe we got our sofabed from Ikea for £35? We’re thrifty, we are.

    That should be quite nice though, because everything will be new, and I’m hoping it will make the flat look all swish. I want people to walk in and say “Wow it’s lovely, I wish my place was this nice”. That’s what I want, the jealousy of my friends. It’s all I live for.

    I’m freaking out a bit about the amount of work to do before and during the move, sorting out all our changes of addresses and utilities and whatnot, but I expect we’ll get there in the end. Other people manage it, and lots of people are quite thick, so it can’t be that hard.

    It’s exciting anyway, and it’s nice to know it’s definitely happening. People have been asking if we’re having a house warming party, and my answer is no. NO ONE TOUCHES ANYTHING IN THE NEW FLAT. That will be the rule. I want to keep it nice, after all.


  6. Chuck out your chintz

    June 2, 2011 by superlative

    That’s what they used to say on the Ikea advert wasn’t it? And there was a little song too. Well that’s what we’ve been doing over the last few days anyway, although to me chintz means lacey things with floral patterns and pictures of Westies on them, so I didn’t have any of that to start with. We’ve been chucking out other things.

    Since Saturday we have thrown or given away TWENTY ONE bin bags of stuff from our flat. Twenty one! And we only live in a small flat too. We honestly had so much crap, and given that we’re supposed to be (hopefully) moving at some point we thought there was just no way any sane person could pack up and move so much old rubbish.

    It was so cathartic, and it has made the flat feel a lot less cluttered. Part of our reason for needing to move was that we’ve run out of space, but actually it transpires that all we needed was a really ruthless clear out. But never mind that, we do still want to move, and without a motivator like “You’re going to have to carry boxes and boxes of this shit down the stairs soon” it would have been impossible ever to throw any of it away.

    Interesting things that I found we had been keeping were:

    • empty boxes and their polystyrene insides, because they ‘might be useful for packing up and moving [insert equipment that broke ages ago] at some point’.
    • electrical equipment that broke ages ago and has since resided in the loft, not even in its designated box but next to it.
    • a wardrobe we dismantled and have no hope of reassembling.
    • 40,000 carrier bags.
    • Two Thompson Locals dating from 2004, including the one where they did away with the actual cat on the front and replaced it with a terrifying woman in a blue catsuit.
    • Lots of books, which have gone to a charity shop. This one is only interesting because after boxing up all the books to go to the charity shop, I idly opened one book and found an old appointment card for a sexual health clinic and a leaflet on sexually transmitted infections. That would have been a nice surprise for whichever old lady ends up buying A Concise History Of France.

    Our loft now only contains items that we actually use from time to time, and we’ve got about five empty drawers and cupboards around the house. Suddenly moving seems a lot more manageable, because you could throw most of what is left into boxes in a few hours, and you wouldn’t have to wonder what any of it is or why it still exists.

    Regarding the actual move, things are progressing bit by bit. We’ve done pretty much everything we can do, and we’re just waiting on a planning query with the council and some other bits and bobs from the sellers. The estate agent decided to ring me up and be mean to me last week, because our conveyancer has taken a clause out of the contract and the sellers didn’t like it. So rather deliberately the estate agent chose to have a go at me about it, knowing I’m a much weaker negotiating target than a legal professional would be. It didn’t work though, because I set our conveyancer on him straight afterwards who told him off, and the sellers’ solicitor has since caved under the pressure of our far superior conveyancer and the clause has remained taken out. So in your face, Danny The Wanky Estate Agent. I’ve learnt that having a good conveyancer makes SO much difference when you’re buying a property.

    We’ll get there in the end, I hope. I just want to exchange now, because the prospect of it falling through after you’ve put this much time and effort into it is just too much to bear. Once we’ve exchanged contracts I can relax, so fingers crossed it happens soon.

    And then we can start filling up our new flat with loads of old crap.


  7. Where am I going to buy my drugs now?

    September 14, 2010 by superlative

    The drug dealers have rather abruptly moved out of the flat next door to mine and we have new neighbours. I’m quite surprised, because I thought they were going to be staying put there for a while.

    It was only a few weeks ago that one of them knocked on our door (the nice one who doesn’t deal drugs) to say they’d had another letter from their landlord about noise complaints, and they were sorry and wanted to ask what they could do to be quieter. We hadn’t actually complained about the noise, it must have been one of the other flats, because from our point of view they already were quite quiet. The fact that they sold drugs from the flat and had large numbers of rather sketchy-looking visitors/customers was much more of an issue to me, but of course I didn’t say that. I was just nice and jovial and said no they hadn’t disturbed us, and that was it.

    So I was a bit surprised that last weekend they were suddenly packing stuff into a taxi and hoovering the flat at 11pm (they never hoover, presumably they manage never to spill their drugs on the carpet). I saw one of them in the street and just nodded and smiled, and in return I got a rather stoney look, so I can only assume that someone complained about them again and they were told to leave. I feel sorry for the nice one because he’d always been very friendly to us, but I don’t feel sorry for the drug dealer. I just don’t want that in my building.

    I’m still rather annoyed that having called the police and asked what you should do if you think your neighbour is a drug dealer, having been told “yes that behaviour does sound suspicious, you should file a report with us”, and having then filed a report three times, NOTHING happened. Nothing at all. They didn’t ask me for any further information, they didn’t say keep a log of how many suspicious visitors they have so we have more to go on, or anything like that. They just noted it down and then did nothing about it.

    What else is a responsible citizen supposed to do? Why should I just tolerate having a drug dealer next door, even if he was only a low level one? I realise that I could simply have been a malicious neighbour who wanted to get someone I didn’t like into trouble, and so they can’t just bash the door down on my say so. But I’d have thought something might have happened. But no, apparently not. Maybe they need to get complaints from more than one neighbour before they take it seriously or something.

    But anyway, they’ve gone now, and two girls have moved in.

    In an effort to be neighbourly, we introduced ourselves when they arrived, and had them over for a glass of wine in the evening. They seem on the whole quite nice, and probably are a better calibre of neighbour than we’ve had in there for a while: one is an NQT, and the other is a mature student (although still in her early 20s, so she’s only ‘mature’ because she’s not starting her course at 18).

    I was less impressed with the 10 friends they had round on their first night, who seemed much more like the daggy, slightly zoned-out set of students that we’re used to next door. They were polite enough, but the building immediately felt like a halls of residence again. They left smoking debris all over the patio too, which I found rather disrespectful of the other people that live there.

    But the girls ARE quiet, friendly and polite, so I’m hoping it will be fine. And they approved of our Zac Efron poster and Hollyoaks Hunks calendar (yes we have those), so we may get on famously.

    We’re thinking again about moving anyway, as our landlord wants to put the rent up by another £20 and I’m starting to think it’s not very good value for a one bedroom flat with no double glazing, no central heating, only one storage heater for the whole flat, and periodically bad neighbours. I just want somewhere nice to live, that’s quiet and is befitting of our stature as refined young professionals. But we still haven’t saved up enough to buy, so it would have to be another rental place, and the only places I really like are around £1,000 a month. We could afford that, but it would stop us saving up to buy very quickly, so then I don’t know if we should move or not.

    Anyway, yay to no drug dealers and replacement neighbours, and I’m off to check lettings adverts now.