So, that year in summary…

Welll… I’d said it was probably the toughest year of my life. And possibly also the best. Here’s a photo montage of some of the highlights.

Including:

The Gambia, Calum’s Road, leaving in January in heavy snow, heavy laden bike, The Butcher’s Shop restaurant (where we got food poisoning), and a return to the original road on Raasay.

Severe weather conditions, but spring arriving!

Volcanic ash disruption, and alternative ways home. Prince Charles waving to me, and Meet the Meat.
New iPhone!

New abode – planes trains and automobiles.

Bad bananas and mad dogs.

Talented daughter and bf.

Pangalactic gargleblasters on 101010.

Parking fine and flat tyre.

Major work to the Beahive – shed, bathroom, boiler, furniture from IKEA, where I’m now on first name terms with the staff.

The many aspects of me – new hair, new bag, my Trilogettes, dressing up as Doc for a Back-to-the-future-a-thon, Beatrix, working out measurements in the Numbers room, balloons, bingo by the pool, dancing with Chris Hollins….and getting engaged!

I’ve ended the year 1/2 a stone lighter than I began, and I hope 2011 will be as full of adventure and fun !

Tough Year

Blimey this has been one annus horribilis! Moving house is acknowledged as being stressful – I’ve done it twice in 2010. Splitting up is stressful – I’ve been dumped twice. By email.

And yet my positive side still is able to see these as steps forward, a new start, maybe a sideways move, but the next stage in the roller coaster of life.

Have just started internet dating, and Oh! My! God! I think there may be a book in this one! What a lot of weidros there are out there!shilouette of a hanging basket

One week later

Last Saturday, having a bare necessities of a working loo and a fridge, I slept in the new house for the first time. So I’ve been here now one whole week.

The to-do list has shortened from eleventy-million items to a mere handful, and I’ve slept really well every night – despite the noise from the nearby planes trains and automobiles! But trains only run between 6 and 11, and planes between 6.30 and 10, so the only continuous noise is the traffic on the bypass, which is distant enough and constant enough to be almost a white noise background.

a plane landing against the setting sun

Planes and cranes

The most striking thing is how quickly I felt at home here. OK, I’ve lived in lots of different places, but I’ve lived in Belfast longer than anywhere else – East Belfast in particular. I love being so close to shops, that an Indian takeaway can find the address easily, that I can just walk across the footbridge to Victoria Park, that I can see the sunset from my back garden.
Had a real houseful on Friday – cousin Karen called in as she lives nearby, a friend M was staying the night, daughter and bf were also staying as they were heading to Dublin first thing on Saturday, AND I was looking after Max for the weekend. I was in my element with the place being full of life and chatter. Karen reminded me that it was 11 years since the France eclipse, and so we dug out the video tape of Jem’s 6th birthday in Disneyland Paris, and had a good ole reminisce…

Eating the Elephant

I remember when I moved to Luxembourg – the enormity of the whole relocating overseas was what I described as like having to eat an elephant. You look at this enormous beast of a zillion different tasks to be completed, and gasp at the staggering size and scariness.

an elephant with its trunk in the air

And I found then that the way to eat an elephant was a) cut it into bite sized chunks, and b) eat some elephant every day.

So I’m using the same approach to this house move. I’ve given myself a week transition, which allows the bathroom in the new place to be gutted and replaced. The landlords in my current rental apartment were really co-operative and allowed me to rent week by week until everything was finalised, so that was a huge help.

So. I knew the bathroom refit would be messy – I took possession on Friday and he started work on Saturday. I’m taking daily photos and they’ll be on Flickr. But I reckoned the messiest bit would be done by today, and so I booked a carpet cleaner for this afternoon (before I start bringing in some shiny new furniture). However, bathroom guy still has some messy tasks to do, including plastering, so we decided not to clean the hall/stairs and landing just yet. Carpet cleaner offered to come back next week and do the missing sections.

Bathroom suite arrived today on schedule, and all the sizes seem to be OK. I went to IKEA this afternoon to get bedroom furniture, and arrange delivery. One small snag was that one wardrobe door was out of stock, but I’m hoping that it’ll be back in tomorrow morning, and I can nip over and buy it and add to the delivery bundle for he afternoon. IKEA is delightfully “across the road”, about half a mile a way. I could just push the trolley home you know!

I missed off c) in the above list – expect some delays. Today’s tasks were mostly good, except it was bin day, and I did leave my bin (filled by previous occupants) out in time, but it wasn’t emptied and now it’ll be 2 weeks till next collection. On the phone to the council tomorrow then! And I was a bit disappointed that the carpet cleaning hadn’t totally done away with the marks left by former sofas and beds. But at least I know its clean.

I did manage to catch the recycling bus on its way past, and they gave me a replacement lid for my box and a leaflet setting out what can and cant be recycled. All good stuff!

Right, any good recipes for trunk?