6th day in the house 26 Nov 09

Going to detail progress here for myself – feel free to skip πŸ™‚

Yesterday we:

  • spent 3 hours hunting for DECT phone base, firewall and Pete’s phone charger – this entailed opening every bloody box. We eventually found all three in the very last box, inside another box
  • got the bed made up, so no more sleeping on the mattress on the floor. I also washed the bed linen and hung it on the line, after a desperate but successful hunt for the clothes pegs – that’s a "feels like home" thing, but we need a new line and clothes prop
  • assembled the clothes rails, found the hangers (why do we have so many?) and hung up all the clothes I could find, although I know there are a fair few packed in the top of the tower of book boxes
  • sorted out all the wicker baskets in the bedroom, redistributed their contents to where they should be – bedroom is nearly there now, Bit more tidying, and new curtains and rails to hang
  • Had a Polish chap round to quote for fitting the loft ladder and hatch – he’s startlingly cheap at 200 quid, and I’m not sure whether to trust him, but his feedback on mybuilder.com is good …
  • discussed how to lay out the living room, discovering in the process that our not very nice television stand will have to go; simplest thing will be to put a custom triangular shelf in one of the alcoves, so Pete will hie himself down to Sculcoates Lane and visit the wonderful woodmonger, who planed a piece of wood exactly to size for the catflap, and charged us precisely £1.50, including the wood
  • knocked out the manky shelving in the study alcove, part-assembled the spare set of shed shelves, and determined that they will fit in there – not ideal, but quick and easy, and so will do for now. The first set of shed shelves went in the cupboard under the stairs, which I have organised to within an inch of its life
  • found the blind we bought for the old study in Bristol, and discovered that – amazingly – it will just fit in the study here
  • found the missing shelf for the pine bookcase in the kitchen shelf, but sadly not its fixings – so we’ll pick some up today on our trip to pick up the paint for the living/dining room, which will have to be decorated in instalments; paint a bit, shelve it, move on. The kitchen bookcase is holding up the finishing of the kitchen, so that’s a priority
  • got the Linux server up and plugged into the firewall (now we’ve found it),although we have a lot of network plumbing to do. Did some research on a job that a customer needs a quote for today – just what we need right now
  • had fish and chips; £6 quid for two allegedly small portions, which we couldn’t finish, they were so huge. We were going to have them for lunch, but I was late getting up there, and they were shut, so I bought a couple of filled rolls – one tuna/sweetcorn, one ham/cheese … £3.10p. Cost of living is cheap up here!
  • had someone round to collect a stack of cardboard boxen via Hull Freegle, and got someone coming for more tonight. Also cleared all the ones from the back yard ready to go to the tip this weekend – they’re stacked behind the wheelie bin.

Then we collapsed. More today – onwards and upwards.

Well, we’re here. All we have set up at the moment is my Netbook and the wireless router – I haven’t *looked* at LJ, Facebook, Twitter, etc, just done the odd Twitter post from the phone to let folk know we’re alive.

The move was hideous, but eternal and inexpressible gratitude go to geoffcampbell, who drove the lorry, organised the team of packers and loaders as though he were playing Tetris, and generally made the whole thing work; Pat and Dave, WANOLJ, who came round to the old house at 6 a.m. on moving day and worked like *heroes* for five hours; agc who drove to Hull from Wiltshire to help with the unloading, and etriganuk who trained over from Manchester to do the same. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.

We couldn’t get everything on the van, so perlmonger had to do a one way van rental at an extortionate price, and spent four hours packing and loading the last stuff in the pouring rain, not getting away from Bristol until nearly 5 p.m. He came down with a nasty chill on Tuesday , unsurprisingly, but he got here.

Nothing broken in the move so far, although my ceramic duck mobile’s wire broke when I tried to hang it up, so that’s a casualty. We cannot find the clothes pegs, or Pete’s mobile phone charger, so if anyone needs him, use the house phone or my mobile (contact details just posted in a friends locked post).

I drove the cats up, which could not be described as an enjoyable experience, even for me – Iggy and Mustrum cried the whole way, and Iggy disgraced himself in his basket. EnRon, of course, just curled up together in their carrier and slept the whole way – they really are utterly bombproof, those two. When we arrived they went off exploring, but soon came home through the kitchen window, which we kept open until Pete managed to fit the cat flap on Tuesday. Except for Iggy, who disappeared on Sunday evening – we were distraught. I’ll write more about this later in the cats’ blog, but suffice it to say that when I was making a cup of tea at 6 this morning, he strolled into the kitchen from the living room – so he’d found his way back through this grid of Victorian terraced streets, and discovered the cat flap. I’m more relieved and happy than I can say.

So, anyway, we’re alive. I’ll write more about the house later, but I know some people have been waiting to hear. Thanks to all those who’ve phoned and mailed – no time to respond now, but I’ll get there.

On with the unpacking – we nearly have a living room now, the kitchen is almost finished (going to paint it RED) , and Hull is good. Except that bloody Gavin still hasn’t paid the sodding rent.

in the loft

We emptied the loft last night. perlmonger kept assuring me that there “wasn’t much up there”. He was mistaken. We emptied it into our bedroom, and the bathroom, and I became marooned in a wall of boxes; still, at least that made us sort it all before the evening was over – there’s yet another load in the car to go to the charity shop, and there’s another car’s worth for the tip.

Why did we have 15 assorted suitcases and bags? And six broken keyboards, a carpet neither of us have ever seen before, still more vinyl records, a box of clothes of mine in a size 12 (FFS).

Still, we found the boxes for all the monitors, the scanner, the laser printer, the slow cooker, the food mixer, the Remoksa, amongst others, which will make life a tiny bit easier in the next week. Every little helps.

outings

We hardly ever go out in the evenings here – we’re not far from Bristol, but we hate getting the car out at night, there’s never anywhere to park when we get home, and the bus service is very infrequent.

I note with some amazement that we have four outings booked already in Hull, and we’re not even there yet – the joys of urban living, where we can walk into the city in 20 minutes.

So we have:

  • a vampire production of Macbeth at the Hull Truck Theatre on 26 November, just 5 days after we arrive
  • Rob Brydon on 5 December. This is actually a bit of a cheat, as he’s on in Scarborough, but still …
  • The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain on 10/1/10, again at Hull Truck. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this – they are utterly fab
  • and just now, from Hull Council’s Twitter feed, I find that Shami Chakrabati is giving the Wilberforce Lecture at the Guildhall in Hull on 14/1/10, and the tickets are free. And I have reserved two. She is followed on stage by our esteemed HomeSec, Alan Johnson, so rotten tomatoes may be in order.

Good, eh?

ticking the boxes

I have:

  • cancelled Virgin Media phone and broadband, and BT phone, and ADSL
  • done the change of address for British Gas (EDF can be done when we do the final reading)
  • cancelled the direct debit for the water rates (we owe them Β£17)
  • cancelled the Council Tax direct debit here (they owe us Β£75 – yay!) and informed Hull Council that we are moving in. Β£360 per year saving *there*, which is nice.
  • organised phone and broadband from Karoo (the only supplier in Hull) – Β£43 per month, as opposed to the Β£125 we’re paying now for comms, although it’ll only be one line. Still, it has a fixed IP, and a 75Gb allowance, and unmetered overnight, so that’ll do the backups from the web servers without impinging. Maddeningly, you cannot put your KC phone number *anywhere* as advertising (including our own web site) without paying the business rate, which I think is execrable.
  • Rented a big van for Monday, when we will take up as much stuff as we can – books, kitchen equipment, etc – and fit the catflaps, and so forth. Not bad – Β£70 from Enterprise for 2 days. And empty the self store unit, before they charge us another heap of money.
  • Organised the lorry – 3.5 tonne with tail lift. Β£75 per day, for 2 days. Also not bad.
  • Bought a dog cage for the junior cats to stay in while we pack and move, and for them to travel in. Iggy and Mustrum are booked into a cattery for 48 hours, as I suspect they’d simply leg it if they saw their life being packed into a lorry
  • Completed the forms for post redirection, which I will take up to the post office today, with all the sundry pieces of paper they need for ID

Now then – what have I *forgotten* ?

a day out

It was my birthday yesterday (pause for congratulations), and we skived an afternoon off.

Firstly we called over to the mechanic, where perlmonger had managed to leave the car boot cover after he’d cycled over to collect the car, then squeezed the bike into the boot, which was full of stuff for the tip. Then we went to the tip.

Then we drove over to Bath, ate fabulous sausage baguettes from The Sausage Shop, and had a last wander round the shops, purchasing a small metal pail to hold food compost in the kitchen (helpfully labelled “compost”). We currently use a big plastic bowl for this, because Modo, our compost heap, is right at the end of the garden, but when we move it’ll be outside the back door, so a small receptacle is ideal, and will take up less worktop space.

We also picked up a funky purple knife complete with sheath, which will be useful for the picnic bag – we plan to be old badgers up there, and take a flask of tea and so forth when we go coast walking. Oh, and an xmyth ornament of a moose reindeer; we have a tradition of buying one a year. I’m very bah humbug about the commercialism of the festering season, but I do like to relax, eat well, see friends, and decorate the house.

After that we went to collect a wooden loft hatch/ladder combo, which I’d scored from eBay. These are usually frighteningly expensive (well, frightening to *me*), but this was a real bargain at 50 quid. Astonishingly, there is no loft access in the house in Hull, and thus there is no insulation either. That’s under organisation, and grants mean you can get it done for Β£75, but there needs to be access to the loft to do it, and we thought we might as well put in a decent ingress/egress method.

We came home via Ikea – we’ve been looking at second hand kitchens on eBay, but decided that we need to live in it for a while, and so we need to buy some bits and pieces to make it useable. We don’t *think* there are any drawers in the units, so we bought a couple of cutlery holders, and a plastic tray affair for holding utensils, and a silicon tray for making small heart-shaped cakes, and a pack of ten hooks, and a cooker hood. That lot came to Β£35 – I know Ikea can be a pain, but they’re fab for stuff like that, and how can anyone make and distribute a cooker hood for Β£29? Beats me.

Back home for 7, as someone was coming to collect the lawnmower, which was eBay’d, along with a load of other stuff. Then the guilty pleasure of fish’n’chips, some crap TV, and bed at 9.30. How I wish I could shake off the after effects of this bloody hamthrax …