Thank you so much for all your lovely comments from my last blog, and I can only apologise that I’ve not had the opportunity or broadband connection to get back to you until today! It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride to get to this point, and began with the removal guys not arriving until 10.40am, and being one man down! Always sounds a little WW2 drama to me, but of course it just means one less pair of hands!
My friend Jo had spent all of Saturday packing boxes with me, and we were both astonished at how much I had crammed into the little cottage over the last two years! I didn’t discover anything I'd lost, and STILL haven’t opened the boxes of books that were in the shed there, as they’ve been transported directly into the shed here! At least we’ve chosen somewhere larger than we were living in, so there’s plenty of room for everything.
I worked in the kitchen until 2am while Colin tried to find the Allen Key for the bed (!) and so as you can see that’s looking pretty straight, but we have no heating in half the house, no hot water in the en suite and a shower that leaks in the other bathroom! I’ve had to hone my strip washing skills that I learned whilst at Girl Guide Camp!
The plumber is coming over today while I attend our long awaited Presenter Xmas Lunch, and so I am hoping for good things on my return! But as far as Christmas goes generally I’m somewhat behind… I did order my Christmas meats from QVC and they’ve come, I have Heston’s Orange Pudding in the cupboard, and we bought a tree yesterday and stood it up in the sitting room amongst the boxes. We thought it would appreciate the arctic conditions..!
I bought and wrapped probably two thirds of my presents, and stowed those away in my car along with wrapping paper and cards, but we have Colin’s family lunch tomorrow and then the boys arrive on Sunday afternoon, so it's going to be a rush to get food and the remainder of the presents – oh, and finish unpacking!! Still can’t find the charger for my electric toothbrush – bad breath and no shower or bath – I wonder who will choose to sit next to ME today?!
But, in spite of all of this, the house already feels like home, and it's nice to have his and hers ends of the wardrobe again… I thought though you might like to see a picture of what has been my home for the last two years – the place I have possibly been at my most vulnerable, and yet at my happiest…
Once the lorries were loaded, Colin left before me so that I could check through the rooms and lock up. As all the furniture had been mine I only had the kitchen and under stairs cupboards to look in, but it was there I found it, tucked away behind the shelf, the first fleece hat I bought to wear in bed when I had no hair… I’ve given my wigs away, and packed the scarves up but I’d forgotten this… Funny how a piece of material could bring back such powerful memories. I wasn’t crying because I was sad – well maybe a little bit – but more with relief that I was leaving the cottage because I chose to, not because I‘d been too poorly to stay.
And I’m moving forwards, with my man, and putting the past firmly behind me. Thank you for helping me to do just that, with your regular comments and letters – they mean so much. I promise I will reply to you as soon as I’m able – we will be ‘connected’ on Christmas Eve – but in the meantime, I would like to wish you the happiest of times over this next week, and pray that we will all remain well and happy throughout 2013.
With my love as always, Ali xxx