Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Stress and sadness

The beautiful adventurous Linette
When I moved to Norway I wanted to take my two cats with me. Unfortunately I was unable to do so and in the end they moved to a great home: that of Pepperfly. They were treated like royalty and spoilt rotten. The plan had been to collect them later, but after Linette did a massive runner and stayed away for about three weeks and Wuppie had gotten into everybody's hearts as well, there was no way I was going to get either cat away from her home.

Probably best as well: Wuppie died in December 2013 of cancer and Linette five months later, also of cancer. Three days after Linette passed away, Miss Oswin came into my life, slowly creeping very deep into my heart. 

The great Wuppie
So, when I thought about moving to Northern Ireland, there was no question for me: she was coming along! And at first the signs were good: I would be able to take her along in the cabin. Until I found out she couldn't. No princess treatment for her: cattle car more like! 

I rang around for a solution, which meant talking to so many people in so many countries, that I got grumpier by the minute. Until eventually I landed on a company about 10 miles from here. And they could get her moved. And then? Nothing! Not a peep from them. My moving date was getting closer and I was more and more anxious about perhaps having to leave her behind. Something which I so did not want to do!

Last Monday I phoned them up again. Still no response. That evening I sent an email: no reply. Then on Tuesday I found out that no emails had gone anywhere, so they never got it in the first place. I found another way of sending emails and sent off another one to them. This morning I got a reply: they were working on it. Two hours later they contacted me again. 

Miss Oswin in our garden back in the country side
On Monday Miss O will be taking a later flight than me and Brom (and Mouse). She will fly to Oslo as well, but instead of then traveling to Dublin, she will travel to Copenhagen. Where she will stay in a hotel!! The next day she will travel on to Dublin. So, a bit of a princess treatment anyway. But the good news is of course:


Sunday, 15 April 2018

Puffy and tired

On Saturday I managed to fill several boxes with kitchen stuff. Slowly there seems to be a pinprick of light in the far distance. Yes, there still is a certain amount of stuff to do, but overall it seems to get better. Today I continued with the bathroom. Toiletries (7 different colours of nail polish, whodathunkit?) and first aid thingies like plasters and such. Two small boxes were filled, while at the same time the bin bag at my side seemed to be filling with things I either never use or is so out of date and crummy...

Then later this afternoon, I tackled the first of the paperwork. Several forms had to be filled out for the moving company: address here, address there etc etc. It is necessary, but it is a drag I can tell you! Then the biggie: HM Revenue & Customs! There again I had to fill out this, that and the other. Unfortunately it cannot be sent off yet, since I haven't got a job contract yet. I phoned on Friday, but the person responsible for contracts was away because his wife had just had a baby. Obstacles, obstacles!

But, hopefully when I call back on Monday, that can be sorted. The sounds on Friday were promising anyway. People I hadn't met knew who I was, since there had been talk about me coming to work for them. And as soon as the contract is sorted, I can send a copy to HM R&C together with the filled out forms and a copy of my passport and a list of things I take with me (I hope they don't want to know exactly how many nail polishes I take along, but will be satisfied with make-up). 

That is what has made me tired this weekend. The puffy thing is something not at all related to the move. I cried. Simple as that. For nearly two and a half hours. You see, Compo died and what with all the hormones and stress running around in me right now, that got me even worse this time than it did the first time around! 

Don't worry: Compo isn't somebody I know personally. He is a character in the comedy series 'Last of the Summer Wine'. A wonderful series about several retired men going about in the countryside and getting into all sorts of scrapes. And last night I watched the three (four) episodes that were the goodbye to Compo. 

Tomorrow it is back to work. With two telephone numbers in my pocket so I can ring the people I need to ring. One about a certain feline and the other about a certain contract. 

Did I say I was tired?

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Just when you thought...

Apparently moving is one of the most stressful things you can do in life. This upcoming one is my 4th in the last 6 years, although it is the 2nd that will be international. I can't remember the first one to be that stressful, but I can tell you: this, the second one, IS!

Of course, the amount of notice didn't help the situation much, but even after some of the stress was alleviated, other stress arrived. But where do I stand right now?

Well, as of Thursday, I have a moving company and as of yesterday, the date is set for them to pick up all my things (April 27th, less than two weeks from now). But, they also threw me yet another curve ball: had I filled out the application to import my household goods into the United Kingdom? Ehm, the what now? 

Turns out, that since I live in a non-EU country, despite being an EU-citizen myself, I have to fill out an application for moving my trinkets across the North and the Irish Seas. I don't really expect any bother with it, but you never know of course. I will fill that out this weekend and cross everything I have at the times when they can. 

As for the delightful Miss O, still no news. I will have to get back on the phone again on Monday to get her traveling details sorted. Because worse-case scenario would be that she can't come at all! Oh, and for that again, I need to fill out that form. It not only deals with trinkets, it also deals with fluffies like Miss Oswin. 

My car still needs to be sold. I have put the word out and today (or tomorrow) I will put it on one of those online selling sites. I hope to get as much as I can of course, needing every penny I can get. Other things that need to be sold: my satellite dish (to watch Doctor Who and Strictly) and a few small things. 

Then there is stuff that needs to go to the dump: like rubbish and the scratch pole (hardly ever used, since a certain feline prefers the walls apparently), a surplus of bad cardboard moving boxes and other thingies. 

If there ever is a next time: this will be it!
Last, but certainly not least, stuff needs to be packed. I think I have been doing great so far. All my books, my dvd's (can't bother to capitalise), Christmas stuff, most of the craft stuff (I pack something and something else appears, it's never ending!), most of the clothes that I won't need in the immediate future and today it's the kitchen's turn. I don't think I will be baking any cakes in the coming two weeks, so a lot can already be packed away. All in all, I would say about 75% is packed at this very moment. 

And as soon as the packing is complete, the places where the stuff used to reside, will need to be taken apart for easy transport. The first room divider was done yesterday, other stuff will follow. Fortunately next Friday my friend will come over again to help me with the larger pieces of furniture that really do need two people. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

From the cupboard to the wall. And back again several times over!

Well, if you could hear me speak right now, you would hear an awful lot of curse words. Directed mainly at Emma! Because Emma said Miss O was allowed in the cabin. Which she is. From Haugesund to Oslo! After that however...

Yesterday I got a text message about two hours after making the booking for us all to fly out. Could I please ring them back, because of Miss O. So, I rang back to a Swedish number. Got put on hold. Rang off since I had to work. 

This morning I rang back to a Norwegian number. Got a Swede on the phone. Who told me that the UK and Ireland have separate rules and regulations and the only way Miss O was going to be able to travel was in a cargo plane! Far removed from a cabin!! After I had vented my anger and displeasure, he gave me a number of an Irish based company that moved animals. Ha! They no longer did business with SAS. 

I called the KLM in the Netherlands. Finally got some intelligent person on the phone (called Celeste, lovely woman) who explained in a language I actually understood and was very helpful. She gave me the number of a Netherlands based company that worked for them. Who got me a new number in Norway (which was in Sweden). They in turn got me a number in Denmark. Who got me two numbers: one was the Norwegian postal services and the other one was a company that used to work with SAS. Both duds!

By this time I was getting really grrrrr again. I decided to look on my own. I found a company (who worked with SAS according to their site), called them. They gave me a company in this area to call. Guess what they said: Yes, we can do that. We will try finding a solution and will send you an email as soon as possible. 

It will not be cabin traveling for a certain feline. I will just be happy if I get her over there! Oh, but she did get her rabies shot last night!!

Monday, 9 April 2018

Miss Oswin is nearly ready


I heard from Brom that we were going to move. Again! But this time it was going to be a longer move. All the way to Gera. I don't mind Gera, but she lives a long way away! I did not want to travel by car all that way.

But, this morning Mara phoned somebody. She had to wait for aaaaages, but finally Emma answered. A Swedish girl who helped Mara book our flight. Yes, you read it right: OUR flight! I am going flying.

Come on Mara, get a move on! We are ready to go!!
I am not sure how I feel about it. Well, honestly? I know exactly how I feel about: not good! But Emma said that because I was the MBF in the WWU*, I could travel in the cabin. I will not be traveling in any luggage compartment. I will not be treated like any old suitcase. I will be traveling in style!

The only thing Mara said I needed before we will be traveling is a rabies shot. Which is going to happen today! Yikes. But then? I will be ready for our trip in 21 days exactly...

*MBF in the WWU: Most Beautiful Feline in the Whole Wide Universe

Friday, 6 April 2018

Brom is ready!


Guess what: we are moving! I love new adventures and I am sure living closer to Gera is going to be fantastic! And another guess what: I am all packed!!!

Of course I haven't got as much stuff as Mara has and she has a lot! Lots of books, lots of yarn, lots of DVD's, lots of things. And today she thought she had packed all the yarn and... she found another batch. She was looking for shoes (which she found as well by the way). 

The place looks like somebody tried to burgle it though. It looks really awful. But Mara says that slowly but surely there is some order in the chaos. Me and Mouse don't see it really and Miss Oswin just goes to sleep. 

Only three weeks to go!

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-10

Just over one cubic meter of stuff to move! If you look closely you can see more (large) crates in the background. Those are filled with my Christmas stuff.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Of cubic meters and books

When I moved from the Netherlands to Norway, I had about 15 cubic meters of stuff to take with me. Which translates to about 530 cubic feet. In other words: a lot! Mind you, I took a few hefty pieces of furniture with me (some of which have since found their way to the eternal furniture showroom in the sky). And books. And DVD's. Knick-knacks, thingummies, whatyamacallits and other assorted stuff. 

Now is the time to re-pack. And after finishing the DVD's (why does it have to be capitalised??), today's turn was for the books. When moving here, I used cardboard boxes. They tend to bulge. Split. Break. But, I had found a solution: plastic crates. 

I used those plastic crates to keep my yarns in, but they were the perfect size for books, because they wouldn't become too heavy! In they went. Children's books, favourite authors, a bit of literature. Also my M*A*S*H cookbook, my knit the Dutch royal family and maps. So many maps. But even after filling thirty of those crates, I still hadn't come across my London A-Z!

Up to the attic I went once more and there it was: hidden under some empty boxes. The box containing not only my London A-Z, but also maps of Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland and several other places. 

Thirty of those small crates equal about 1 cubic meter (about 35 cubic feet), so number 31 made me start the next one. Of course I also have the larger crates and there it is about 16 crates to the cubic meter. So far, I have one cubic meter there as well, and about one more to fill before starting on my cardboard boxes. And then there is the stuff that can't be boxed, like furniture and such. 

Is there anything sadder than empty book cases?
Now I need to get myself a reliable mover. Anyone got any ideas??

PS: You may have missed my previous post about my new digs, due to a slight hiccup with posting, making it a draft again and then posting again. Why not scroll down and check it out? 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The digs

One of the bedrooms with walk-in closet
After the interview had ended on Saturday, me and my sister drove back home. We both agreed pretty quickly that this was my chance and I think before we had even left the parking lot, my mind was already made up: accept!

However, just having a job is great, but apart from short stays, there was no way me and Miss Oswin were going to be living with my sister. Not with her stuff and my stuff together! We would be swamped. A place to live was needed. 

Small, but with everything that's needed!
Fortunately my sister has already lived in Northern Ireland for 12 years and knows people. And one person she knows has a fiance and he is creating two apartments. So, on Saturday evening, my sister contacted her to ask whether we could come and see. Nine o'clock the following morning we were quite welcome to see the finished product and the non-finished product. 

No dishwasher unfortunately, the only downside
When we got there, we found that it was a really quiet back road where the only thing we heard were some twittering birds. The first apartment we were shown was the finished one. Two large bedrooms, a functional bathroom and a kitchen/living room. And downstairs a massive garage! 

The living room. Not really with a view
The other apartment wasn't quite that far yet. In fact it wasn't far at all yet and would take about three months to finish he said. But, if I wanted it, he would put in some extra effort to get it finished sooner. 

Well, we shook hands and now I have a place to live. And don't worry, in the mean time, me and my sister will live together so I won't be homeless. My stuff however, will be stored in the garage that will be mine!

And this is where we will live when it's finished!
One less worry in my adventure!

Monday, 26 March 2018


The just missed ferry on Friday morning
Or should that be Woohoo? Or Hoorah? Or Yippee? 

Well, let's start with the sorry. I am sorry I haven't been around for a while. I am also very sorry to have lied to you all. Because in my recent Pickwick post I stated that I hadn't heard anything yet. Which was not entirely true. Well, not true at all really. 

Because I had heard something. In fact, I had heard something before I went to see my sister a few weeks ago. I was invited to a test (math and customer services) that would take about two hours. Unfortunately due to the short notice, I couldn't make it, but I would be in the country a week later.... Alas, no go. 

Then just before I was to travel to my sister, she sent me a link to another bus company needing people. So, I sent off my cv and told them I would be in Northern Ireland at such and such a date. Nothing. My sister however is occasionally a bit more bold than I am and actually drove me up to the company during my holiday. I talked to somebody, he gave me an application form, we went back home, I filled it out, made copies of everything I thought might be important and sent it off. 

Brom was a good luck charm!
A week later there was contact. When was I next going to be in Northern Ireland? Well, eeehhh.... Quick decision later and I told him that I could be coming on the 23rd of March, for an interview on Saturday. I booked my flight, got the time off (only 2 hours fortunately) and rented a car. I told my sister to make sure the bed was made and last Friday I made my way to Northern Ireland. 

On Saturday I had an interview with one of the managers and at the end he said that there would be a job for me if I wanted it. Think it over, he said, and call us on Monday. 

I called today and sent an email. I accept. 

Yes, I am nervous. The same type of nervousness as when I got the job in Norway: am I doing the right thing or should I just remain doing what I know. But I know that my move to Norway was good in the end and I am hoping this new move will be good as well. I will certainly do everything in my power to make it so!

So, if in the immediate future you will only see me come by every once in a while, you know why: packing, packing and packing. Quitting this, finishing that, vet, gp, dentist, bank, social services etc etc.