Saturday, October 17, 2009

Moving House - Moving on?

Hello my fellow rosehips and/or prunes. It's a while since I blogged here, mainly because I was getting ready to move house and didn't want to jinx anything by talking about it here. Well, I have now moved house and am more or less installed in a lovely house on the sunny Clyde Coast. I've been here a week and am, despite the unseasonably good weather, feeling ghastly.

The thing is, what you forget, at least, what I forgot, is that it's not the moving house itself that is the third most stressful thing you can do in your life, it's the settling in afterwards. It's like having a baby - people tell you how difficult it's going to be and what you, in your innocent ignorance do not realise, is that what they mean is the months and years (and years!) after the birth. You get home from the hospital feeling very proud of yourself and you think - "Right, can I have my gold star now please, and then we'll get back to normal" and you discover that, instead of being treated like a princess for being so brave and so clever, you are up to your neck in extremely smelly nappies and baby sick and are so sleep-deprived that you are beginning to understand why it is used so frequently as a successful method of torture.

It's the same with moving house. You get the damn thing sold, despite the financial slump, you find a pleasant house with a great view, you get your removal men sorted and you think, "Great, this is going to be lovely. I am on top of things. It's going to be like being on holiday when I get there." And you arrive and discover that, though the house is indeed lovely, you can't get a TV picture, you can't get digital radio an ony of your half dozen DAB radios (no signal, it turns out), the nearest Homebase is a 40 minute drive away and the house so jollily situated on the seafront is a goldfish bowl into which every pedestrian, every passing coach party and every seagull feels quite free to stare and, on occasion, point.

Ah, you see, I've come not only from living in the countryside, where a car passed my windows once every 20 minutes or so, and a walker about twice a day, but the neighbours were so private/self-sufficient/unfriendly that you could have died and they wouldn't have noticed. Actually, you could probably have run an Al-Quaida training camp and they wouldn't have noticed. This was one of the reasons I moved away - I was SO lonely. Well, there's no need to be lonely here! You could stand at your gate and you'd be talking all day. It's great but it's different - hence the stress.

Moving house (and I SHOULD have known this because I have done it before) is about more than boxes, mortgages and removal men. It's about new neighbours, new parking arrangements, new shops and routines. It's also about missing your friends and wondering if you have made a hideous mistake. This is, of course, the first time I have moved on my own. I was straight from parental home to marital home and then always had the Golfer, let's be honest, in charge with me more as camp follower. Now I get to make all the decisions which is sometimes great - yes, I AM going to have the biggest room to store all my books in and I AM going to dig up all the grass and plant a wildlife garden - but it also INCREDIBLY lonely - there's no-one to share the triumphs with - look, I've found the computer cable after only a week of searching! - and there's no-one to share the burden with. If I decide to sit down and admire the view for a while I know that, when I get up, the heating will still need to be programmed, the operating of the gas fires understood and the remaining hundred boxes unpacked, flat-folded and disposed of. It makes me sigh, I have to admit.

So I am excited to be in my new house, and I am certain that I did the right thing in moving. But I miss my friends and my routine and I miss having the Golfer around to share it with. He would have loved this house - it would have been his dream retirement home, and I'm not sure if I should therefore be happy to be living here or if it just makes it sadder.


Kate said...

I'm sorry that you're experiencing such sadness with your new home, but also believe that's a rather normal experience that will fade with time. Your new home and neighborhood will never be your OLD home, but as time passes, it will also gather memories and fondness.

It sounds like a wonderful place to be, but then I'd be out shopping for curtains (at least some sheers so I could see out during the day, and people not see in).

Soon you'll be making friends and building those new memories.

Widow in the Middle said...

Congratulations on navigating all of the new changes in your life! Moving is terribly stressful in so many ways but I think particularly so for those of us who have had relatively recent losses in our lives. It is another loss on top of all the others.

You seem to be in good humor and holding up quite well. It also took me a week to locate the computer cables/cords after we moved in September. I am still struggling to unpack and organize. Yes, it is harder when you are doing the work without a partner.

Your house appears lovely and I wish you much happiness in it. I look forward to your future reports on how life is going for you.

Puddock said...

Hi Kate - it IS a great place to live. The people before me had blinds up at every window but I'm not using them - what's the point paying for the view and then not looking at it? Of course, that means that other people get to look in and I accept that. It's more the shock of coming from the country, where I was totally private and could (probably) have done the housework stark naked and no-one would have noticed!

Thanks for the support WITM. I know you've been through a lot in the last 6 years and I really appreciate the comments. It wasn't the moving I found stressful so much as the settling in. I miss my old house a bit but I miss my friends and my routine more. I don't have any regrets about moving - I know I had to do it - but it hurts more than I expected. As in grief, it seems that you can try to think your way through a situation but your heart and your guts will make their own decision on whether it's going well, and then let you know!