Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hello England

Well, we've been back 6 weeks, our shipment's arrived, our house vacated by our tenants & we have moved back in. The children are very excited to be in a house, not a flat, to have a garden, and grass, stairs AND bannisters (to swing on, slide down etc) & a bedroom, each.

We have cleared out of it innumerable sets of bedlinen, 7 pyrex dishes, 6 duvets, 5 very wobbly & chipped Ikea bookshelves, 5 woks, 3 sandwich toasters, 2 kettles, 2 slow cookers, 2 spare beds, 3 complete sets of cutlery, a wool rug, 2 bike helmets, 2 coats, & a sports bag full of XL football kit.

I think we must have had a 'better class of tenant' or, to be more exact, better off. Often tenants nick your stuff; these left stuff they no longer wanted. So we had a major task on our hands before 100 boxes arrived a week later. I started off with good intentions, wanting to recycle, give to charity shops, good causes & not dump in landfill. However, my motivation wore a bit thin, when Homeless charities tell you, you need to wait a month before they can collect, others say they don't take furniture, some say it's not good enough quality; & then there's things like 3 manky sandwich toasters you have to spend hours cleaning before they're good enough to give to a charity shop. I ended up, I'm afraid, going to the tip more than I would have liked. Duvets are particularly difficult to get rid of. Can't put in textile banks, charity shops don't want them. Well, here's a top tip. Animal sanctuaries will take them - for cosy bedding for their cats & dogs. So, there, you can feel doubly smug, you've recycled AND kept a dog warm this Christmas.

Since being back the question I'm most asked is "What will you do? Will you get a job?"
I think people are surprised when I say no, not for at least a year. But then of course I will be settling two children in schools, painting & decorating our house, training a puppy, putting a house on the market, selling a house, buying a house. And then painting & decorating again. I think I'll have plenty to do.....

No one asks about Albania, but then I expected that. It's more a case of; "Well you're back now, business as usual."

The books tell you not to expect to slot straight back in to your old life/friends etc. We actually have, by & large, which feels weird. Don't get me wrong; I am very grateful for the welcome, love & support we've had from friends, it's been lovely. Several local friends have said, "It's just like you haven't been away."

Not for us.

We feel very different.

But it is all very familiar; same house, same friends, same social circle, same routines & so it has the effect of compressing the last 6 years. But I don't want them to be wiped out. They have changed us, we're not the same people. They are a vital part of our history. That's one of many reasons why we would like to move & start afresh somewhere else, though still in this town.

And the children? How have they fared? Well, that's a subject for my next post. You see I'm not ready to give up blogging quite yet. I think I'll still have a lot to write about over the next few months...

1 comment:

Anita @ Dreaming Beneath the Spires said...

Hello Jacquie, Lovely to catch up with you, albeit via your blog. Loved your story about Archie and Annabelle's births. I had no idea.
Amazing to read that you've slotted so easily back into your old life and friends. Lucky you.
Do continue blogging. Will you rename your blog Paradise Regained. Or is it?