Sunday, August 18, 2013

Where Did The Time Go?

Ok, so it's 11 months since I last posted. I need to change my name, my blog header etc. I know. I need to start again basically.  I am just going to write a couple of posts to round this off and then publish it with one of those 'Blog to Book' packages, as a record for our children and family of our experiences overseas.  That's why I started it after all, 7 years ago.  Then I will think about reinventing myself, if I can think of a new raison d'etre for my blog.

I have loved blogging, I have just found life so busy since moving back from overseas. I didn't want to buy back into the whole frenetic rat race thing, but life just is fast paced & all consuming here. I simply don't seem to have time anymore.

We have family here, a wide circle of friends, the children have far more activity options & school clubs, they get more homework, I have no cleaner, we own our own house, so suddenly have gardening & endless DIY chores to do.  I could go on. 

Oh & we have had a few major events/life changes too.

Since I last wrote, here's what happened:
1. Sept & Oct last year I spent editing a theologian friend's bibliography for his latest massive tome on Romans.  I loved doing this & even got paid for it, but it took all my computer time.

2. Out of the blue I got a part time teaching job (through my supply agency) starting Nov 1st. It necessitated a return journey of 50 miles, four days a week. This made me very busy.... But I needed a job, and the students are lovely. The school, well that's a whole other blog post.  This post has now been made permanent. And the CRB check was a walk in the park for some reason.

3. Oh yes and did I mention we moved house? We found somewhere that's a perfect compromise between town & country.  On the edge of the city, but near a country park.  We moved 4 days before I started my new job. Timing crazy, house purchase miraculous really. We had been searching for a house for about 2 yrs from when we first knew we would be moving back to the UK. Everything got snapped up very fast, we couldn't decide where we wanted to be, couldn't find a house in our price range. We seemed to have hit a dead end.  We had found one house we liked but, though it was with an estate agent, it wasn't on the market yet and was too expensive. If we offered lower, we knew they would just wait till it went on the 'open market'. An impasse.

Then one night at 10p.m a note was pushed through our door. I wrested the paper from the eager jaws of our puppy and was about to throw it away assuming it was an advert, but something (sheer unalloyed nosiness probably) made me look at it. It was a letter from a family asking me if we were selling our house as they were interested in it. My husband told me not to get excited as the chances were very slim that it would work out. Neverthless I emailed that night (Tues) They came to look at it on Wednesday, asked to come back on Thursday. On Friday they made us a full price offer, we accepted it and on Saturday we put an offer in on the house we liked (which was rejected) However, the vendors agreed to meet us half way between ours & their price. So in five days we had bought and sold a house!

4. We are now in the throes of a 'Forth Bridge' of a decorating project, trying, and failing probably, to balance the house's demands with our children's needs, in terms of time spent on both.

5. We are having a kitchen extension done. This also seemed to be a dead end scenario. Our builder, most inconsiderately, told us in March he couldn't do our project after all, because he was retiring to become  a farmer. An original excuse at least. His previous project had taken far longer than expected.  So, suddenly we had to find a builder during the busiest time for building - over the summer. We tried all our personal recommendations; had 2 ridiculous quotes, 3 builders who said they were too busy to take it on. An impasse again it seemed. Then one Tuesday (again) as it happened an architect friend emailed to say her builders were looking for work for August & September. They came the same day, we got a quote on Wednesday, rejected it on Wednesday and told the project manager what our original builder was going to do it for. On Thursday she accepted that price and they started on the Friday!
The builders are Polish and boy do they work hard. 6 days a week, from 8-5p.m. I must say they make me feel very at home in a nostalgic way; being surrounded by concrete dust, building noise, my ears filled with the familiar sounds of an East European language. The men are all in their 40s and 50s, grey, pot-bellied and smoke constantly.  And they are phenomenally strong. My husband has been dishing out ear plugs to them because they drill with no ear protection.  So in 4 weeks the project is nearly finished.  Trying to keep up with them in terms of research has been a struggle. I hadn't realised were SO many decisions involved in such a project. It's taken Choice Anxiety' to a whole new level.

So that is why I haven't had time to blog. Instead I am marking books, preparing lessons, walking our dog, cleaning our house, keeping up with friends & family and trying to learn how to juggle with at least 10 balls. And I've never been very co-ordinated on that front....


Clare Taylor said...

Great to read your post, even if it is the beginning of the end (although do you intend to start another blog? Hurrah if yes, although you sound so busy...). x

nappy valley girl said...

Very nice to catch up with what you have been doing over the past year! It sounds as if the move back to England has been very exciting for everyone. Would love to hear more about how the children have adjusted - I am a little apprehensive about mine....

Expat mum said...

Welcome back. Have a lie down too!

Iota said...

So you've been busy...

I think I'm going to retire to become a farmer. It would be such a great conversation opener.