We're all moved in to the new place, and hand the keys in for the old place on Wednesday, which gives us a couple more days to make sure everything's as clean as it's humanly possible to make it before the keys are handed over. Not that it was really messy, but we want to do all we can to get our deposit back, which means cleaning things that don't really need cleaning... Even though we know for a fact that our work will count for nothing, because the new owners are tearing the place apart to do some serious renovating; we heard it from their own mouths on more than one ocasion. But it's the estate agents who decide about the deposit, not the new owners, so we have to do all we can - despite the new owners insisting it's not necessary.
We were messed about a bit by the first movers we called, and wasted a lot of time back and forth with them before ending up going to someone else. To cut a long story short, the guy kept being confused as to whether I wanted him to come and get stuff to get rid of, or move stuff to a different property, and also seemed to struggle with exactly where we were. Changing companies turned out to be a good thing though, because the replacement guys were excellent, and also a lot cheaper.
We're using the money we saved on the movers to buy a tumble dryer, because we don't have one; I was using either a washing line or the airer, but we don't have a washing line (or anywhere to put one) and won't need to put the heaters on for so long here (partially because we benifit from having people living below us, and heat rises, and partially because the old place had storage heaters but the new one has proper central heating) so we'd struggle to keep up with drying laundry without a tumble dryer.
Other than Skye and Bilbo - who really didn't like the moving one bit - the rodent gang mostly did OK with the move, though they were all a little unsettled; especially when I went on ahead the night before. Jenks is all set to tell you about that on Friday though.
The rodent gang and I went to the new place a bit sooner than planned, because I managed to twist my knee, and we figured I should rest it as much as possible - especially since I was getting in the way more than anything with packing up the last of the stuff from the old place. The funny thing about it is that it didn't happen on the flight of stairs from our old basement apartment to street level, nor on the three flights of stairs up to our new one. No. It happened in a place where there were three lousy steps in town. That's right... All those times I'd been up and down four flights of stairs, and nothing. I do three steps, and twist my knee... And not even my bad one either! Go figure! The stupid thing is, if people communicated properly we wouldn't even have needed to do those steps, since we only went that way because it was the quickest way to go between offices of the local council, who we needed to file some paperwork with. You see, we went to the building where those papers were dealt with when we moved in to the old place a little over three years ago, only to be told they'd moved that department to their other building half way across town a little over a year ago, but not thought to let anyone know. So, I blame the council for my twisted knee!
When we put money on the gas meter, we discovered the person who'd been here before had obviously had an unpaid bill or something, which we ended up unintentionally paying for them. So, we mentioned it to the company, and they said we'd get a refund. We're still trying to get that sorted out though. OK, it's only £10 (about $20) and that's not too bad as such. But... 1, it's our money, and not our bill. 2, it's money we could do without losing, since every penny counts during a move; just because we saved money on the moving company, it doesn't mean we have some to be throwing about paying bills for other people. And 3, that's about a week of gas, or - to put it another way - a week of hot water and heating. Mainly though I just want it back because it's my money, and they said they'd give it back, so since they said they would, then they should!
We need to get someone to come and look at the TV aerial. The end had been snipped off for some reason instead of being removed properly, and though the maintenance guy put a new piece on for us, the connection isn't very good, and the box is struggling to find and maintain signal. It's not a big deal, since we don't watch TV much anyway. But we do need to get it sorted, since the box is useless without signal, and I would like to have the option to watch TV if I want.
We also need to get a curtain rail put up in the spare room, and get a shower curtain and rail for it put up in the bathroom. We would have also needed to buy curtains for a couple of other windows, but I was talking to the people who brought the old place about needing curtains, and next thing I know they show up with a couple of pairs of curtains for us. which was very nice of them, and something we're very greatful to them for doing!
Anyway, there's also been the issue with the phone, which you may have seen mentioned in the comments section of Bilbo's post from Friday? The internet started working on the day it was meant to (Thursday) but the phone did not. I spent a couple of hours back and forth with someone from the phone company on Twitter on Friday, because I had no other way to contact them about it, and was told it would take "up to 48 hours" to sort out, or "up to 72 hours" if they were busy. So, we had no phone all weekend, and - unless things have changed between when I started this post, and when it actually gets published - we still have no phone. So, it's looking like it's back on Twitter to talk to them again in a couple of hours. *Sigh*
Other than that, the move went well.
There are a few small maintenance issues the guys need to come back and do, because they haven't had a chance (not helped by the fact they couldn't come last Wednesday as they'd have been in the way of the movers). They got almost everything done before we moved in though, and even put rails on the places there weren't any by the stairs. It was something the landlords hadn't given a thought to before, since there are walls on both sides of the stairs, but when I mentioned that I'd feel safer on the stairs if there were rails - which I mentioned when we were looking at the place originally - the landlord immediately said they'd get some arranged for me. We met the maintenance guys the Monday morning after we got the keys, and by that evening they'd put rails everywhere there were stairs and no rails (which was my statement to them when they asked where I needed rails). So, between the rails and my cane, the stairs are about as safe for me as stairs can be.
I think there are always a few minor issues that need to get sorted out when you move in to a place though, and happen to think we've been lucky with how few issues we've had to deal with; past experiences with moving have taught me that there's plenty of room for issues during a move.
The new place isn't all that far from the old one, and is actually closer to the places we go regularly. Two of our three favourite cafes (the one we used to take Kero to, and the one where we had our photo taken at the end of last year) are very close, and the post office, the fruit and veg shop, the bakery I like, and a couple of local stores are within a block or so of us (mostly under a block, though a couple of the local stores are further than a block away) and we've halfed the distance between us and both the train station and the other cafe we like. One of the closer cafes is so close we can just about see it from one of our windows (if it wasn't for the angle, we'd see it perfectly).
On top of that, we're so close to the ocean that we can see it from half of our windows, and hear it regardless of what room we're in; even with the windows closed. A fact that confused the rodent gang a lot in the first couple of days we had them here (I think they've already gotten used to it though)
This new place is a little bigger than the old place, and set out better so that it seems bigger still. I think the fact we have more light up here probably helps make the place look bigger too. That's the impression I get, anyway.
The kitchen isn't much bigger than our old one, but is organized better so seems it. The illusion of a larger kitchen is also encouraged by the fact the kitchen opens out in to what's supposed to be a living room/dining room, but for us is a living room/rodent room, which is a bit bigger than the living room we had in the old place (which served as living room, rodent room, and computer room).
Our bedroom is about the same size as our bedroom in the old place, but is more square, so seems a little bigger. The second bedroom is about twice the size of the one from the old place, so we've made it a computer room/office (the old one was more of a storage room, since it was one of those little box rooms with just about enough space to get a single bed and a dresser in, so by the time we put a few shelves and things in there it was pretty much full).
This place also has a sort of utility area just outside the bathroom for the washer and dryer. The bathroom's a tiny bit bigger than the old one, though the extra space is more because it's set out better. It also has a bigger bath, and a shower over the bath (the old one just had a bath, and one that was made for hobbits at that).
In short... Though we didn't really want/plan to move, there are many good points about us having done so.
I'm not great with measurements, so can't really tell you how big each room is. I've promised a couple of people photos once we're settled in though, so "hopefully" that will happen soon, and you can see for yourself. Though you can't compare the places well yourself, because I don't have any proper photos of the old place; you might have seen bits of it when I've shared other photos, but we never bothered to take proper photos of the place.
Despite my attempts at keeping things brief, this post is growing rapidly, and I think this has gotten long enough, so I'll let it do.
Any questions? If so, feel free to ask, and I'll either answer, or give you a good reason why I can't - or won't - answer your question.