The house move has finally happened and now I’m 6.2 miles away from the allotment. Google tells me it will take 2 hours to walk or 15 mins to drive.

The new house was built in 1938 and requires some attention to bring it into the 21st century. In many respects, it feels like I’ve gone back 30 years when the old house needed attention in every room. The main item on the refurb list is a 3m kitchen extension, new combi boiler, restore the solid parquet floor and update the main bathroom. There is still a long list after that but this will keep me busy for the next 18 months. That’s the thing I need to work on – patience; it’s not one of my strengths and I have to keep reminding myself this can’t be a sprint.

This blog is likely to feature a few DIY posts in the coming months but first let me share with you the first two weeks at the Gulag, so named by the boys who are unaccustomed to not having hot water on demand, dealing with metered utilities and the general grunginess of their new abode.

I thought I had planned for this move, with several trips to the tip and packing up one room at a time. I thought I had it under control. It started to unravel when the Astrazeneca jab completely floored me on Wednesday; I spent the day zombie like on the sofa. It meant the finishing off was still not completed by 2am on Friday morning. Up again at 6am and running out of packing boxes just as the removal van arrived at 0900. After that, it was pretty much Laurel and Hardy, the doors came off the fridge freezer and boxes were left with a neighbour. By 6.30pm everything was in the new house, except the fridge freezer that wouldn’t fit and then the washer/dryer that wouldn’t connect. In order to get my divan bed into the loft room, we had to take a circular saw to the bannisters.

The removal van drove off and I was left with this…

There were similar scenes in all other rooms. Billy the Labrador had had a sleepover and spa day with the lovely ladies at West Eleven Pet Nannies and was discombobulated that I bought him back to a house without space for his bed to lay flat or for him to move around. He did however forgive me when he saw the size of the garden

I’m loving the ‘feature’ incinerator and how the setting sun at the front of house lights up the trees.

I hadn’t planned to be in DIY mode before completing the unpacking but in order to unpack the kitchen and regain the floor, there needed to be more shelves. A quick trip to every well known DIY shed and to work on this cupboard under the stairs. It housed the previous owners chest freezer; that joined the fridge freezer and washer dryer in the front garden, temporarily doubling as Steptoe’s yard.

Before I got to this stage, it needed a good brush and scrub out. Then two coats of white paint before the shelves went in. One plank for the bottom shelf is missing as I under-measured but I think that was a happy accident given the result.

At the end of week two at the Gulag we have broadband and 90% of boxes have been unpacked and the boxes freecycled. In another two weeks if all goes to plan, the utilities will be back on credit meters, the toilet will be working without leaking and the water pump will be muffled and muted.

Off to the allotment on Saturday and I’ll be driving 😉