Friday, 22 September 2017

Chicago, Heatwaves and Moving Out... ǀ Little Loves

I, for one, cannot believe that September is almost at an end.  I feel as though I have neglected this little corner of the interwebs when in truth, I've been so busy that I've not had much time to think about anything let alone blogging.  With my sister's wedding next week however, we will finally have completed everything we had planned for this year and I am looking forward to a quiet two months before the festive season (yes, I went there!)

This week has been no different in that I've been here, there, and everywhere...although this one was a little more special as I spent the week in Chicago; my first time in the US.  But more of that later...

You would think that 16 hours on planes would have given me plenty of time to read the 900 or so page of The Mad Ship but I am still wading my way through.  I know I've mentioned before about Robin Hobb's style of writing; it is predominantly character driven with rich fantastical elements and a story which is never predictable.  This is the second book in her Liveship Traders trilogy and I am thoroughly enjoying it, despite the length of time it has taken me to read it!

We were excited to see the return of Taskmaster this week for the fifth season.  In particular I am excited because Aisling Bea features and she is one of my current favourite comediennes.  I also watched three movies on the plane to and from Chicago: Table 19, Baywatch and Beauty & The Beast.  The latter was by far my favourite although I still can't quite reconcile Emma Watson as Belle and not Hermione Granger!

Could there by any other answer for this than the trip to America?!  I met with a group of friends and it was the first time we had ever all gathered together in person.  I was the only one coming from the UK but we all travelled to meet in Chicago.  I spent a couple of days in Madison with one of the girls, to try and beat that sneaky jetlag, before coming back into Chicago for the weekend.  It was a whirlwind trip but so much fun and it was so easy and natural to be altogether.  It was a strange feeling coming home as I missed James and the kids so much but also immediately missed the girls.  Who knows when we will next take a trip like that?!  It's definitely something I will cherish.

I had planned a whole autumn wardrobe for my Chicago trip only for there to be a heatwave in the city so I had to rethink and repack.  This is probably one of my favourite outfits that I wore during the day, along with my much loved playsuit when we went out one evening.

I listened to Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them on the journey out; it is narrated by Eddie Redmayne and is probably one of the best audiobooks I've listened to in a while.

And Lastly...
Things continue to progress with the new house.  We have to move out again on Monday for a week so that we can have the house rewired and once that is done we should be able to finally get on with redecorating and making it our home.  Progress will be slower than we would have liked thanks to the need to rewire but I'm excited that there is only this one final hurdle and then we can relax and finally unpack and settle in!

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

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Friday, 8 September 2017

Where I've Been... ǀ An Update

Summer is always a quiet time in the blogging world; having the kids off for six weeks and trying to balance childcare with finding the time to write, not to mention working, is always tricky and something that I often struggle with.  I do tend to post during the school holidays just somewhat more erratically however this year you may have noticed that I pretty much dropped off the radar.

In part this was because I committed myself to completing VLOGUST which turned out to be far more work than I had perhaps appreciated and also because it turns out that buying a house, moving into a house and renovating said house is much more complex than we first thought!

We had everything carefully planned out, from the work we could get done before we moved in to how far our finances would allow us to go before we had to slow the pace down.  Typically it has turned out to be nothing like that.

We decided that our priorities were going to be the kitchen and the kids rooms.  The whole house desperately needs updating but it was clean and intact so we figured that we could make do and just redecorate once we were in.  So our first jobs were to pull out the old kitchen and strip the kids rooms, which we did before we moved.

That was where the fun began!  We have struggled and struggled to find a plasterer meaning Meg's room has remained an empty, dusty shell for the past six weeks.  We thought at one point that we had secured someone but when the day came he just never showed up.  So that was the end of that.  In some ways however I'm glad that we didn't get very far with her room because the bombshell that was to land later would have meant it was a total waste of our money.

In addition, we ploughed ahead and ripped out the old kitchen fully intending to have it replaced before we moved in.  But through one issue and another we ended up having to move in before the kitchen was even halfway to being ready.  I can now officially confirm that having no washing machine, oven or sink is a complete nightmare when you have young children.

Then came the icing on the cake.  We had arranged for an electrician to come in and move the light switch in Eli's room.  This was one of the few jobs that actually needed doing in his room before it could be painted and re-carpeted.  We had figured his room would be the most straightforward and had everything ready to go but on closer inspection it appeared that although the fuse box in the house had been changed (giving the illusion of recent rewiring) in fact none of the wires have been changed and they are all falling to pieces and otherwise totally unsafe.  

At this point we were living in the house, surrounded by our belongings, with no kitchen and no option but to stay put.

And that is pretty much where we are still.  There is very little point in unpacking and redecorating as we need to get the entire house rewired which means holes in walls and floorboards pulled up.  The kids have gone back to school and are still, sadly, sleeping in my study as this is one of the only clear rooms, with hardly any of their belongings.

One small blessing is that our kitchen is finally useable and when we have the house rewired we shouldn't need to disturb it too much.

So that is where I have been, muddling through, trying to keep us all above water and getting as much done as we can before we have to pack up and vacate for a week whilst we have the house rewired.  In many ways I am pleased that we discovered this issue before we had spent too much time redecorating as we'd have needed to start from scratch again but it isn't always easy to keep that in mind!

We are still trying to keep smiling, and to see this as just a short blip in what will be a wonderful family home when we finally get to settle in.  Which will hopefully not be too far from now!