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What a week…

Moving is tough. Man, I haven’t been this tired in months (yeah, I remember that month of going to the gym, and swimming, and going to bed late, not too long ago). I keep thinking I can’t wait to be at home so I can rest, but then I can’t help but organise, unpack and do stuff.

For some reason, moving has been more complicated than I had planned for. True, I have a lot of stuff. True, most of my stuff is kitchen related. OK, also true, I have a lot of craft-related stuff…

I think if I had taken the time off after the move, I would probably be done by now, but I’ve been at work, so progress has been slow. On Sunday, I decided to spend the day unpacking the rest of the boxes, organising, tidying and cleaning. I put on some music and hit go, and there I went. My room went from being a complete mess, to a place where you could actually sleep.

At the moment, everything is full of boxes, packed and unpacked, taking up space in a pile, or taking up space flat on the floor. It’s driving me a bit crazy.

I’m not entirely sure how much I’ve told you, but as you know, I used to live in Lewisham, in a flat I wasn’t happy with. Now, I live in Greenwich (the far side), in a flat I love. My walk to the station is much shorter, my flat is bigger, my neighbours are nicer, the neighbourhood looks better, and even the website of the borough is better!

Because this month I’m already broke (or rather, I’ve been broke for the past week already), I’m trying to save some money here and there, in order to survive until payday. This means one of the things I haven’t booked yet is internet at home. The main reason I use internet is to watch series and to FaceTime with my family. The series, I won’t miss. FaceTime with my family I guess will be more difficult, but I want to try to survive a bit longer, see what happens.

Tonight is one of the first evenings I have nothing planned and I can actually go home and enjoy, and even though I want to sleep, or sit on the sofa to read and do nothing else, there’s still so much to do, that I know I won’t. For example, I bought a new bin that would accommodate the extensive recycling options Greenwich has, and that could fit under my sink. I took all measurements and found a great bin that met all my requirements. When I unpacked it and put it in the drawer, all seemed great, but the drawer wouldn’t close. Upon further inspection, I realised that there’s a pipe coming out of the sink right in the middle of the drawer space, and it’s not a small pipe. The bin doesn’t fit because of less than a centimetre! I could have kicked myself. However, in my best McGyver mode, I discovered that if I tilt the bin slightly, it fits perfectly. Now, I could buy a new bin and return the one I have, but I really can’t be bothered. And the bin is cute.

Speaking of bins and rubbish. It seems I need three different bins for recycling, and they have very specific requirements in terms of how to bag the rubbish (in a paper bag, in a clear bag or in a black bag). Who knew?

The living room is still halfway through, because some works need to be carried out next week, so there’s no point in making it all pretty now. I still want to buy some pieces of furniture to finish it the way I want, move the sofa around and a few other bits. It will all have to wait until payday (and most likely, until March payday, which hopefully will come with a bonus!).

All my posts are widely spread and few lately, but I guess it’s with good reason, since I’m spending most of my spare time either away from a laptop, or at work, or unpacking. Since I don’t have internet at home, my downtime is also spent away from a computer, which I’m finding quite relaxing, and freeing.

Yesterday was one of my best Fitbit days. I walked over 20,000 steps, which saw me being in second place in one of the workweek challenges, and first place on the other one. Of course, that didn’t last long, but it was great. Why so many steps?

Well, I first went to Lewisham Hospital for a physio appointment. Ian referred me to rehab (yup, I’m on rehab now), to start doing circuit exercises in their gym, unfortunately there’s a waiting list and I won’t be able to start until April. Anyway, that meant walking from the train station to the hospital, doing some exercises there, and walk back. I came to work and had to run around the office (figuratively) which also helped. Then, it was time to go to my check-out appointment at the old flat, so I walked to the station, and then from Lewisham station to the flat.

As I had Knitting Club last night, I then walked back to the train and to the office, to teach the class. I’m happy to announce we had a couple of new joiners! And even some people joked that I had changed their lives and they were grateful. Even if it was a joke (or was it?), I’m very happy my efforts have made an impact on their lives, if only because they’re watching less TV and knitting more.

After the club, I walked back to the train, and then from New Eltham home. I am so tired. Properly tired. However, now I’m thinking of more ways I can add extra steps to my day. Yesterday was an anomaly, I never walk that much (my usual is 11-12k steps per day, except on weekends), so I won’t be able to remain on the top half of the leaderboard for long (currently third on one, and still first on the other!).

It’s a good thing that I only have a train pass and I can’t use any method of transport I want, because when I think that a bus ride is going to cost me £1.50, even if it’s not much, I decide to walk instead. No, I’m not cheap, by the way.

I still haven’t used the oven at the new flat, but I have used the washing machine (an hour-ish long programme? Amazing!) and the dishwasher (which wasn’t so amazing, mostly because of my lack of knowledge). I know the oven overheats, so it’ll be fun to try to figure out the right settings in order to bake. Maybe my first try should just be making a pizza, and see how it goes.

I can’t wait to be able to invite people over for a coffee or dinner. Little by little, the flat is starting to look great. I’m still a bit worried about the well-being of my plants, they’re not reviving as fast as I expected, but I’m still hopeful. And I can’t wait to show you pictures!

Welcome cards and gifts from friends

And just like that, it’s done

This is it. I’m moved. I still haven’t closed my old flat, of course, but I’m typing this from the dinning table in my new flat, and it feels weird.

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. There were talks of moving already last year, and I almost left my flat back in November or so (it never happened, for different reasons). Now, the day has come, and I’m here.

One thing I have learnt is that no matter how much rubbish you get rid of, you probably still have way too much stuff. I can’t think how it would have been if I hadn’t discarded all those clothes, books, DVDs and papers. Still, I have way too much kitchen stuff, especially for baking (which I haven’t done in a while, because of lack of space), and crafts. Lots of craft materials. I believe (and I might be wrong, because I stopped paying attention at some point), that I have at least four boxes filled to the top with yarn, fabric and filling. Then, I have at least another couple of boxes filled with craft paper, cutting devices, hot glue machine, I don’t know, anything you can think of.
Before the move started - old flat
I don’t know how I have managed to accumulate so much stuff, well, yes, buying it. Good thing is that after paying the removal company, and since I need money to pay for a professional cleaning, I’m going to be broke for the next… couple of years, probably, so I’ll be able to go through my craft stash and actually finish projects!
Before the move started - old flat
This week is going to be tough.

Last night, I was invited to watch the Super Bowl at my neighbours’ place. I was very excited about it, but then I started getting sick during the weekend, which is what you need when you’re packing boxes non-stop. I felt I needed the rest time, especially since the movers were coming at 9am this morning, so I kept on doing boxes and stayed home. I went to bed early, and watched a film in bed (Sisters, with two of my favourite role models, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey). For some reason, I couldn’t fall asleep afterwards, despite being very tired, and I ended up sleeping only 3 hours.

Once the move was done, I decided to find a place that served coffee and sandwiches around the flat, since I hadn’t had breakfast.

Today, is a day of unpacking. Seriously, isn’t it such a waste of time? Spend days putting stuff in boxes, so they travel 15 minutes and then you take everything out again…

Tomorrow, unfortunately, I’ll have to return to work, which means I won’t have a few days to get the flat sorted. That’s going to mess with my zen, or something. This is how my new bedroom looks like at the moment:
Aftermath of move - new flat
I believe there should be a bed somewhere there, under the boxes!

After work, it’s knitting club again. I know I haven’t shared much about it after it started, but that’s because I’ve been meaning to take photos, but I get so excited once we start, that I always forget. Hopefully tomorrow!

On Wednesday, it’s another long day, because Chris, Brian, Yaniv and I are watching Deadpool at the cinema. We can’t wait. Brian and I have been watching the trailer all the time, and talking about it non-stop, and sending each other WhatsApp messages about funny bits from the film. We are all really excited about the film, I just hope we aren’t setting our expectations way too high…

I think my Thursday evening is free, so I’ll take advantage of it and unpack more sleep. We have a new book club meeting at lunchtime that day, I’ve missed posting about a few of the latest books we’ve read, but I’ll try to catch up and post about them.

Wow… I already can’t wait for the weekend! I need to book cleaners to go and do my old flat professionally, so it’s another step towards getting my deposit back (which I really, really need). I will also have to empty the flat completely, as at the moment it has rubbish and broken electrical items I need to get rid of.

I’m hoping to return the keys by 16th February, and close that chapter of my life. These past two years have been probably the hardest I can remember and have drained a lot of my energy, but this new place gives me really good vibes, so I’m looking forward to it.

The flat is big and bright. There are some faults with it at the moment, which are being fixed. I have big plans for the flat. I love the skylight, and how bright and clean it looks (white walls, instead of yellowish). I have enough space in my room to have a craft corner, so I’m excited about the change. Hopefully, as I get it all ready and decorate, I’ll be able to share some photos with all of you (look at me, like one of those fancy decoration blogs!), but I really have no rush at the moment. My main objective is to sort out the kitchen, and my bed. Everything else can wait.

On a side note, my landlady (Su) and my neighbours (Louise and Lee) are awesome. When I came in this morning, and after the scare of finding someone in the flat already (it was alright, I had just forgotten builders needed to come in, and someone had to open the door for them, i.e. Su’s dad), I went into the living room to find a lovely set of welcome cards and gifts waiting for me!
Welcome cards and gifts from friends
How sweet is that? Yes, I know, the white card is upside down… I told you, lack of sleep and lack of coffee!

One of the first things I did was putting that bottle in the fridge, because I said as soon as I was moved in, I would drink prosecco (actually, a bottle I’ve had since June, but whatever), so excuse me while I go try to find a wine glass somewhere. Or a plant pot, not that I care that much at the moment…

Here’s to a new, hopefully more joyful, chapter in my life!

Right at the centre of the battle

It’s official, I’m moving at last. My future flat is now empty and being readied for my arrival, and my current flat is… a mess.

I have been feeling like I wasn’t making any dent at all my stuff, like I wanted to get rid of many things but didn’t manage to and it seems finally yesterday I started seeing some change.

For the last month or so, I’ve given away a few more books, DVDs and other stuff. I’m now looking at appliances I can recycle, or give to charity. I’m being ruthless in everything I’m discarding. Old presents, toys, electronics, everything must go. Some are good to be given away, others are as well, but have a layer of grease from being stored in the wrong place for two years (the kitchen, on top of the cupboards), but that’s what happens when you don’t have enough space. I almost threw away my bright pink GameBoy, but I didn’t (not only it was a present from someone I cared about back then, but it’s also a GameBoy, in rich pink!). I must say, I almost stopped packing and tidying to play a little bit of Zelda! I didn’t either.

Moving home, keep donate and throw away is all mixed
The rooms I’ve tackled this weekend have been my room and the kitchen.

Previously, I had a look at the storage cupboard, and saw that a lot of the stuff in there is to keep, or to throw away (still need to call Lewisham Recycling Centre so they can come and pick up stuff), so that’s good. It shouldn’t take too long.

The bathroom is pretty much bare. I just need to put all the stuff in a bag (one of the thousand tote bags I own, maybe?) and it’ll be ready.

The living room still has some books, all the alcohol (woohoo!) and now it’s full of boxes.

In my room, I’ve emptied the top of the wardrobe and went through all my craft supplies to see what I was throwing away. Not much, it seems… I have thrown a lot away, just not the bulkiest stuff, unfortunately. Still, I now have two empty drawers.

All my yarn has been boxed as well.

I’ve put a bunch of notebooks and books in a small suitcase, so it’s easier to carry around (that’ll be one of those that I will use in the evenings to make some trips to the new flat before moving day). However, the space under my bed is still full of boxes…

In the kitchen, my brother brought down all the stuff I had on top of the cupboards, and it’s been a weekend of washing all the gunk away in batches, because we don’t have that much space to let things dry. I have decided to put all the spices and baking stuff away, in a basket, so I can see some empty shelves and feel like I’m making progress. Now, I’m eyeing my glassware and wondering how many glasses, wine glasses and cups I actually need and how many I can get rid of (question, do you need to recycle ceramic or can you just throw it away?).

Moving home, the kitchen is a mess
My inflatable mattress is definitely the worst I’ve ever used, so that’s something I’ll be throwing away as well, one thing less to carry!

Since I’m not sure I’ll be able to take more days off before March, I essentially have only four days left (two weekends) and a bunch of evenings to finish packing and do the move. That, and thinking about all the places where I need to change my address and contact details, is making me very stressed.

Moving home, chaos everywhere
When I look at the flat, I really don’t want to spend even a minute cleaning it to pass the check out visit, so I’m considering hiring a company of cleaners to do it, but it costs around £250 with carpet cleaning (much needed, as we have a high traffic area that won’t be easy to clean). Is it worth it? I don’t know, to be honest…

Since I arrived in London around 10 years ago, I’ve lived in seven flats, so I should be used to moving by now, but I’m not. I hate packing my suitcase for holidays, so packing my whole flat is driving me crazy.

My tenancy ends on 16th February, which means crazy moving weekend will be the weekend just before. I guess spending Valentine’s Day boxing and unboxing is as good way as any… At least I know it’ll end in dinner (probably pizza) and wine!

The day before the day

Tomorrow is the day, the moment of truth. The knitting club is launching, and I am really excited about it.

As I’ve been mentioning, almost nonstop (sorry for being a bore!), there’s a new knitting club at work, of which I decided to take charge… Which makes sense, since it was my idea!

I have been knitting a lot, trying to remember how to do things, and writing a guide people can take home. I’ve done and undone many stitches, trying to find the best way of explaining a technique, and casted on countless of stitches. This is it. I’m done.

OK, I’m never really going to be done-done. I decided to stop, because I was putting on finishing touches to the guide, and decided to add some funny memes, and it was starting to get out of hand (I mean, when you get a meme of Yoda talking about knitting, you probably should stop, right?).

Thing is I didn’t want it to sound like a very girlie (or granny) thing, or too dry and boring. I wanted it to be a bit cool, especially since the group of people who have signed up are pretty awesome, and not only because they signed up!

So, yeah, that’s done. I think I feel a bit like a kid on Christmas Eve, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to sleep! What am I saying? I’m extremely tired today, of course I’ll sleep…

On another hand, my Swedish studies are going well. I’m still learning basics, of course, but I know quite a lot of words already! I am very excited! I just wish I had someone I could actually talk to. I’ve found some MeetUp groups, so I might give that a try. I’m also asking the ladies on my Facebook group, maybe there are any Swedes there. My goal is to have a 30 minute conversation with a native by the end of March, which I’m starting to think is totally doable. I’ve only been studying for 10 days and I can already say where I’m from, what I do for work, what I like doing, and also random stuff like my uncle (on my father’s side) is tall. Yep, I’m rocking this!

To be fair, I’m probably annoying everyone around me, talking about how å is pronounced, or how they create words with suffixes, and how words change and merge. It’s fascinating! Att lär sig sprak är intressant!

Today I went to see the physio again, and we’re making very slow progress. It’s frustrating, but at least he has now given me more interesting exercises. He asked me to sort of bounce softly on a trampoline, to start working on adding weight to my exercises, minus the impact. He then taught me another exercise to reach with one leg while standing on the other one, which was tricky because of my poor balance, but I really liked it.

Then, he showed me how to practise standing on one leg on the trampoline, but since I don’t have a trampoline at home, I asked whether I could use a wobble board (which I have), and he told me to try on one then. That was funny. I told him to step back a bit, because he was way too close and I was probably going to end up slapping him trying to regain my balance.

I have to go back in three weeks, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do a light jog then. This is one of the longest and most frustrating process I’ve ever had to go through, but I hope it’ll be worth it in the end. Still, he’s told me I shouldn’t expect going back to running before end of March or so, so there’s still a long way to go. I’m willing to take it slow so I won’t have any issues in the future. I’ve learnt my lesson though…

Oh! I have an update! The house move is going ahead! I’ll be able to move on schedule, and I can’t wait anymore. Su confirmed today that the exchange of contracts had gone through, and they’re moving out this weekend. I couldn’t be happier!

Lots of things happening, as you can see. All different, but all exciting. Change and challenge is good!