It is currently the 23rd December 2018 and the very first day of the month that I could actually consider writing my blog. It has been ridiculously busy since my last post.
We started off by seeing friends Emma and Patrick at their home and watching a Wasps rugby match at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. It was a great day and it worked out so well as it took our minds of the house move, the packing and the problem with the charge on the house. It also was a chance to say goodbye. We also got on the TV apparently munching our pies, not the most flattering of images.
The charge on our house was finally lifted the following week. We exchanged on the 29th and completed on the 30th as planned, just. We left England late on the 29th not to go to Italy, but to go to Dublin to surprise my brother, as he was celebrating his 40th birthday in Dublin with our family over there. So… we had to pack everything up and have it out of the house on the morning of Thursday 29th November.
I think it may have been one of the most stressful weeks we have ever had. Packing like mad that week and I was still working until the Wednesday. After finishing work on the Wednesday we packed until the early hours of Thursday to put everything in a van that was turning up on Thursday morning. But the van was very early on Thursday morning, yikes!! We were still packing when the van arrived.
The driver was amazing though, he was a strong as an ox and moved so quickly, we couldn’t actually keep up, so the stress of getting everything out was absolutely mind-blowing. But we got as much as we could in the van and he drove away with everything we owned.
That was a strange moment, all our stuff was out of the house and we were just left there with the house and the items that the new owner had purchased from us. Luckily we had a sofa to sit on but no glasses and other stuff. We got cleaners in to clean the house once the removal van had left, which was a real blessing as it was just full of paper shreddings which we used as packaging. They were absolutely everywhere. So, very sorry to Andrea and Hannah! We decided to go to the local pub, The Littleton Arms for a drink whilst they cleaned the house, a bit of time to relax after the most hectic morning. As we were going to the airport later that day I decided to check the trains and it seemed like they were all over the place due to the bad weather, there were strong winds and it affected the points or something. So we decided to get the next train to make sure we make the flight from Birmingham. Guess what? When we got to the station after collecting our case from the house, the trains were cancelled. Oh no! So we had to find a taxi to get us to Birmingham Airport. Eventually we did find one and he got us there just in time. Really didn’t need that stress!!
Once we got on the flight to Dublin, we could actually relax, such a relief, my cousin Joe was so nice, he collected us from the airport and took us to the hotel in Dublin. Then we definitely relaxed in the room. It felt so weird that we didn’t have to do anything, no packing, no work, nothing, just lie there. Just bliss.
The next day, was the day that my brother and sister-in-law were arriving to the hotel. The hotel had big swivel chairs in the foyer. We used these to sit on facing away from the entrance when we saw Joe’s car pull in to the front of the hotel. As they came in I could see Gemma looking for us, as it was her idea we would surprise him. But my brother David was so unaware. So we slowly rotated the chairs (think The Voice in slow motion) and waited for him to see us. It was THE best picture on his face, the realisation and the confusion was amazing. He thought we were way too busy, to go to Dublin, but we did. There was no way I would miss my little brother’s 40th no matter what, and we didn’t.
It was a great weekend, saw nothing of Dublin, but we ate and drank lots and had a catch up with family. Just a great time.
Sunday was back to England for our wedding, we went back to Penkridge and stayed at the Littleton Arms until the Wednesday.
Our best friends, Sally and Steve came over to give us our big cases we were taking to Italy. We only took hand luggage for Dublin and they kindly agreed to look after the big cases until we got back. We had a great meal and chat at the Littleton Arms. Had a lovely night as usual, they were telling us about their dreams for the future. I really hope they achieve them, as they deserve to live their dreams.
We met up with Tony on Monday, as he was in the UK, to discuss the process on buying the house and transferring money to the seller etc. It was all pretty clear and straightforward.
Then Tuesday was our wedding day. It was such a nice day. It was meant to be me and John, Anna and David as witnesses and Sally acting as chauffeur for us to Stafford Registry Office, but our friends Sue and Claire turned up as they didn’t want to miss the day. It was so nice of them, it was a nice surprise. Sally, Sue and Claire waited in the reception of the registry office whilst we were doing the ceremony (it was quite quick) and took photos on their phones when we got out of the office and also back at Penkridge in front of the church. We all had a very nice lunch with prosecco together at The Littleton. During that time Claire disappeared and turned up with a framed photo of us. It was such a lovely idea and shows the wonder of imagination and technology. So they were our official photographers. David took photos too and when Gemma and the kids turned up later there was another framed photo. So we have 2 great photos of our wedding day, which was very unexpected.
The rest of the day was also great, we basically just sat in the pub and people randomly turned up during the evening. It was all very well timed, we had good quality time with each person that showed up. It was such a great day, well apart from the goodbyes.
Wednesday 5th December was the day we left England and our first leg of our journey to Scalea. It was such an emotional day. We booked a taxi as we learned from the Dublin trip that we could not trust the trains. Sally came to say goodbye and wave us off, which was extremely tearful. Alison my hairdresser waved as we drove passed her shop which was so enthusiastic, made me smile through the tears. We flew from Birmingham Airport to Milan Malpensa and stayed there overnight. On take off I was so emotional, I cried thinking about everyone we said goodbye to. Hopefully they will be able to come and visit us pretty soon.
After the early flight on Thursday from Milan to Lamezia Terme we were met by Tony, luckily he was there being collected by a friend of his, Giuseppe, so we were collected too.
So we checked in to the hotel and later that day we went to the notary and signed the paperwork to officially buy our new home. It was an interesting process, we all went to the notary’s office, us as the buyers, Tony, who was acting as our translator, the sellers and the notary. We sat there and confirmed the information is correct or not as the notary read through all of the paperwork. After everyone who attended signed the paperwork many times, we all shook hands and everyone congratulated us on our new home.
That was it, we owned the property, but the sellers had to move their stuff out, so we could not move in until the Saturday afternoon. During that time we went shopping, we bought a pellet stove to heat the property and Franco the man who looks after the condominium that our home is part of, took out an external door and bricked it up so we have a place to install our new fire. He looked after the delivery of the fire and then installed it and also knocked a wall down to make the area between the kitchen and lounge more open. I have to say that this property was originally two apartments knocked into one so the electrics, which are sound, are located in interesting places so not all of the wall could come down, but it works well to give the feeling of space.
We also went shopping to buy two bathrooms, as the current ones are er… not suitable for our needs. Franco has just finished installing one, then the other will be installed in the New Year. I think we are lucky we are here in December as work is getting done rather quickly.
Our stuff from England arrived on Saturday night. The driver, Valentin was so good, we have a lot of steps down to our apartment and he helped and worked like a trooper, not moaning but being very philosophical about working hard no matter what you earn and our location. We could not have had a better person to deliver our stuff. Unfortunately we did not have all of it. The van was overloaded when it left our last home in England so the rest came the following week. Which was a pain but nothing we could do, we just have too much stuff! The worst of it was finding places for it all to go, we are still in the process of doing that.
We actually moved in on Wednesday 12th December after the heater was installed and the wall was knocked out. But it was still extremely dusty because of the change of bathroom and every evening was and still is spent sweeping up all of the dust, but we know it is not forever. Also we bought a sofa and armchair which arrived on Tuesday and were covered in plastic packaging until the bathroom was finished on Friday. So Friday night the place started to feel like home.
We had radio broadband installed on Wednesday 19th December which is really good so far as we both ran out of data on our mobiles. You don’t realise how much you use mobile data until you run out of it. Not sure what it will be like to use in the summer when the place is full, the radio waves will be jam packed, but at the moment it is great and it is the reason I can write this, well upload it. We can now at least watch Amazon Prime as I already have a Fire Stick. Friday we watched a Love Actually on the TV with a glass or 2 of wine which definitely made it feel like home. So I have to thank Lesley, who lives near Scalea and gave us advice on what to do and who to use. So far so good.
Apart from the mayhem we have also made sure we take in the view from our terrace, walk along the beach and watch the sunset as it is so easy to forget the reason we have come here and it also acts as a brake, making us stop and think and be grateful.
So that was our December, it has been a crazy one but we are starting to settle in our new home and enjoying our new view, it is very different to the A449 that is for sure. I wonder what the next year will bring. Very much looking forward to it.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a lovely 2019.