648 Moving experiences, part 12: March/April 2015

12th March 2015. The last report ended with me losing touch with the world. This time the world has come crashing back in, to good effect.
This took the form of a dramatic intervention by my daughters Leonora and Debora, foreshadowed last time. They had set up house valuation visits by two Estate Agents on Saturday 28th February. Arriving just minutes before the first of these, they piloted me and the agents through both visits, as well as going round the house doing more cleaning and tidying in a day than I would normally get through in a week or more. A great deal of junk and clutter was moved to the patio, and every room in the house is now easily accessible for me with the walking frame and for people viewing the house. They also cooked a pretty good dinner accompanied by music and conversation, and then went home. All this in eight exhausting hours. I now have to manage to keep the house presentable as best I can until the plaster comes off and I get some of my mobility back. Saturday was the first “day off” of the latest period, but never mind.
Needless to say I didn’t do much on the Sunday (library day), but on Monday (Showroom Day, appropriately enough) one of the agents – local, based in Framlingham, though part of a larger group – returned, and I signed up with him. From what he told me it seems I will need to do very few of the formalities myself, which is a great relief after the 1998 experience.
After a few uneventful days, Friday (6th) bought a very productive antepenultimate visit by an AgeUK person, which left the upstairs looking much better. The downside was that much of the Thursday (second “day off”) was taken up with preparing for the visit. At least the third Day Off (Tuesday 10th) lived up to its name.
Two hospital visits are scheduled, but there will be another report before then. Today, in addition to unblocking the vacuum cleaner, has been a productive Office Day. On Tuesday a very large amount of old periodicals went for recycling, and this evening 30 audio cassettes have gone into a very full rubbish bin. The next couple of weeks will include a notable solar eclipse (Fri. 20th), 5 housework days, 3 days off, two each of Library, Showroom and Office, and a music day.
In the light of all this, some more uplifting YouTube item is called for, though it doesn’t make you feel too optimistic. I’ve gone for the live version as the video tells a pretty bleak story; but the main message, as the title says, is going the distance regardless of the outcome. Here it is:

27th March 2015. Journalists and especially television news channels occasionally face the problem of “moving a story on” when it isn’t all over but nothing much has happened for a while.
Happily, although this is my situation, I can just write an unusually short report, safe in the knowledge that the next one will be a lot more eventful.
Since signing up with the local Estate Agent I have called off the other one of the two who visited a month ago. I have received a mass of documents from a conveyancing firm and spent the whole of this afternoon filling them in and returning them. This was all very straightforward but went into such details as whether light switches, window blinds and even door handles would be left behind or taken with me. I suppose they have to know these things.
Last Friday’s (20th March) visit from AgeUK turned out to be the last one. The aim of these visits was to help with my day-to-day cleaning and tidying but in the event it was also a very useful contribution to the house move preparations. From now on I can just keep things tidy and concentrate on getting ready for the move. For example, I’ve started working my way through the kitchen cupboards discarding some things, packing other things that I can manage without, and leaving out the things that I really need to use all the time. This is the same approach that I’ve been using with Butler Library materials and all sorts of equipment, furniture, bedding, books, magazines and stationery around the house. It’s a time-consuming way of doing things and requires a great deal of thought, but it’s the only way to achieve the downsizing without disastrous misjudgements.
And that really is that. I can perhaps mention that a return to the Freeview recorder has brought the contents down to 24%; 40 audio cassettes have gone into the reasonably full bin that will go out on Monday; and that several weeks after the birds started singing in the garden some Spring-like weather appears to be arriving.
The next two weeks, in addition to two hospital visits and probably the departure of seven parcels of Esperanto books, will include four housework days, three library days, three days off and two each of Showroom and Office.

12th April 2015. Free at last! Free at last! Now I’m not Martin Luther King and I haven’t liberated an oppressed minority, but I have made two notable escapes in the last couple of weeks.
The first of two hospital visits left me released from the plaster which had encased half of my right leg for several weeks. Since then I have been gradually getting back into the habit of normal walking. At first it felt lopsided, even though it was now correctly balanced after being lopsided before. I can now do most things without the help of a walking frame, though I still have to go up and down stairs one step at a time.
The second item was the end of a much longer story; I paid off the small remaining balance of a mortgage on the house. This meant that for the first time in over 40 years I now owe no money to anyone anywhere. It also means that from now on I’ll be running a surplus, which is perplexing. Doubtless I’ll receive all kind of suggestions, by phone, by post and by e-mail, of ways to spend, save or invest my new-found fortune.
The house move has shown little significant progress in these two weeks, though I have had a visit from the Estate Agent, of which more later. Around the house I’ve done a little more work on the kitchen cupboards (3 out of 12 now checked and packed, discarded or kept); and bedroom 1 is now almost as clear as it can be, with only the remains of a wooden bed frame to dispose of. So I’ve moved on to Bedroom 2. As in Bedroom 1, the chest of drawers is now empty; an unwanted LP turntable has gone, and only three boxes of books look particularly out of place. Here too there is a wooden bed frame to remove. Bedroom 3 will be less easy, as it’s my room, and the remaining Butler Library items in Bedroom 4, though few in number, will take a while to work through.
I have got rather behindhand with the “office” activities. In particular, the seven parcels mentioned last time are still here, but I must get them on their way before too long, not least because on Saturday 25th there will be an Open Day with people interested in the house coming to see what it’s like. I’m trying not to get too excited about this as the self-same people may well be attending a whole string of similar Open Days in other houses. Apparently some people do this as a hobby.
Other events in the next two weeks will include the departure of 40 more audio cassettes crammed into a very full rubbish bin, five housework days in preparation for the Open Day, a Music Day, three days off, and two each of Office, Library and Showroom.

26th April 2015. Yesterday the Open Day came and went rather quickly. It’s too soon to say whether it has achieved anything, but it was interesting, and included two people who definitely want to live in Bedfield. I’ll know more later, particularly as several people who had expressed an interest couldn’t be there on Saturday.
Getting ready for this completely occupied the Friday (24th) which was meant to be a day off, but it has left me with a very tidy house; this won’t have had any influence on the househunters but it’s satisfying for me.
The medical news is clearer; I can now go upstairs (though not yet down) in a completely normal way, and am only using the walking frame outdoors. On Friday I ventured down the whole length of the back garden, not just to see if I could manage it but mainly to open the back gates for visitors to park their cars. It was my first good look at the garden in quite some time, and, on a mercifully bright sunny afternoon, it looked very presentable.
In the course of these two weeks I have completed the first run-through of the four bedrooms and also the bathroom. Once people have finished looking at the house I’ll start packing everything I don’t need to have handy. Work is already underway with the unwanted duplicate Esperanto books; I’ve stockchecked and packed about 20% of the apparently saleable items. Quite a few others have gone off to the Esperanto Centre to be sold from there. The seven parcels mentioned more than once before have finally departed, and some very heavy bundles of periodicals which were both incomplete and duplicated have gone for recycling.
For the time being I am now in a sort of limbo. No hospital appointment is pending, I don’t know if anyone wants the house, and I haven’t worked out how to set about my own househunting. All I can do for the next two weeks is to continue selecting, packing and discarding. This will include the departure of 70 audio cassettes (a new Personal Best), four housework days, a Music Day, three days off, three Office Days and two each of Library and Showroom.


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