Table set for Mother's Day high tea..
Well, here we are at last in our wee cottage. It has been a week of the usual drama associated with moving house. For a start, Tasmania's drought broke, with a vengeance, all over moving day. I felt so very sorry for the removalists man-handling furniture down a set of twisty garden stairs in the pouring rain. The rain has hardly let up since, which is a wonderful thing for Tasmania, and probably good for the efficient unpacking of boxes, as I have been prevented from running out into the garden every two minutes, but have been trapped inside dutifully putting things in cupboards.
With the rain came the cold, so we have been juggling with the fire all week. For the first six years we lived in Tasmania we only had wood fires to heat the house, so I am quite good at lighting fires. Currently I have only wet wood to work with, which is a challenge, but I will find a space to store wood dry before the really cold weather gets here. It is lovely to watch the children settle into a routine of fire watching, adding a log or twitching the air vents to keep the sulky wet logs going.
We were without the internet until Friday - the nice man came on Thursday to hook us up, but when he plugged in the the NBN box, half the house lost power for twenty-four hours. Eventually the electrician worked out that it was a badly wired plug which had shorted out all the power in the kitchen and living areas, by which time the fridge had been without electricity for a day, and we were exceedingly glad that we heat with wood now..
I held my breath as the couch came in the side door. It wouldn't fit through the kitchen door, which has a little storm porch attached. The side door was our last hope. It opens into my bedroom, then into a skinny hall. I was so convinced that the couch would get stuck at any one of those points. I stayed in the kitchen with my eyes screwed shut and my fingers in my ears until it was all over. But, miracle, I have a couch, and bookshelves, and all my lovely, lovely books unpacked. The day after we moved in we went back to the old house and spent the day with my parents and some friends, both with trailers, and we moved all the heavy garden pots, and my hoarded piles of red bricks, plus all the garden tools. It took half the day, and afterwards I lay down on Posy's bed with the dog, and accidentally had a nap, and while I was asleep Rosy and her very kind friends unpacked all my books and put them on the shelves, and also unpacked all our food and found interesting places to put it all over the kitchen.
Next room to tackle - the hallway. We have the cats trapped in the sunroom which runs the length of the house off the hallway. We are trying to persuade them that this is their new house, and that they really like living here. When the windows are all closed and the dog is out of the way, we let the cats out to roam around. On Thursday night though, Milo the adventurer jumped out of the open attic window we had overlooked, and disappeared. Poor Posy was dreadfully distraught and took the day off school, and we searched the neighbourhood shaking his food bowl and calling and calling.. nothing. Then I went over to the old place and called, then over to the neighbours' and called, then around the corner to Posy's friend's house. It has always been Milo's home away from home, which he loved for its sunny stone verandah. I called at the gate there as a last resort, and there he was, bounding perkily across the lawn, and miaowing happily to see me. I still cannot believe that he made it all the way home so unerringly. More time in cat jail now..
I keep having to pinch myself to believe that I am really here. I bought a house! I am living in a Beatrix Potter cottage with my girls and my cats and my dog, and it is lovely! I have had so much help to get here, and so much help to move us in - my parents worked solidly for two days straight, packing and cleaning and driving back and forth with loads of, er, precious things, and very kind friends turned up on moving day to unpack my kitchen and make sure everyone had cups of tea and biscuits, and the moving men put our beds back together, which was so kind of them, as I still haven't quite worked out where my wrench is..
I have lovely friends who bring me flowers and dinner and cake and chocolate, and help me through the awful parts of my harebrained ideas, and beyond that, I now know that I can do difficult and scary things to get to a place that I want to be. How extraordinary is that? I feel a heady sense of the possibilities of life. But first, I must unpack all the boxes..