Friday, 22 May 2009

Movin' to the country...

...but there are no peaches.

There are, however, dangers around the Norfolk corner (evidenced by the alarming local news headline to the far right). It is not funny; but, oh, it just so is...

For those readers who have not been telepathetically connected to the inner workings of the writer's mind (consider yourselves fortunate and take refuge far away), we upped and moved from Magpie Road two weeks ago. Punny people might think it amusing and cute to say 'We flew the coop...' but those people should be beaten. Oh wait -- I am one of those people.

Our new abode is located in the village of Swardeston, which is 4 miles south of Norwich city centre (or a 15 minute bus ride) and, according to one of my work friends, 'out in the sticks'. It's most famous daughter is Edith Cavell, famous WWI nurse who was executed for helping Allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium.

However, we now have:
  • a garden (as opposed to a miniscule concrete rectangle),
  • birds in the garden (as opposed to drunk people slurring down the road at 3pm or 2am or dog and rabbit foul wafting from the concrete rectangle next door)
  • a driveway (as opposed to vying for a spot near the curry house and hoping the window don't get smashed in)
  • room to move (due to someone's absurdly large yarn collection and someone else's LP collection and book-blame on both sides)
  • a guest room (for our fabulous and loved friends who will be visiting)
  • a reasonable kitchen for the chef (although as any good chef, he wants a larger one)
  • a gas stove-top (enough said)
  • a pantry (E's favourite feature, methinks)
  • and a cupboard-under-the-stairs!
[the owners have left all this rubbish that lives in the 'unfurnished' house, such as catty-smelling rugs; random, mismatched and hideous pot holders; painted-duck door stops and the like. The stuff that we have not boxed and put in the attic in an orderly fashion, i.e., some paint tins, a bathmat anti-slip mat that has had God-knows-whose-feet on it, etc. are thrust to the back at the pointy bit behind the handy shelf that bisects the cupboard. This is known as The Chamber of Secrets. End of annoying HP references.]

The house plaque on the front says 1881, and we are quite thrilled that it has not been overdone inside too modern-tastic. Yes, we do have running water and indoor bathroom... but the bathtub is a roll-top, the floors downstairs are quarried stone, there are two fireplaces (the upstairs one is supposed to work -- and is still connected to the downstairs one since soot exploded out of the chimney into the front room the second day we were here), doors are lovely unfinished wood and quite old, and the stairs creak. We apparently have the village's best collection of foxgloves and hollyhocks or something-else-I-forget.

Despite the lack of prolific peaches for you and peaches for me, we do pass the entrance to 'Ye Only Shoppe in the Village' every day on our way home (where the news headline board, above, is handily located), so there is a location to obtain cookable sustenance. As long as one makes it there by 6.30.

The Dog Inn is also located 2 doors from our front door, and it is promised to open 'in a couple of weeks'. More news shall be forthcoming when it does, as it appears to be gastro-pub and also v. nice b&b.

A 20-minute walk to Mulbarton (unless you want to drive and leave your car there), is The World's End, which is a reasonable-enough pub with good family garden. But food only middling between average and above-average and, as is Adnams pub, pints are pricey.

Anyhoo, here is an idea of the moving experience in pictographic form. One person looks less stressed and manic than the other, because one person is going to come home from work to a new house where all the furnishings have been moved![For the reader's amusement, it is fun to keep in mind that herself left Norwich on 13 April with The Mama and The Eamonn heading to Cardiff and Ireland and Austria and NYC/DC, returned on 4 May; the packers came on 5 May; the movers on 6 May; and herself was back at work on 7 May. It was all perfectly looovely, just a bit of an organisational, and mental, challenge. Do not feel this is evidence that I am mentally challenged. ]

Magpie dining room before /after

Magpie music room before / after
(note almost-full moving truck through window)

Lyndale living room before / after

Lyndale dining room before / after

While these pictures are incredibly amusing, more photos of the Martha-Stewart transformation of the abode will be posted if I can keep one room tidy for 10 hours straight and take a photo soon.


He wore our collar for 3 months without response being received, so the kitteh is now mine, mine, mine (and ours -- Eamonn is actually quite concerned about him more than I). He is chipped and shotted and pilled, etc.

Angus pretty much approves of his new domicile. He did very well and has adapted to having space, birds, trees, grass (the legal, Beatrix Potter kind) and a 'friend'. His 'friend' is named Arthur(pictured loitering outside kitchen window to R), lives next door and is almost his twin, except for the white spot on Arthur's tummy. Arthur likes to come inside when the back stable-door is open and eat Angus's biscuits (or 'crunchy food').

Angus does not approve of this behaviour, and we have had to have Time Out for both parties several times.

This is moving-day night. There is rather a lot of Kitty Backside...

in the bedroom

by the bedroom fireplace

nosing around the fish table

exiting the pantry (note paddy paw pads on bottom of feet)

A week and a half later, we had our first Outside Kitteh Time...

... and there was much sniffing and chirrupping and rejoicing. Although in moderation because, after all, he is a British cat.

He typically wakes up with the dawn chorus at 4.17 am. This is getting to be a habit.

Must now stop and prepare for next trip (and final trip of this recruitment cycle!)... LA tomorrow morning/afternoon. *sigh* :)