June 13, 2014

A NEW BEGINNING

So we are moved in!
To say we are settled in would be stretching it too far. Having thinned out our belongings enormously before we moved, and thinking we had done a good job, when the removal men carried box after box into our new house and the space for walking between them got smaller and smaller, I seriously began to wonder if we had done the right thing. The house is lovely but it's SO small!

So we have to thin them out even more, that's all there is to it. In any case how many ramekins does a two person household actually need?

Lulu doesn't seem to need a ramekin at all.

Speaking of Lulu, she has coped incredibly well with the upheaval. She spent three nights at her grandad's but we spent lots of time each day with her and we brought her to her new home as soon as the removal van had gone. She had a good sniff round, inspected the premises and then gave us a look which obviously meant "are you completely mad?"
Dogs can be very perceptive and cruelly blunt at times.

One of the challenges in settling in is in finding where to put things. In the kitchen it's just a matter of deciding what should go in each cupboard (except that we have too much stuff for the amount of cupboard space), but elsewhere it's more difficult because we literally haven't got anywhere to put anything as we haven't got any furniture. All our existing furniture has gone into store for future use in France. So with great enthusiasm we went shopping for furniture on Wednesday morning. The enthusiasm didn't last.

There's a lot of nice furniture about for a sensible price but the big, chunky, oak stuff, although beautiful, is way too big for our tiny spaces. Having found a small sideboard that would fit into our 80cm alcove, it had a few cm overhang on the top and very thick sides to the frame so that for our 80cm alcove we would end up with less than 65cm storage space at a cost of several hundred pounds. We were beginning to think that finding furniture for our new house could take up the whole of the rest of our summer. Not to mention a large chunk of the budget for our new house in France - when we find it.

So we ended up in ...... guess where, Ikea. For less than two grand we got four double wardrobes with internal shelves and baskets, three chests of drawers, a two seater sofa, two small armchairs, a glass fronted dresser, a bookcase and a bagful of the irresistible bits and bobs Ikea do so well. None of it is high quality heirloom stuff but it will suit our purpose perfectly well and at this stage in our lives we would rather invest in enjoying ourselves than in furniture!

It reminds me of something my dad always says when I ask him how he got on at his appointment with the doctor. "He told me not to buy any new shirts!"

So while Nick grapples with a mountain of flatpack furniture I am luxuriating in the fact that BT have provided us with telephone and internet according to plan and wondering which box contains our corkscrew!
Thank goodness for screw top wine bottles (and Vouvray, of course)!

Have a great weekend!

18 comments:

  1. Ikea is great, personally I had not bought much from them UNTIL I met Elizabeth... We bought the two sofas we have here from them and I must say they are preforming great, if a sofa can perform!!

    Don't think of the limited space you have there WAIT until you get the BIG place over here... It will more then make up for it... I know what it is like, I sold my bungalow to follow my dream, I have absolutely no regrets...

    Part one completed.. The best part yet to come... If you need anything... Let us know... Col

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad to know you're finally ensconced, even if the furniture still has to be assembled. Ikea was a great choice as they are used to designing for small modern homes and know not to waste space on unnecessary curlicues. Once you've got the boxes unpacked you'll be raring to get on with your French house search. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well said, Colin.

    You've done the right thing and it looks like you are beginning to settle. Give it some time and then start again! Bon courage...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank goodness you avoided Dreadful Flippin' Sofas. IKEA is great for furnishing on a bufget, especially for stuff to stuff with stuff. Believe me, you're better being able to start small and think big than to take a load of things you'te umming and aahing about. The deed is done - no turning back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pauline, I don't think we could have afforded/justified the cost of a DFS sofa to use for six months of the year, maybe less.
      They con people into buying them by pretending they are half price and offering "interest free" credit and other silly deals. Our upbringings make us instinctively suspicious of these kind of "deals".

      Delete
  5. Congratulations! Make sure Nick does one flat pack at a time. Don't want to be mixing up the parts, right? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt, there's so little space that opening more than one box at a time would be impossible!

      Delete
  6. Great to hear the 1st move has gone well. I like Ikea. My parents 'discovered' them when we were living in Copenhagen in the mid '70s and the bookshelves they bought then lasted nearly 40 years.
    Good luck with all the unpacking. It always looks worse at the start when you can't move for boxes. It will get better...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Antoinette and Niall, thanks for the words of encouragement!
      I know you're right - I just needed to be reminded!
      We have brought with us two "Billy" bookcases that I bought in 1992, which makes them twenty years old, and apart from a bit of fading of their colour, they're as good as new.

      Delete
    2. Twenty two years old.........!

      Delete
    3. Ah, "Billy" bookcases. Distinctly I remember.

      Glad things have gone well thus far.

      Blessings and Bear hugs!

      Delete
  7. I think IKEA is great. Nearly all their designs are simple and well thought out, and it's affordable. I need to go there soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carolyn, I just hope the drawers are strong enough to hold all our stuff.
      They are very minimalistically filled in the showroom but we don't do minimal!

      Delete
  8. We made that same, gasp, IKEA decision when we arrived in Spain. So many other better things to spend our money on. As we get more and more settled, we replace something here and there to get rid of the items that aren't holding up well or don't suit us. Next to go is the coffee table. But definitely worth the cost for the 3 years we've gotten out of it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would visit Ikea here, but it is a distance away, plus the furniture would not suit the look of our house, but its the bits and bobs which are worth going for! Hope you settle in soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vera, they should have a warning sign in the entrance to all Ikeas:
      "Beware all who enter here; in spite of all good intentions you will not resist our bits and bobs"!

      Delete
  10. IKEA?
    Oh, all those Js and Ks !

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well, I may be working my way backwards but I will start with the latest and work through them all in reverse! Glad your move went well. Enjoy your new home!

    ReplyDelete