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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Time for a change

Hello all

Many thanks for all your comments and suggestions about a new name, now that we have moved into our new home in seaside town.

I am going to keep on blogging, about living here, about making our brand spanking new house into a home, and about all sorts of other things, no doubt, and I hope you'll keep letting me know what you think.

I would love to hear if there's anything you would like me to write about?  My friend Steve is much more writerly than me, and has a super blog called Shores of Night.  He's been doing a blog roulette.  The idea is that readers suggest things to write about and he picks one somehow.  Seems like a great idea to me, so, is there anything you'd like me to write about?

Whatever it is, I'll be writing at the new address which is (drum roll) Oh we do love to be...  See you there!

Bring me the head of Talk Talk

It may take you by surprise when I say that I really really like to communicate...

When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time on the 'phone. Arranging to meet people, and not being the last one to hang up in daily chats with my boyfriend (who lived far away).

When I went to University I discovered the wonders of Pegasus Mail. You could get a list of all the people who were logged in, and choose one whose name you liked the look of to email. I would have long rambling conversations about life, the universe, and everything, with people who never seemed half as interesting when I actually met them!

Later I got into hotmail, then googlemail, and into Bebo, then Myspace, and now, glorious Facebook. I love writing, I love sharing pictures, and I love communicating with friends, and friends of friends. I think of Facebook as being like a big room where lots of friends are having conversations, which I can choose to join if I wish. Sometimes I find some of those conversations ugly, and in those circumstances I generally ignore them and move on, but sometimes I have unfriended people. I know that means I don't get an accurate view of the world, but it's my world.

I love that I've now got a smart 'phone, and it's always been fine that I have limited internet access with my package as I just go on wifi at home... so I was a bit worried that Talk Talk were going to take a couple of weeks to bring us broadband... but I figured I could manage a couple of weeks, right?

Not so much.

I quickly ran out of internet access on my 'phone, and have been using Kenny's, when I can (when he's in, not using it, and it's got enough charge), which is painfully slow, but I thought it would be alright for a bit...

Until Kenny 'phoned up Talk Talk, who had agreed to provide our telephone, broadband, and television, and helped us set up a direct debit to pay for it. We were wondering exactly when we would get our television box, and broadband, and why we still haven't got a home telephone connection...

Oh, they said, it's you, they said, erm, well, yeah, we don't cover your area, so that's why you've got no 'phone...

So, we've got to find another provider, after TWO WEEKS of nothing, and the light of communication at the end of the tunnel is still far, far away... in fact, we've not signed up with anyone yet. So what do you think? We can get BT Vision or Sky. Recommendations anyone?

Little girl is not pleased about not getting to watch her on demand programmes!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Looks like we've moved!

Hello all

Well, as you'll have gathered, we have moved.  We don't have anything left in rainy town, and we are now citizens of seaside town... but it's going to take a bit of getting used to!

So I was thinking of keeping up the blog.  Partly to discuss home decor (and the garden!), partly to discuss our experiences in seaside town, and partly because it's good to keep writing, and to keep in touch with you all.

But 'Looks Like We're Moving' isn't such a good title any more, so what do I go with?

  • Looks like we've moved?
  • Living it Largs?
  • Oh we do like to be beside the seaside?
  • Have you got any ideas?

How we're settling in

As you'll recall, last time on the blog I was feeling a bit bad about the poor big girl, and how she was having a hard time settling in at school.  I think we've all been in a bit of a funk, not just because of everything being topsy turvy, and not knowing anyone, but also because the weather here in seaside town (I know!) has been utterly dreadful for the first week we've lived here.

With only a few interruptions (which were magnificent), it has rained, and it has been windy, and it has just been dreadful.  Lots of days when if we didn't have to go to school and eat and so on, we would all have just stayed in our PJs.  Ugh.

However, the weather seems to be picking up a bit, so hopefully our moods will too.

Jenga van - created by Kenny and Rob.
Picture by Rob (stolen with thanks)
The little girl (along with the other children) was feeling fed up that the telly wasn't working and there were very few toys, but a man came and fixed the telly on Friday (thank heavens), and Kenny rented a different van (from Enterprise), which boldly went and fit all the rest of the stuff from the house in rainy town in one load (many thanks to Rob, for helping Kenny load up the Jenga van).  Fantastic.

I have been hanging out in the library quite a lot.  It seems a pretty good place to find out local info, and it's got a great kids section.  It's also open EVERY DAY!!!!  I was delighted to discover they do Rhyme Time sessions there too, so that was our first social occasion for the little girl.  The first one wasn't like the ones in Saxmundham (which were great), but it was lovely.  The little girl also chose a book to read at home - The Gruffalo's Child - in Gaelic!  She was determined she wanted it, and she sat through the whole thing when I read it to her, so I guess she must be bilingual.  Sadly, I'm not! We went back to Rhyme Time this morning and the little girl had a great time (plus it was more fun).

Our next sociable foray was to a toddler group on Thursday.  It was one of those ones in a big church hall, where childminders and Mums drink coffee, and kids go wild.  The little girl ran straight into the middle of things, and had a great time.  I got a coffee and attempted to speak to people, but didn't do very well.  One person I spoke to told me about some of the other toddler groups, which sound like they might suit me better.  We'll try a few out.  I hate having to start making friends all over again.  But I've made lots of great friends so far, so I guess I'll make some more.

Kenny is doing pretty well.  He grew up near here, and so has some friends who stayed here.  Also, he's been working here for a few months now, so he's already got football, squash, and the odd night out in place.  It's good that we do know the area a bit, because at least we're not finding everything out.  On Saturday, when Kenny was busy finishing our house move, the kids decided they'd like to go to a soft play in a nearby town.  It was good to go somewhere they knew, and where it didn't matter that they hadn't made friends yet.

We'll get there.  I'm trying to keep in mind Julian of Norwich's excellent mantra "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

How the kids are doing

Hi all, well we've been in seaside town for a week now so I thought I'd give you an update on how the kids are getting on.  It's taking me ages to do as we still have no broadband, and I've run out of internet on my 'phone.  I'm now stealing Kenny's, which is pitifully slow.  Grrr.  Also, this is the fourth time I've written this, so who knows what's going on with Blogger!?  Do you have these problems too?

So, the topic in hand: the children.

The two big kids started their new school on Monday last week. They've got their new uniforms, and they're getting new school books and new routines.

They are getting the hang of having to pay cash for their milk and their lunches, although that's been a steep learning curve!  I think it's a good learning experience for them to pay for their lunches, but it seems a bit tight to me to ask kids to pay for their milk... I'll just blame the Tories (works for most things).  It's a bit of a nightmare finding change all the time too, but we're getting into the swing of things.

The boy has gone into a composite class wherein most (if not all) people are younger than him.  He's finding some stuff easy, but mostly it seems about right.  And it's good to have him in a class where's the reading is a bit more interesting (their old school didn't focus so much on the reading, and had them on Biff, Chip and Kipper for aeons!).  He's doing a topic on Romans, which he's really interested in, and he's thrilled to bits that he's going to be going to school in a toga one day this week!

The big girl has gone into a big P1 class with two teachers.  Unfortunately, due to illness and bereavement her teachers have been out of the classroom a lot during her first week, which has been hard for her, and she's been crying quite a lot.  I feel really bad for her, but I know that she'll get through it.  I've spoken to one of her new teachers who isn't worried about her academically, or socially, but she has gone up two stages in her reading books so as to catch up with the others in her class (she's reading the book fine, but is feeling a bit phased by the gear shift), and is having to learn a three verse Scottish poem for next week's poetry competition, which is really blooming hard!  Mostly she is missing her friends.  The girls in her class are making her wee pictures to bring home, and they are trying to include her, but she's feeling shy and sad.  She'll get there.

At the moment she's crying her heart out when she gets to school in the morning, and not wanting to let go of me.  I have been walking her to the nearest playground supervisor, handing her over and saying goodbye.  I don't want to encourage her being daft, but I don't want to make it worse than it need be.  I was thinking of saying that this week I will stay and see she gets someone to talk to before I go (rather than walking her in), and gradually shifting away.  How do you think I could help her get over this morning wobble?

Other than that she says she gets worried and sad in the day while she's at school (and she's certainly wiped out at night).  I've asked her to talk to the teacher, but she is again feeling shy, and she says they're busy.  If you know her you'll know that when she's sad she shuts down, and kind of folds in inside herself, and that often seems to go unnoticed, but when I spoke to her teacher she mentioned that she sometimes goes quiet and that seems to be when she's upset.  They're trying, but it's so hard without all the fantastic transition stuff.  Have you got any ideas how we can help her enjoy school again?

That's enough for now I feel, I'll give you an update on how the little girl, Kenny, and I, are doing next time.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Tales of a van

My apologies for the delay in updating this.  We have no broadband, and at least 1,000,000 things to do, so I've decided to have a cup of coffee and do this!  I was trying to check the details with Kenny, but we've both had bigger fish to fry, so this is just pieced together from what I've heard.  Not sure it's fair to ask him to go over it again :-/

...When we left you last time Kenny, his Dad, and his mate, Iain (Kenny and co), were heading off down the road to rainy town to get the second load of stuff from the house.

I neglected to tell you about the dodgy rental van.  Other than that it was dodgy.  When they went to pick it up it was a mess, and looked to be in poor condition, but they were told the other ones were worse than that, so they took it anyway.  They needed help to get into it, because the door was bent and needed a good kick to get in...  They went to fill it up with diesel, and after that it juddered along very poorly.  They stopped to see what the problem was and at that point the registration plate fell off.  Slightly daunted, but carrying on anyway, they fixed it on with tape.

It took them ages to get to rainy town, and when they got there it was very snowy.  The neighbours conservatory had collapsed, and she had broken glass everywhere, and water running over electric lights, so they took some time sorting all that out, before they got a chance to get the house sorted out!

When they got to the house, they got everything loaded up in good time, and drove back up, with the van finally going fine.  We unloaded it up here in seaside town, and, with the van in fine fettle, Kenny and co decided to head back down to rainy town for a second load.  They refuelled the van, and once again it started juddering along slowly.  But they figured that it had got better before, and it would get better again, so they struggled on.  Filled it up with stuff a second time, and brought it back up the motorway.  This time, it didn't perk up.  They had trouble getting it to go above 20mph!  By the time they got to seaside town it was midnight, and all of team seaside were in their beds.  Still, they emptied the van, and then decided to take it back to Kenny's parent's house, where we were staying the night, intending on returning it, with a few choice words in the morning.  The van limped along the road, but conked out when they were nearly there.  It had to be towed along.

The next morning, Kenny's Dad, the master of complaints, called to say the van would need collecting, and they weren't going to be paying for it...

There's still at least one more load of stuff in rainy town, but we'll just have to get it next week.  This week we've had enough trauma!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Hello seaside town

Having survived our arctic trek across Glasgow on Friday, we arrived at seaside town and went to see the new house.  It was empty, but the kids played hide and seek anyway, rampaging around the place while Kenny and his Dad did important DIY.  Right then, there wasn't much else we could do, so we went to get a good night's sleep, or at least attempt it, at Kenny's parents house (thank goodness for them).

Kenny got up bright and early on Saturday, and headed down to rainy town with his Dad and a mate (let's call this team Kenny & co) to empty out the house into a big van. Meanwhile me and the kids hung out, waiting for Kenny's Mum to get home (from babysitting her other grandchildren, poor woman!), and for Ken's brother and more friends (team seaside) to turn up to move more stuff. It was quite a chilled morning for us. Not so for Kenny and co who had nightmares with the incredibly dodgy rental van, and then arrived in rainy town to discover our neighbour's conservatory had collapsed! Poor love, she was really shaken up, so Kenny and co helped her make things safe, which took ages. Then they set to work on our house.

The way they packed that van was a wonder of modern engineering.

They brought the first load of stuff up to seaside town – well behind schedule and rather stressed, and arrived just as I was boiling a kettle and opening a packet of onion bhajis (who says sympathetic magic doesn't work?). Team seaside had been moving stuff over that was already up at Kenny's parent's house, and now they all joined forces, unloading the van, stacking things, and drinking tea. Kenny and co headed back down the road for another load, and team seaside put together all our furniture which had had to go into bits. We have the best friends and family people could wish for, and we're really grateful.

Next time, I'll tell you about the fun Kenny and co had with the dodgy rented van!