On Friday 24th March 2017, we will be filling a 3.5 tonne low loader with the penultimate load of “stuff” to be transported to the North-West. We’re going home.
Here is where it gets a bit scary.
We don’t have anywhere to live.
A dear friend with a property portfolio is buying a house specifically for us to rent but the seller initially refused the offer and then changed her mind. That means that the completion date could be anytime between 14th of April and sometime in May. So I am faced with the challenge of finding somewhere for my Baby-Girl, dog and cat to live for anywhere between 3 and 8 weeks. The chickens, rabbits, guinea-bobs and chinchilla have temporary accomodation sorted out but I need to be close by (within 20-odd miles) to care for them and Mr PinQ has several options for bunking down somewhere.
I have been bidding on social housing and searching for short-term lets but as yet, without success. We can’t stay in the South because of Mr PinQ’s start date for his dream job. If we extended our current tenancy, I would have to manage the move on my own and with the animals and Baby-Girl, not even I could deal with the logistics alone.
We have family and lots of friends who would put us up in a heartbeat but it is too much to ask anyone to take on so much and with Puppy-Dog being so young (14 months the day before move day), she still has very destructive moments and I could never forgive myself if she destroyed something belonging to someone that we love!
I can easily get a second storage unit for the last bits of furniture and as I have said, there is a Plan B for the chooks and small furries but I am starting to get a little bit stressed about housing the rest of us.
Stress aside, I can’t wait. I have loved being down South for the last 8 years. If I hadn’t moved here for that job in Easter 2009: I wouldn’t have met my husband or had our beautiful Baby-Girl; I would have missed out on becoming friends with some truly wonderful people; I’d never have found my big brother (we should have been brother and sister) and Nan-Bear (his mum); I wouldn’t be doing my Creative Arts degree or have had an exhibition of my own or a piece exhibited in London as a finalist with a V&A competition; I wouldn’t have returned to the stage or begun singing again and found my panto family; I would never have begun ice-skating lessons and fallen in love with the sport; I doubt that I would have started running and cycling again; I certainly wouldn’t have had the amazing career that I did before becoming a mum and I wouldn’t be be building a business doing what I love.
We are exchanging this:
We had always said that we would return to the North-West, although we had planned to stay in the South for another 2 years, so when we were given notice on the house, it seemed like fate was telling us something. We sat and wrote a list of decent local dog walks within a few minutes walk to an hour’s drive in both locations, the sort of walk that you would do in a morning at the weekend. We spent five minutes on each list and came up with 12 down here and 55 with my home town as the cantre point.
We also considered different locations across 4 counties, all of which we were happy to move to and started to look at both rental and purchase costs. Although we can’t buy for a few years yet, we found some incredible houses for sale in the North-West at less than half the price of comparable homes where we are now.
This house is out of our price range for the moment and not necessarily what we will be looking to buy in the future but a property of a similar size and in similar condition costs £160,000 more down here.
Neighbours and friends have said, “Yes, but it’s hard to get work up North.” To be honest, there is no discernible difference in the job market. In fact, Mr PinQ has had more interviews, for better positions and a much more positive response with several more offers made than he’s had in 6 years here.
Our plans have had to change so many times in the last four months that I am still spinning. A few weeks ago, we thought we had it sussed when I finally got a chance at a great job myself, on better pay than I had been down here and Mr PinQ was going be a stay-at-home dad. Typically, he then got a start date that he has been waiting over a year for! I am really pleased because it means that I can be at home with my beautiful baby, building my business and studying.
Apart from the worry about lack of accomodation from 24th March to when we can move into our new house, I can’t wait to be home.