Since I graduated, back in July, I continued to struggle to find a job and life was becoming increasingly unaffordable (and stressful as a consequence) for Pete and I in Southampton. After a lot of thought, discussion, agonising, too-ing, fro-ing and making and changing of decisions, we finally committed to take a major step and leave the South and move to North Wales.
|View of the Britannia Bridge. The little van I managed to drive. View of the Menai Bridge.|
The decision had been a long time coming - we've loved the thought of living in North Wales since we first visited my parents after they moved to the region 5 years ago and have toyed with the idea of moving there ourselves since the beginning of this year. Despite the long build up, the final decision, and putting it into action, happen rather quickly; we told my parents we were coming, handed in the one month notice on our flat and started filling boxes.
A lot of boxes.
I knew I had a lot of stuff, but I didn't fully grasp how much until I had to sort it all, pack it into boxes and transport it nearly 300 miles across the country. I tried getting rid of a lot of things, selling a few bits on eBay, giving some to charity and just throwing out a lot of things that I wondered why I had even kept in the first place - but I'm just not very good at being brutal when clearing things out and we ended up having to make three trips with very full hire vans to shift it all.
|New dog walks. Alf enjoying a beach. Rock Pooling.|
I think Pete was a bit overwhelmed by seeing all my things labelled up in boxes, for some reason he seemed
to think that things like a box of tights, a box of nail varnish or two boxes of shoes were unreasonable! Men! They just don't understand. Haha.
The four weeks between making the decision and the end of our tenancy totally flew by in a blur of packing, cleaning and saying goodbye to people. It all got a bit stressful towards the end, trying to plan how to move everything and where to keep it. Luckily my grandparents offered us space to store things in their cellar for the time being whilst we stay with my parents before we get set up on our own, which has made things a bit easier.
The final weekend in the flat was a mad rush to fit the last bits in the van and make sure the place was clean enough to ensure we'd get a good portion of our deposit back (we're still waiting to hear about that). Alf did get rather distressed and didn't understand what was happening, why the flat was empty and why he didn't have anything comfortable to sit on - although now we're here I'm pretty sure he's recovered and is happy about the move.
|Alf goes bouldering. Foggy view. Alf admires his new territory.|
As you can see from the photos, we've managed to get out and about in amongst the unpacking, work that Pete has had to be getting on with and making arrangements for paid work. I've done a bit of volunteering in the shop where my mum works, to help out and keep me busy and it's looking like both Pete and I will be able to pick up some paid teaching work at the local uni once the new term begins. So things are looking up across the board.
Alf is loving it with so much great outside space and so many new places to explore. So is Pete for that matter, he's so much happier in the wide outdoors than stuck in a city.
Sorry if that was a bit of a long winded update. I really intend to blog more regularly again from now on, but probably more on crafting, baking, general life and sharing interesting things than on the product side of things (although products do often hold an important role in my general life so won't be entirely absent).
Even when I'm not blogging I tweet quite a lot, so you can follow me on twitter @Betty Leopard. Also, since getting a new iPod for my birthday I have joined the masses on Instagram and have definitely got into posting photos, quite a lot of which are of Alf. You can see my photos and follow me here.
Thank you so much for sticking with me over this quiet period. I hope you will enjoy my upcoming posts.