My own bed.

Doesn’t exist any more. It’s gone. I’m staying with a mate on his spare sofa bed. So you know when someone says “there’s nothing like getting home to your own bed”. I haven’t got that.

I also realised last night that I will have stayed in 4 different beds this week. No, not [all] in that way. What kind of girl do you think I am? ūüėČ

No, just due to seeing people, being on holiday, getting ready to go on holiday and actually staying where most of my stuff is. It’s weird but I’m not feeling like I need to get back to my own bed. Probably because I know I haven’t got one.¬†Good practice for a year travelling round the world where I’ll be staying in loads of different beds I reckon.

Which one was comfiest? Not tried them all out yet, so can’t say. One had someone else in, that’s always nice. One will be where I will probably get made breakfast the next morning. Also nice. One will be in the middle of lots and lots of snow (not literally) so that will be different. And one is my bed at Alex’s, so the one I’ve stayed in at least more than once.

I’m shattered. Here’s hoping for a good night’s sleep tonight.

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It’s the freakin’ weekend.

And what a freakin’ weekend it was. A whirlwind, alcohol filled, hectic weekend. Shattered is not the word.

Short version:

  • Friday night: very boozy night out, starting straight after work. Late night, not much sleep.
  • Saturday daytime: Bad hangover, pack contents of house up ready for moving.
  • Saturday night: Move majority of contents of house to parents house.
  • Sunday morning: Move rest of contents of house to parents house, clean empty house
  • Sunday afternoon: be godparent at best friend’s children’s christening. Drink lots of alcohol. Late night.

Long version:

There were leaving drinks on Friday night for some guys at work. I was going to go for a couple of beers and then home to carry on packing ready for more packing and cleaning on Saturday. Did.Not.Happen. Just a couple of drinks turned into a Whole Night Out. Cue FAR too much alcohol and a late night. Tip for the future: never go out the night before moving. Saturday was so much of a struggle it was painful. It did not make for a pleasant experience.

So I moved out of my house this weekend. I lived there for 1 year and 3 months. It’s the place I moved to after separating with my ex-husband towards the end of 2011 and the first place where I’ve lived by myself. I’ll miss that house so much. It felt like home the minute I moved in and I’ve had so many brilliant times there. I’ve made so many memories, and will never forget all that’s gone on there.

It was just perfect for me, my own little space and I am really gutted to have moved out. I had friends next door but one and just round the corner. I will miss just being able to pop round the corner to chat with Karl (for Monday Night After Work Cup Of Tea or Weekend Gossip Cup of Tea or Impromptu Film Club) but I’ll still go see him, it will just take a hell of a lot longer to get home again.

But, it was time to move. To be able to afford to do the travelling I want I need to move in with a mate for a couple of months to save that last bit of money. So needs must.

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It was a bit strange to wake up at my parents on Sunday morning. The last time I’d stayed there was for a short time back in 2011 while going through my marriage breakup and it kind of took me back to that time. Not nice and didn’t really enjoy being reminded of it. Realised how different things are now. It was nice to wake up to the view from my old bedroom though.

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What is funny, is how the contents of my house fit in just half of my brother’s old bedroom. When I was packing most of my stuff up on Saturday it seemed like I had LOADS of things. Even though I knew I’d got rid of loads. But actually looking at it all, I haven’t really. I’m not a big hoarder of stuff. ¬†I suspect the reason it seemed like loads was because of the evil hangover and everything taking twice as long and twice the effort.

Sunday I was godparent for my best friend’s daughter. It was a brilliant day with loads of awesome people. They’re a great bunch and her family make me part of their family. I’m very honoured that they are all part of my life. Christening after-parties shouldn’t be held in pubs though. Drank far too much, had a late night and now the weekend is catching up with me. Absolutely knackered. My lovely friend Alex is cooking me tea and looking after me though. He is ace.

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Time for an early night.

Familiarity.

Today is my last day walking to and from work from up the hill in Lincoln. It’s just over 1.5 miles each way, and I pretty much walk the same route every day at roughly the same times (an attackers dream really, not ideal :/). So this means I can see the same things and same people most days (we’re all an attackers dream). Like the chap who walks his two dogs every morning on Yarborough Road. The¬†school kids¬†walking or biking up the hill – there are about 5 of them. The woman walking to work, sometimes on her own, sometimes with someone.¬†The guy who is a friend of one of my friends who bikes up the hill in shorts, even in the winter (and who always looks surprised when I wave at him).¬†The man with the Schnauzer in the park. The lady with the two dogs in a pushchair in the park. The two women who bike up the hill every day. The girl that I met at a party once, who I think works at the Uni, and who walks down the hill so fast I often think she might fall over.

Even though I don’t know their names or anything about them (apart from the guy on the bike, his name’s Mark and he’s a manager of a gym), they’re all familiar. Humans are creatures of habit and routine. Like when you’re on a training course and sit in the same seat each day. Or park in the same(ish) space in a car park. Or sit at the same spot at the dinner table. It’s easy to do, and natural. I do it.

So, I shall miss these familiar people that I see every day, even though I don’t know them. But, there will be new people and new sights on a new walk to work for the next few months. And then lots and lots of new people, sights and no routine. Which is good. Because, after all, familiarity breeds contempt. And who wants that?

Pack it in.

So, the packing has started. I move out of my house at the weekend and I’ve been sorting my stuff out over the last few weeks. I’ve chucked no end of stuff out, sold some stuff and given a load of stuff to charity. So, all I’m left with is the things I want to keep. Which now need separating into things to go straight to my parents for storage and things that I am taking with me to a friend’s where I am staying for a couple of months before I go abroad.

Which sounds easy but it’s actually not. I don’t want to (and can’t) take all my stuff with me to Alex’s. So I have to really think about what I’m going to need for the next few months. The change in weather. The limited space I’ll have. The holidays and events I’m going to. The things I actually need (rather than what I think I need).

Some stuff is easy. So I started with that. Tonight was picture night. I took all my pictures down and packed them away. I was sad about this; my pictures are one of my favourite things in the house. They are all new (as in, bought in the last year and a bit) and all chosen just by me. They are all different, and might not go with anything else in my house but they all mean something. They are all personal to me and not just generic pictures that anyone can buy. I like this.

But now they are packed away the house feels bare. Which, well, it will do. I’m moving. I know that. Just goes to show it’s not just the house that makes this feel like home to me, it’s the things in it. And I’m not a material person at all. But I do like my little things that I have. Chosen by me. Put up by me.

So, until we meet again. Bye bye pictures.

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The Dam.

So I had a little jaunt over to The Netherlands this weekend to spend a couple of nights in Amsterdam with a few mates. I’ve been to the Dam a couple of times before, and 3 out of the 4 of us had been at least once so it wasn’t really a touristy trip; more a relaxing, chilled weekend full of eating, drinking, relaxing and wandering around. And that’s precisely what we did.¬†Wandered up and down the canal sides and in Vondelpark, visited numerous coffee shops and cafes, had a few beers, visited the Red Light District, ate pancakes¬†and giggled a lot.

It was a nice break in the middle of a hectic few weeks so it was good to relax, unwind and enjoy the Amsterdam culture for a bit.

Only downside? I didn’t take my running gear and so got running envy every time I saw a jogger. Especially as we were staying right on the side of Vondelpark. It would have been perfect for an early morning run. Oh well. Next time.

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The early bird catches the worm.

Or, in this case, gets the world to itself for a little bit.

I went for a little 5 mile run last Saturday in the morning. Early in the morning. 5am early to be precise. Ouch. I’ve not been for a run that early for a long time. Why, I hear you cry? I was off to Amsterdam for the weekend and had to be setting off for the airport early, so I had no choice but to get up extra early to get a run in. Especially as I wasn’t taking my running gear with me. (I wish I had now, but I was trying to travel light)

One of the great things about that time of day is how quiet it is. There’s no one around. Not even really any traffic, only the odd lorry here and there. The sun didn’t even get up it was that early. It’s nicer at that time in the summer as you get to see the sun rise; this time of year it’s still dark when getting back.

It was a great run; it’s like I get the world to myself for a little bit. All I hear is the birds waking up and my feet on the pavement. It was well needed too, after the long up and down week I’d had. When running I can just forget everything. It clears the mind and never fails to make me feel great.

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Even Lincoln Cathedral was still asleep.

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Let’s not say goodbye…

Today I said goodbye to two of my most precious things. My cat and my car. Not goodbye in that sense, they’re both still alive and kicking. Jinx has gone to live with my ex-husband and Mister Too has been sold. Because of my travelling.

I move out of my house next week and can’t take Jinx with me. And I certainly can’t take her round the world with me. So my ex-husband came over tonight for a bit of tea and then took her back to the house she used to live in before I moved here. I know she’ll be well looked after, well loved and will be in familiar surroundings. It doesn’t make it any easier though. She’s been my cat for nearly 10 years. We got her when she was 3 or 4 from the Cats Protection League. Sim wanted broadband, I wanted a cat. We got both.

She’s a top cat. Cute and tiny. Black with a little white tip on the top of her tail, like it’s been dipped in paint. She’s got one white whisker amongst the other black ones.¬†Stands with one front leg in the air sometimes.¬†Head-butts¬†a lot for attention. Sits on me in the mornings in bed when she wants me to get up and feed her. Knows when I’m upset or sad. Ignores me when I’m dancing round the house like a loon. Runs down the stairs to see me when I come home. Falls off things because her balance is a bit rubbish. Sneaks into cupboards when I’m not looking if I leave them open. Has the cutest miaow. Sticks her tongue out sometimes. Drinks my water when I’m not looking. Tries to eat my dinner. Stands on my computer when I’m typing.

She’s arthritic now, with hardly any teeth because she’s getting on a bit. But, she still runs around, is fluffy, full of life and hasn’t gone brown yet. She’s amazing, And now she’s gone. The house is already so empty without her. I’m very sad. I’ll go and see her before I go though. And I know she’ll be OK. Doesn’t mean it’s easy though.

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And Mister Too. My lovely car. I’d had him (yes, it’s a bloke. All my cars are blokes) for nearly 6 years. I loved him. And I wouldn’t have let him go unless I had to. So nice to drive, I could just chuck him into corners and he’d stick to the road. Mostly. A few corners I might have had a few hairy moments. But, you’ve got to find the limits though, yes?

It was so nice to just drop the roof down and take off when the sun is shining. I did this quite a bit in the summers. But I also had the roof down in the winter. You know the, the odd people in their convertibles with their hats and scarves on in the winter. I thought the same before I got him. Weirdos. But, now I understand. I’ve been part of that club. Plus, he did have heaters. I remember one Christmas, the day after Boxing Day driving home with the roof down. Crisp dry winter day with the sun shining. I’ve also driven in the rain with the roof down. You don’t actually get wet as long as you drive over 50 mph, speed-style. And of course, driving at night in the dark with the roof down. Now¬†that¬†is special. Especially in the summer. Warm. Fresh air. Stars. Magical. I’ll miss him. I’m doing better with letting my cars go though, when I sold my last one (JR, my mini) I pretty much cried non-stop¬†all day. Yep, all day. I still miss him.

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I didn’t cry over Mister Too. Progress. I did cry over Jinx. Expected.

Tomorrow I go to Amsterdam with some mates for the weekend. I’m ready for it. Bring it.

My brother is just ace.

In return for tea tonight he put up some new blinds for me and fixed my towel holder in the bathroom, needed to get them sorted before I move out next week. Should have done it earlier, having had broken blinds for a few months. But, the girl who moves in next will get nice shiny new blinds.

My brother is ace. He’s very handy. Helps me with all sorts of blue jobs and makes sure I’m alright. He’s the one who made me up a toolbox when I moved in on my own and the ex kept all the tools. He’s the one who came to hang my pictures before I realised I could do it myself. He’s the one I’d call to help with all DIY related stuff.

I help him with stuff too. Stuff he’s not so good at. Not necessarily pink jobs, but paperwork, computers, the internet. Other stuff.

We help each other out. It works well.