Friday, 25 February 2011

Let that be a lesson to you!

Today I thought I'd recount some of the lessons we've learned since we moved up here.  We've been living here nearly 2 months or eight weeks now and it's been a pretty steep learning curve in many ways, so I thought I'd just share a few of the key things we've picked up along the way.

1.  A lot more people go camping in Jan & Feb than you'd think. The first few weeks in Jan were pretty darned quiet.  Then the weekends started to pick up and then Feb 18th arrived and with it half term and an entire site full of people.  From being a quiet and secluded spot with a lovely quiet local we were thrust into the midst of a busy housing estate with a heaving and very noisy local.  Which brings me to...

View from Delores - just the way I like it.
2.  We're more antisocial than we thought we were.  I knew we both liked a little peace, quiet and seclusion, but I hadn't realised quite how much we needed it.  Steve's naturally quieter than I am, but because of my manic and very public job in my time away from the office I like to get away from everyone, and I mean everyone.  When things got too much on Delores it was wonderful to step outside into the peace, quiet and tranquility of Silverdale, uintil everyone else arrived.  It really has surprised me how much I need a lot of space around me.  Luckily our prospective new house has loads of that - but more later.

3.  If you have a caravan you need two cars.  This one was a big surprise to both of us.  Between Delores and the loo block are around 20 caravans and over half of them have 2 cars parked outside.  We're used to seeing motorhomes with a small car in tow, but not caravans.  Not that the second cars are small, typically they arrive with a 4 wheel drive hauling the van and then an estate car pops up on the same pitch.  It must cost a fortune in petrol.

4.  Friends prefer to hear good news not bad.  I noticed this most on Facebook if I'm honest.  Being 300 miles away from all that is familiar and trying to kick off an entirely new life is really scary and very challenging.  I've relied on FB a lot to keep in touch with familiar faces but I've noticed each time I post something happy I get loads of replies but, when I'm having an off day and post something about being down in the dumps, no-one really says anything.  I hope I'm not known for being miserable, or admitting when I need support, but sometimes when you're down a virtual hug can go a really long way.

5.  Mortgage companies don't communicate well - even with their own nominated firm of solicitors. We learned that lesson today.  Despite us opting to use the mortgage company's designated firm of solicitors they (the mortgage company, I don't want to name names, but let's call them "Birmingham Midshires" for the purpose of this article) refuse to send a copy of the valuation survey anywhere except to the home address of the people taking out the mortgage which, in our case is a 6 hour drive away.  The solicitors naturally need this report but the only way to get it to them was extraordinarily convoluted and time consuming and took up most of my coffee and lunch breaks today.  I can understand the "Birmingham Midshires" not wanting to send it to a random third party - but their own nominated firm of solicitors?  Give me strength.  Someone really needs to get a grip on the home buying market and make it a little more "customer centric"!!

6. People can be very fussy. As you know we've struggled to sell our house in Fleet.  Despite us asking the Estate Agents when they first visited us if there was anything we needed to do (and being told no) we're now being told that our house is too dated.  Apparently that's why no-one wanted to buy it and the same reason why, now, no-one wants to rent it either.  We'll admit the kitchen probably needs a bit of a sprucing up but a) if you want to buy it what's the point of us putting in something you won't like and b) if you're renting it then YOU'RE RENTING IT!  If you don't like the kitchen buy your own flaming house and put your own damned kitchen in!  (and breathe...)

Hiding from tics.
7.  There are a lot of ticks in Cumbria and they all know where Monty is.  £78 we spent at the vets last week. £78!!  It only cost us £50 when we got him new.  There's a lesson in there somewhere.  He now contains more Frontline than a vet's medicine cabinet and yet still they bite.  I'm an expert with the litte tick removal tool, but they still give me the creeps.  Nasty little bitey things...

8..Red sky at night is not a shepherds delight.  Unless the shepherd wants to lose his sheep in the mist.  Yesterday we enjoyed a spectacular sunset with all the colours of the red spectrum and today you can't see your hand in front of your face.  Maybe it was a shepherds delight because they got a day off if they lost their sheep in the mist.  Who knows.

9. Your need for the loo is directly proportional to how much it's raining outside. Just trust me on that one - you don't need the details.

10. You can do a lot with 3 little camping saucepans and a small cooker.  I love to cook and there are a lot of fancy cooking gadgets on the market for campers, but we've been making do with a small set of saucepans (and a gas kettle) that we got from Millets for £15.  I've managed everything from toad-in-the-hole to proper roast dinners with all the trimmings - all you need is a sense of adventure and a little imagination.

And I think that's about it for now.  It's been another hectic week and I'm in the bar waiting to order pizza and more wine.  We got here early and bagged the comfy seats so I plan on being here for another few hours.  Although the place is filling up fast and I'm starting to feel anticsocial again so maybe we'll head 'home' to our tick infested cat...