Monday 28 January 2019

Radio silence

Well, as you read this, I am having a week off from blogging for the main reason that my computer will be packed up and there isn't the room at my sister's at the moment to get it unpacked again. I took so much food I had left, that neither of us know what to do with it right now. 

There will be plenty to do for me this week though. The car has been sold, but there is closing of accounts and insurances, cleaning of the apartment and other things that crop up. On Friday Gera is off as well and we plan to get the car cleaned and packed ready to go early on Saturday. 

I will see you again when I am in the Netherlands!

Sunday 27 January 2019

Photo on Sunday 2019-04

Found on my camera, taken in September last year at the local craft fair in Antrim.

Friday 25 January 2019


I knew there was not much to do today. Yes, some boxes needed to be filled and one box needed to be opened again (vacuum bag not working). Yes, I needed to take my bed apart. And the sofa, otherwise it won't fit down the stairs. Other than that though: a fairly easy day.

Before I got going with my bed, I checked one of the drawers of my nice dresser. I knew it was empty, but still, I had found several things lurking in my night stand, so I was not as confident. But even I was surprised by what I actually did find: lots of pj's! Honestly? Had I not checked that dresser a gazillion times already and how had I missed them?

Anyway, I took them out, put them in a box, which is nowhere near full, and got going with the bed. The mattresses in the plastic covering I had kept from the last move and the rest just apart taking of thing sort of. I got going with the sofa, taking the cover off first and then tried to take it apart. I managed eventually. 

I don't know what made me go into my bedroom. I don't know why I looked up, but when I did, what did I see but a photo. On the wall. Meaning it wasn't in a box where it was supposed to be! I mean, really?? It went in the pj box which by now was half way full with things I am still finding. Not full though. Not full. 

I think my sister and I will have to come up here tomorrow as well (after a trial fitting and selling my car), just so she can check whether I have forgotten anything. Knowing me...

Thursday 24 January 2019

Nearly! Oh no...

I thought I would have the kitchen packed up by now. And to be honest, it is. Sort of. There are just two or three things that I haven't found a place for yet. Big bulky things that don't fit in the regular size boxes. Like the dish drainer I have. It fits in a box alright, just not nicely. Annoying. 

As for the clothes: they are mostly either packed away to send on or packed away to take with. Until I find yet another pair of socks or a scarf. The unpacking party is getting more ridiculous by the day, as I am really putting everything together now to fill up the last boxes. Plates and shampoo and scarves and stuff that comes from nowhere (don't ask, not a clue). 

Left-over boxes on the left
The last three days I have been working hard I think, although others might not feel the same. Which to be honest is not really my problem just now. My problem is that I noticed muscles in places I didn't have muscles. And they are a bit tender. It's a good thing this whole move is nearly done, otherwise I would start to look like Arnold's little sister!

I am know just tidying every single room to see whether there is any more stuff that needs to be packed away. The stuff that I do find now however, is usually weird shaped or very big. It won't fit in a box or very badly. But, I am nearly there, so I am not too worried. 

About 6,5 cubic meters (about 230 cubic feet)
In total (incl. furniture) about 26 m3 (918 ft3)
Once I have packed everything that needs to come, I need to get rid of the things that don't come. Like rubbish and stuff that goes to a charity shop. But that can wait until next week. The place is mine until January 31st anyway. 

Monday 21 January 2019

Back to work

No, I haven't gone back on the bus again. Not yet anyway. I have started work though. Not that you would notice it to be honest, as I have been emptying kitchen cabinets so far and it seems to be making more mess than it actually clears!

Also I have been making enquiries about several things. During the weekend I spoke to my father and he told me about a storage facility about five minutes from where they live. They then phoned friends of theirs who are using it, phoned the company itself and then phoned me back saying I had to phone directly. 

The upshot was that yes, they would have storage for me, in the right size as well. And it would be about 70 euros cheaper a month, including VAT than the service I was going to use through the moving company. Who by the way had hit me with a one off warehouse service charge of 500 euros, not including VAT. Meaning that for one month storage I would have to fork out nearly 1000 euros! 

Today I phoned the moving company asking them whether it would be a problem (blaming it all on my Dad of course, as you do) and she said it wouldn't be, just to send her an email with the new details. Which I did immediately. It will save me the better part of 800 euros (ie a lot of money). When I get back to my sister's tonight (where I am staying again together with puss), I will phone the storage company to finalise the details and then I will send the address to the moving company. One thing ticked off.

I also said goodbye at work. They were sorry to see me go for several reasons: I was the only female driver left and I did a good job, according to plenty of emails complimenting me. But they also realise that it's the better thing for me. I handed back all the equipment I had (one key) and left. It has been an experience that has taught me an awful lot about myself and my wishes for how I want to live my life. 

The last bit of the admin I needed to do was apply for a police record check. When I lived in Norway, I also needed one and I had to get one from the Netherlands. Now I live in Northern Ireland I don't need one from Norway, as they do the check. So I was wondering whether the Dutch would do a check in NI and Norway, saving me the bother. Most likely not, but you never know. I contacted the justice department, but haven't heard back yet. 

And lastly: I have sold my car. Not yet, but will do so on Saturday. I had been thinking about selling it back to the garage, which would mean very little money, but my sister said try '', which offered a really nice amount. We got a quote last week and it ran out on Friday, but this week's quote was the same. It will go to my sister's account, to be transferred to my new Dutch account when I have that. It will be money used to furnish a place once I get a place to furnish. I will also need a cooker and a fridge, so the money already has a destination.

So, back to the packing. There is laundry going on right now, which will need to be packed away to move or packed away to take, depending on what it is. And as I said, I am working on the kitchen and trying to get all that packed away. Doing fine so far, but I know myself and you will always find stuff lurking in places you haven't looked yet because you thought it was empty. 

Sunday 20 January 2019

Photo on Sunday 2019-03

I don't mind the mess. I can find a spot for me anywhere!

Saturday 19 January 2019

Of glasses and last days

On Wednesday I had to order some prescriptions as I was running low and then went to the local shop to get some last few days supplies. I then drove home again to continue with the packing I have been doing. As I parked the car, I took my sunglasses off and wanted to put my normal glasses on. There was only one problem: they weren't there! I looked everywhere in that little car, including in the rubbish bag, but I couldn't find them anywhere. 

Fortunately I have a spare pair, which are exactly the same as the lost pair, apart from the fact that they don't sit nicely on my face. But, it's a pair of glasses nonetheless. On Thursday night however I got to thinking: if I can't find them in the car, which is small and relatively tidy, they must be elsewhere. Like the shop. What if I had taken my bag out of the car and the shoulder strap had caught the glasses and dragged them outside. As they were in a protective covering, I wouldn't have heard it.

So, last night after work, I made my way to the shop to ask if anybody had found a pair of glasses. She looked, but when I said blue covering, she immediately went elsewhere and handed me my glasses. In perfect condition. Someone had found them and handed them in! 

Norway, December 2017
Talking of work, yesterday was my last day of it. Just in time as well. So far the weather had always been good. Yes, I have had rain and plenty of it, but never more than that. No fog and no snow. Yesterday we got snow. Only a light dusting on my way up to Glasgow, a bit heavier on my way down to the port again. They are expecting colder weather, so that will mean the roads will get a bit worse. But not for me! 

That was the good thing about yesterday, the bad thing was a heavy migraine attack that got heavier as the day got on. The thing that helps me best when I can't take proper medication, is eating. And I have found that boiled sweets are the best. Everything else gets too much after only a short time. Well, I found my too many point with the boiled sweets as well. I didn't eat any dinner on the ferry home and I took a pill the minute I got home. Way too late, so hardly any impact. I took another one two hours later and went to bed.

Thursday 17 January 2019

The gratitude jar

At the end of last year, as I was staying at my sister's, she had something on her Facebook about gratitude jars. I thought it sounded like a wonderful idea and I asked her about it again after a few days. By then she couldn't find it anymore on her Facebook, but she said there were plenty of places online where you could find information about it. And then I forgot all about it! Typical.

Then today, grasping around in the back of my head for inspiration for a new post, I came upon it again. I looked up some of the information online, but it's basically like this: Every day/week/month you write a little dated note about what you feel thankful for. Then, at the end of a pre-set date (Thanksgiving for those of you who celebrate it, or Christmas, a birthday, New Year) or when the jar is full, you open it again and re-read what it is you wrote. 

And there are no limits to what you can be thankful for: your dog not pooping in the house anymore, your husband doing the dishes, your children baking you a chocolate cake, the sun coming up in the morning! Anything. Of course, as I hadn't started when I wanted to start (January 1st), I had to cast around a bit in my mind about what made me feel thankful in the first two weeks of this year. 

For my first week? I am thankful that the company I work for now were very understanding when I told them I was leaving and that even in a period where there is very little work, they still let me work several days a week. And for my second week? I am thankful that Stena are kind enough to wait for me on the occasions I am running a bit late and that they give me plenty of food to keep me sustained!

I will not be posting about what I am thankful for each week. But I do hope I will be continuing putting my thankful notes in my little jar and I will be taking it to the Netherlands in the car as well. My opening date will most likely be New Year's Eve, or when the jar is full, whichever comes first.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Miss Oswin is missing something


Well, she had said she would try and find a forever place for all of us to live. Ha! She must have been lying there, because now we are going to move again. AGAIN! Why? I like it here okay and just because she doesn't...

But then there was a problem. And I thought it was brilliant, because it would mean I wasn't going anywhere. My passport was missing. She looked everywhere, in her bag, in her other bag, yet another one and even the one she hadn't used in a long time, but no passport. 

Not even a folder to myself, it was in the Other!
Then she had a brainwave, which means that in a couple of weeks, I will be telling her what for during the trip to the Netherlands! Because she realised she had put it away in a safe place: her folders and there it was. My passport.

Life isn't fair!

Tuesday 15 January 2019

Making a start

The bombsite that is my guest room
Seeing as I will only be working one day this week and I have plenty of things to do (finding Miss O's passport for one), I thought I might as well start today. Which meant emptying some boxes and filling some others. Basically I find stuff to pack, put it in a box or crate and close it. Regardless of what is in it. 

So far there have been plenty of boxes and crates filled. With completely miscellaneous contents. Yes, the books are all in small crates and filled to the top with yarn, but other crates will be filled with whatever is to hand and needs packing. From linen to mugs and lamps to mice parts. 

During my last two international moves I kept a record of what went in each box and crate. This time around I will just fill. No packing lists and therefore no record of what is where. Which means that when it comes to the unpacking, I might be in for a surprise or two. And then I had a brilliant idea (yes, it happens on occasion).

An Unpacking Party. You have heard of a painting party where you invite friends and family to help you paint your new pad. Well, I thought an unpacking party on the same principle would be brilliant as well. Invite friends and family over to open boxes and crates, exclaim over its contents and then find room for it in my new place. 

Once I have the new place of course. Which I haven't yet.

Monday 14 January 2019


I have moved internationally twice before. And both times I worked full-time right up until the actual move, making it necessary for help and stress and whathaveyou. This time around I realised that wasn't going to be a good idea. Finally. So, I decided that I would quit a week before the actual collection of the stuff, which would give me enough time to pack and sort and all that. 

My stuff will be picked up on January 28th (is the plan, nothing definite just yet) and my last working day will be this coming Friday, the 18th. In fact, as it is so quiet at work, it will be my only working day this week! Some of the things that need to get sorted, can get sorted this week. 

Now, all of my summer clothes and half of my winter clothes are already residing at my sister's, ready to be packed in the car. Another suitcase full of yarn is also over there already. But neither my sister nor myself is happy with that suitcase. So, this week I will be getting some vacuum bags to put all the yarn in, giving more room in that suitcase for some more clothes. That way we can reduce the amount of bags I want to take in the car. 

I will need to make a list about what needs to come in the car anyway. There is me and my sister and Miss O and Brom (and Mouse) of course. And we all have our own stuff that needs to come. Miss O will be traveling in her large traveling crate. She will not be happy, but the smaller ones I own are definitely not up for it. She will need food and water and a litterbox (washing up bowl will have to do as it is half the size). I will have to find her passport as well, which is somewhere.

I will be taking two large suitcases and dependent on the success rate with the vacuum bags, one other bag with clothes. A smaller bag with overnight stuff for on the overnight ferry (Hull to Rotterdam). A computer and of course my knitting. And a handbag. A cushion, a pillow and a blanket. My sister will take one or two folding crates and a small bag. She will be returning after a week with food and such, hence the crates. 

We think it will all fit. We tried with the suitcases and the computer and the cat crate and there was then still plenty of room for other stuff. Of course with the emphasis on then!

Sunday 13 January 2019

Photo on Sunday 2019-02

My lovely guest bed. Gone. Well, taken apart again anyway. It's a bit sad, but it will hopefully be up soon again.

Thursday 10 January 2019

No title

I had it all planned out. As soon as I would have a day off (like today), I would write a post regaling you with what is happening in my life. But wouldn't you know it: nothing much is happening right now. I am still working a couple of days a week and yesterday was another scare about missing the ferry and such (made it with 3 minutes to spare, big sigh), but other than that: not much. 

You don't want to know about my laundry, or the yarn which seems to multiply whenever I look at it. So I tend not to look at it too much. Unpacking will be such a joy, especially if I get help. There is yarn in this microwave, why? And there is yarn in this box as well, why? Basically, I stuff it every which way to get rid of it. 

Other than that, it is cold here in Northern Ireland. Not Norway cold, but still, gloves, scarf and hat cold. And that is all the news I have. Wow, finally some time to write and nothing to write about. That's life I guess...

Monday 7 January 2019

The old news

The view from the attic room where I will be residing
For those of you who are not in my email list and are therefore wondering what on earth is happening: another move? What?? Well, yes. There is going to be another move. And pretty soon as well for that matter. 

This time the move will be back home. Back to the Netherlands. Back to Mum and Dad. Literally. Yes, I will be moving back in with my parents until I can find a place of my own. The Netherlands have their own rules about renting. Where in Norway most of it is done privately and here in Northern Ireland it's quite similar, in the Netherlands it's not like that at all and renting on a handshake (as I did here) is never going to happen. So, back to my parents it is, while my stuff will be stored somewhere. 

My room while growing up
The reasons for the move have been given by me a while ago: loneliness, homesickness, on my way to a depression and a burn-out. I won't say it will all disappear the minute I cross the English-Dutch border (somewhere in the middle of the North Sea), but I do hope that the loneliness and homesickness at least will lessen. As my sister said a while ago: when you're back in the Netherlands, don't rely on old friends and family, make new friends as well. Did I ever tell you that I have a very clever sister? Well, I have a very clever sister!

I quit my job last week and have only this and next week left to work. Then there is a week in which I will have to get everything packed that I haven't already, then my stuff will be collected and then I have to clean the place. In the mean time (from when I finish work next Friday), me and Miss O and Brom (and Mouse) will move back in with my sister for the remainder of my stay here in Northern Ireland. 

I got some herbal stuff for Miss O to help her relax a bit more for our journey home: we are driving and both for her and for us, it would be nice if she didn't have to howl the whole time. Like two days! I so hope they work. 

So, that's my (old) news. 

Sunday 6 January 2019

Photo on Sunday 2019-01

Let's see whether I can actually do 52 Photos on Sunday this year. My first one is a golden oldie, as I don't have any new photos to show at this moment. Taken sometime between 1975 and 1976 I would say. BG in any case.

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Happy 2019

First things first: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Right, and then back to business. It's already been more than a week since I last posted and even that one was a pre-post. No, I haven't been working, they managed to get me off, but I have been on holiday. And Brom decided he wanted to have a holiday as well, so that meant neither of us wrote. We don't feel sorry at all for that. We just wanted some nice time with my sister.

On Saturday the 22nd we made our way to my sister's. Miss O was NOT amused by the journey, especially when I turned the radio up during a nice sing-along number. But, once at my sister's, she was okay. On the Sunday we went to church for a service unlike any I have ever seen. But, according to friends of my sister's, neither had they! After church we had to drive back to mine, to pick up some forgotten things, but after that we relaxed. In the evening we went to the cinema: Fantastic Beasts part 2. I liked it very much and can't wait for number 3! 

Taking Lego apart. It took an afternoon.
Christmas Eve saw me making my Dronning Maud pudding. Yes, the Norwegian desert that is so scrumptious and yummy, I couldn't resist making it again. We watched television and did nothing special. Christmas Day dawned and we were going to have duck. Which we did. I had managed to persuade my sister to get me some sprouts (I love them, she hates them) and the whole dinner was exactly as we wanted. Yum. With a severe amount of left-overs though, we had several more days of food. 

Boxing Day was left-over food, more relaxing, more television. I read, my sister crocheted, Miss O slept. During the days that followed, we cleared out some cabinets in my sister's kitchen, resulting in a trip to the second hand shop (I had some stuff too) and we made sure we got rid of the old electrical appliances we both had and were gathering dust and being in the way. We needed to rent a van to do that, since we also needed to move her bed back. 

A new project, to be on sale from November
Then, the whole show went on the road. An empty suitcase, a cat, a litterbox, food and drink. Everything had to move to mine where we were going to be spending New Year's. Once here, we did more of what we had already done: relaxing. Watching television, reading (Gera), knitting (me), sleeping (Miss O). Oh, and we listened to the radio. The Dutch radio always has a top 2000 of the most favourite songs ever starting at Christmas, so we listened to that. 

On New Year's Eve I made oliebollen (oily balls, the forerunner of the donut, but much better) and we sang out the old year listening to the radio, reading, knitting and sleeping. New Year's Day dawned and I started getting some things sorted. We had taken an empty suitcase from my sister's and that was going to be filled with summer clothes. As I don't know how long I will live with my parents before finding my own place again and I don't want to get caught out again, I decided summer clothes needed to come. 

The plan had been that one case was meant for the summer clothes and the other for the winter clothes. There was a slight problem however: I don't have anywhere near enough summer clothes to fill up a suitcase! So, in with the winter clothes as well and the second case would be used for yarn. Priorities and such(!) you know. Boxes were also filled and taken down to the garage. I only have a month left before leaving (three weeks until my stuff gets picked up in fact), so I need to get a move on. 

At the end of the afternoon my sister decided she wanted to go home again, since she would be back at work today. I think it had something to do with the dishes she didn't want to do again... I stayed here, knitted some more while Miss O slept some more. Today I have another day off, but tomorrow it's back to work: the Glasgow run again, both tomorrow and Friday. I did the dishes, will soon sort out the boxes that have been filled and need to go down and will tackle some other stuff as well. 

So, that's us. A lovely Christmas break that was very much needed.