Thursday, July 06, 2006

Moving house, the long version. Monday.

Monday was going to be a crazy day, at least in the morning.

Richard had to meet the vendor at the Water Board at 8.30am so we could get the water utility bill transferred to our name. Apparently both seller and buyer have to be there together to agree the current meter reading. Our bank is round the corner from the Water Board, so after that he planned to go and get the bank drafts necessary for completion on Tuesday.

Before that I planned to go to Metro, our local supermarket, to buy some dishwasher powder since we were having our first dishwasher installed that morning.

Then we were going to go and buy the rest of the paint we needed to do our room and Dan's, and finish the dining room. We were expecting delivery of our new freezer from Dalco, and a few other items from George (our favourite white goods shop), during the morning; Richard knew he would have to go to George's shop to guide them to our new house, so planned to do that after leaving me there to start the painting and wait for Dalco. At 11am he had to be at his office for an online Skype meeting with several people in Limassol and elsewhere.

Alas for the best-laid plans.

Well, it started all right. I went to Metro, found various other things we needed, and then perused the dishwasher powders. I had no idea what was needed, and most of the options were too heavy for me to carry back to our house on foot, but I found one type which seemed good value, said it was recommended by the top brands, and wasn't too big.

Richard then met the vendor at the Water Board and that was sorted out. But when he was there, he had a phone call from George, saying their truck was packed and they wanted to deliver immediately. So Richard came to collect me. I had just discovered that our Internet connection had been cut off (as we had been told would happen, in order that it could be reconnected at the new house on Wednesday or Thursday) but the phone was still working.

So we went to George's, and the drivers followed us to the new house. They brought in the television and microwave, changed the plug on the microwave to standard UK-style three-pin, and tried to plumb in the new washing-machine. Problem #1: the waste pipe had a different fitment to the outlet. They suggested a method of solving this, but couldn't do it themselves. Richard said he would do it. Then they started plumbing in the dishwasher, only to discover that they didn't have all the tools they needed.

By this stage, Richard was getting a bit worried about time - the banks are only open from 8.30am - 12.30pm here, and the bank drafts were vital. So he left me at the house to supervise the dishwasher installation (ha!) and went to the bank. There he had quite a time of it - a lengthy queue, then concern over the amount of money he wanted in the draft. He had to have an interview with the bank manager, who was temporarily under the impression that we wanted a loan... but eventually was given the rather worrying piece of paper worth a large amount of money to complete the purchase.

He also had to get a draft for the Land Registry, and it took some phone calls to work out who it should be made out to. But at about 10.30 he arrived back with the drafts in an envelope in a folder which we didn't let out of our sight for the next 24 hours! By then the delivery men had left, having given me complicated instructions for the dishwasher in rather broken English, which I didn't really understand. The most important item seemed to be that I needed 'salt'... not table salt, but dishwasher salt.

They assured me that there were instructions which I could read. Indeed there were - in Greek, Portugese, Italian, German, or French. But not English! I could make out most of the French instructions and was still reading them when Richard got back. There was a little strip of paper with instructions about testing the water for hardness, enabling us to set the 'salt' intake, so we tried that. Chemistry at home! We knew the house had some kind of water purification and filtering system, and sure enough it wasn't as hard as the delivery men seemed to think. Still, we apparently needed to buy some salt.

We also needed to buy some paint, so we went to the Crown shop, chose our colours, and then returned to our old house. Richard had his online Skype meeting at 11am and got there just in time. I tried (in vain) to pack some of our kitchen while I waited. We had lost a morning's painting, but I wasn't too worried since we were very tired. So long as we finished the dining room, we decided, we wouldn't worry.

At 12.30, Richard arrived home saying we had to rush to the new house again. CYTA had phoned his mobile, saying they were ready to connect our phone and Internet at the new house already! So he grabbed the various bits of equipment we needed, and we drove to the new house, where it took the engineers about 45 minutes to get it all installed and working. By then we were very hungry so we returned to our old home for a bite to eat, and coffee, and then had a siesta... it was hot, and we were really tired.

At 2.30 we drove to Richard's office, to collect a fridge we're going to use in our guest flat. We waited for his colleague to help us down the steps, and brought it to the new house.

We realised that Dalco had not delivered the freezer, so we drove there to find out what was happening. As we went in the door, Richard's mobile started ringing... it was Dalco, trying to find exactly where our house is! So we guided the delivery men there, and they installed the new freezer. They told us to leave it to settle for three or four hours before switching on.

Then we went to Metro to buy some dishwasher salt and a few other things we had realised we needed. At which point Tim phoned to say the coach had returned from camp. So we went to collect him, then dropped his heavy backpack at the old house and collected painting clothes.

So by the time we were actually ready to do some painting, it was past five o'clock. Neither of us felt at all like painting, but although Tim was tired (they never seem to sleep much at camp) he was enthusiastic about painting, and happy to use the roller so he completed the dining room with a little assistance from me. Richard, meanwhile, experimented with the dishwasher on various items we had brought from our other house, which had been wrapped in newspaper. We were impressed...

By seven o'clock we had finished, and decided on fast food yet again. Tim was shocked to hear we had been to MacDonald's on Saturday, but said he could cope with KFC so we ate there. Then back to the old house to collapse once more.

No comments: