Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Final Countdown

OK, so who has that 1980s’ power ballad stuck in their head now? Still, you can’t beat a good earworm!

Five days to go until the adventure proper begins. Part – most – of me is excited, elated and can’t wait. But part of me is also exhausted and keeps finding new things to worry about. Moving house is stressful at the best of times, but packing up your whole life takes it to an entirely different level.

Those possessions you’re not quite sure what to do with – childhood memorabilia, old photographs, wedding dress and so on? Can’t just pack them in a box and stick them in the attic when your new place is thousands of kilometres away and you’re trying to cram your worldly goods into just nine suitcases to avoid hefty shipping fees.

Tough decisions have to be made and we’re grateful to family and friends who have offered either a few spare square metres of garage space for storage or to bring over an extra case when they visit.

The most hair-tearingly frustrating part, though, has to be the ineptitude and lack of customer care that seems common among so many organisations and companies as we try to wind up our current existence.

Let’s take trying to return our car. I’ve called the relevant company at least five times during the past six weeks but haven’t yet been able to fix a date or time in spite of repeated assurances and promises to call me back. This morning I told them I’d leave the vehicle on the road and post the keys, which at least got me one step further into the labyrinth of their collection arm, but at the time of writing nothing has been arranged. Maybe I should stop fretting – I’ve done all I can and the key-posting option is always there as a last resort.

I’m just one of those people that thrives on having a ‘to do’ list – or several – and being able to tick jobs off. To have to keep putting them back on, while watching the list grow ever-longer, truly irks me.

Still. In five days I will be on the brink of the next stage of my life, and hopefully this will all be behind me. If I close my eyes I can see myself lying in the hammock on the terrace, a glass of cold Efes at my side, watching the birds and enjoying the sunshine…..

For now, though, it’s back to the ‘to do’ lists….

RP

 

Do I Dare to Dream…..?

It seems incredible but, just a week ago, I was perched in the prow of a single-masted sailing boat, legs dangling either side of the bowsprit as I watched the blue Aegean sea skim beneath my bare feet.

With the warm sun on my back I watched for dolphins which I hoped might join us as we cruised to our next mooring, where I knew we could look forward to a barbecued lunch of fish or chicken washed down with cold beer from the ship’s ample refrigerator.

Some lazy chat and a bit of snorkelling would probably follow before we’d weigh anchor and sail on, heading for another secluded bay miles from the crowded tourist beaches and a lifetime away from the deadlines and ringing phones which have been part of our lives since … well, forever.

I know I ought to have been ecstatically happy, relaxed, completely at ease… but instead, all I could really feel was panic and guilt.

If you’re a fan of the BBC television series Red Dwarf, you’ll know what I mean when I say I have confirmed yet again that my default settings are similar to Rimmer’s in the Better Than Life virtual reality game. In other words, I struggle to believe that good things happen without paying a high price later.

I’ve had the good bit; now, inevitably, something is going to sneak up behind me and bite me on the bum – hard.

So, while I should have been savouring good food, an azure blue sky and the simple pleasure of watching brightly-coloured fish dart for breadcrumbs dropped from the table, my mind was chasing thoughts about what work I really should be doing instead.

The daft thing is, there wasn’t any. We’ve deliberately planned a few slack weeks between now and the Big Move to allow us time to adjust and complete the multitude of tasks involved in relocating to a foreign country.

But that doesn’t stop the words of the naysayers and doom-mongers creeping up on you in quiet moments or in the middle of the night, rotating on an endless loop, demanding to know just what makes you think you deserve to live in paradise.

The antidote, of course, is to get to work; to do something – anything  – rather than laze around. Fire up the laptop, scour the internet, fiddle about with files, tinker with pictures, even stalk the house looking for things to rearrange, tidy away or clean.

Such behaviour, I know, defeats the object of moving in the first place. One of the main motivations for doing all this was a desire to slow down, to have time for something other than work.

But it seems that’s going to be harder than I thought. It’s going to take time to adjust and to trust to the fact that 12-hour days are not strictly necessary.

In the meantime,  I’d better get on with cataloguing all the pictures on my hard drive in alphabetical order….

SP