Isn’t moving weird? It’s a bit like delving into your past in order to move towards the future.
Yesterday (Saturday) we spent half of the day in the centre of Cambridge carrying out all sorts of errands in preparation for Operation “Move the Tapas”. We only exchanged contracts on our new house on Thursday and we are getting the keys in exactly 4 days. Counting the days? Me? Never!
When we got back home after mail redirections , banks and a lot of dishwasher and washing machine search brain aches in John Lewis. I decided to continue with my seemingly never-ending shredding. As a self-employed person, I am supposed to keep records for 7 years and back in the day it was necessary to have printouts of everything, plus I used to do a lot of on-site work and there were a lot of travel expenses, etc. involved and back in the early noughties I didn’t always have a scanner to hand.
A little while before LittleT was born we
moved my desk and a lot of my office folders etc. into the shed to make room for her nursery. I miss my desk and I have been very aware that it is stored in the shed but I forgot about everything else that had been stored.
Among folders of paperwork that now, two years later, needed shredding, I have found all sorts of things that I had forgotten: from the amazing amount of jobs that I have carried out in 13 years of freelancing but that I clearly remember; to the short novel I wrote in my early twenties (obviously rather unpublished) and some of my short stories, I felt so strongly about them when I wrote them. I am hoping they are the ones I don’t have on my computer anymore. I thought these had been lost somewhere through the years but there they were. I have decided to put them in a folder this time, label it clearly and find some time to read them with a good cup of coffee to hand (you never know, I might send myself to sleep, literally!).
It will be weird to read at 38 what I wrote almost 20 years ago, I think a lot of my writing reflects who I am at any given time. I may have to find myself a reading corner in our new house. As a translator, I work with words all day long and in the last few years, with more work than ever and a baby, I have missed reading. Just as well I read so much before that. I basically spent my childhood, teenage years and youth with my hands glued to a book, hiding the fact that after lights out, when everyone was in bed, I was switching my reading light back on and quietly pulling a book from under the covers. I think my husband reckons I have never read a book in my life, which with 2 BAs and one MA would have been a bit difficult, above all since there was so much literature to study.
Life has changed so much that reading has become something I don’t have the time or the eyesight for. Nope, I am not that old and decrepit: a lot of my translator colleagues agree that, when you spend your days in front of a computer screen translating, analysing and playing with words and sentences, when it comes down to settling with a book first you get words and letters dancing around, your brain analysing the writing, spotting spelling mistakes. Basically we continue doing our job.
Writing however gives me the freedom that translating doesn’t: creating my own content.
After my shredding sessions, all I can say is I am extremely pleased I can write on my blog and that there is now such a thing as a paperless office.
You can read part 1 of Operation “Move the Tapas” here.
I am extremely pleased that Operation “Move the Tapas” has started. Yes, my little family is finally on the move. I say finally because the last few months have, at times, been heartbreaking. In a way we have been lucky to have sold my single girl flat last September to help us have a deposit and have managed to get a mortgage at a time when so many people are being rejected.
However, our adventure in the real estate world as a family got off to a bad start when we found a house last November, only to find out some nasty stuff about it when nearing exchange. We pulled out of that purchase on our solicitor’s very wise recommendation. It wasn’t the perfect house but it was the right location in the right catchment area. The general consensus was that that wasn’t “our house” and that we would find another, better home.
When that purchase didn’t go through, nothing was available in our price range in our chosen location so we decided to look elsewhere, somewhere where we know people who are extremely happy. We didn’t leave it too long before we got back “on the market”. We viewed four houses in one day, the last one was “the one”. Odd how things happen, remember about 6 weeks ago when it was -15ºC and the whole country was covered in snow? Well, that day the estate agent had us waiting in the car for over half an hour, the moment we decided it was time to leave and turned the car on, he turned up. When husband got back in the car after viewing the house, he just said a few words: “When can we move in?”.
Now, I immediately fell in love with the house too but my husband is extremely attached to our current home, this was his bachelor pad when we met, so him saying these words was pretty much a miracle. This was a Saturday, the house had just gone on the market a couple of days before, we put in an offer on the Monday, about an hour later it had been accepted and approximately 8 weeks later we will be moving into our new home. We reckon it was the easiest sale these estate agents had, and they almost lost it on account of being late.
Despite it all, the most heartbreaking part of our house hunt wasn’t losing a house, it wasn’t the stress of useless paperwork, it was in fact walking into other people’s breaking hearts. I will never forget the unspoken pain of the couple whose fantastic house we visited, they had obviously recently lost a baby, they had obviously grown apart and into different bedrooms, their hearts will never mend. It was the male counterpart showing us around, with a deep sadness in his eyes and a new puppy to try to fill a gap, obviously trying his best to pick the pieces of his relationship and fix the woman he loves. That part I will never forget. Although they will never know that I am throwing this into the universe as they have no idea who I am, I hope that my thoughts and blogging words create a different balance in the universe, tilting it to allow me to sprinkle a little fairy dust on their lives and send them a bit of happiness.
Follow Operation “Move the Tapas” on the second part of the saga here.