Sunday, 11 April 2010

Tying Up Loose Ends

It’s not entirely easy, this packing it all in and taking off business. You can’t just up and go. Disentangling yourself from your old life is actually quite a complex affair and trying to do it while finalising plans for the big trip is exhausting. I mean – I fell asleep on the sofa on Thursday and it was only 3 p.m. Anyone would think I’d retired!

Of course, we should have started all this a bit earlier really. We could have begun de-cluttering the house ages ago, years back would have been good, considering how much we seem to have. It seems a bit late to have started e-baying, but we have, and we spent this weekend preparing for and participating in our first car boot sale, though in our case it was a van completely full of varied jumble.
My nephew sold all of his toys.

As novices I felt the need to do some internet research so I read all the tips, often conflicting – price it up – don’t price it at all, and dire warnings of arriving only to be mugged by people rifling through your still packed boxes. I looked up prices of similar things on e-bay. I shouldn’t have bothered. No-one was interested in any of the good stuff, the antiques, but many things sold if announced loudly as a bargain at £1. Charlie dog’s old lead went for £2, as did two very mouldy wine racks which had lingered for too long in our damp cellar. My four boxes of books, all of them thoroughly enjoyed by me, did not shift at all. I guess they’re not big readers around here.
We could have sold  my brother-in-law's bike ten times over,
but then he'd have had to walk home!

It was a fun day in a strange way, though getting up at 5 a.m. for the opening at six was not pleasant. We sold about half of our stuff and joint profit for the van load was £220, shared between me and my sister, who is clearing her house too. Some of what is left will be going on e-bay tomorrow.

Speaking of e-bay, our auctions are hotting up. I have a few bids of 99p and 3 watchers on one item. The most exciting thing was a question last night about how much I would sell one item for straight away. I declined, but the chap came back with wanting it for his mother’s birthday. Big ahhhhh! It was just a quick click to check on the guy, who turns out to be an antique dealer, specialising in silver, which explains why he wants our art deco silver tea set. How lame was that?

Research for trip is like a spider’s web or tree roots. I look up something, which leads me on to something else, and then there’s this bit to read up on. I can’t imagine what I will do without constant reference to Google, so internet access is a main concern. There are all sorts of ways to connect to the web. You can dangle your dongle and pay the price. You can go upmarket and get your own satellite thingy for a cool 4K, but I think we will be plumping for good old McWifi. I’m not sure how it all works. I can’t remember the last time I went in a McDs, let alone accessed the internet there, but I am assured it’s easy and free. Added to that, a lot of campsites now have internet access apparently, so I should be able to check out minor details in finishing the novel in McDs, and could Skype family when at campsites. So what do you actually do? Get a coffee and a code to log on or could I sit in the car park and access the internet without having to spend any money at all?

Rob has used internet cafes, but that was in very far flung places like China and India where they have loads. I can't say I've really noticed that many when in EU cities, but perhaps I've just not been looking. It’s just one of many areas at the moment where I can only give a shrug and trust that it all works out in the end – it usually does.

We hope to get away by the start of May. House packing is going on, last minute decorating for rental, solicitors to contact as we decided we need a will, banking to arrange for use in EU, opticians to see to get a year's supply of lenses, shelving to put in a van cupboard, a wooden box to remake (read cobble together) in a smaller size, bags to sew from a old green tent we found at the back of a cupboard (still working on storing those cushions)... it’s a long list but we're getting there!

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