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16 May 2016

honest to blog; moving is the worst

honestly, i've been putting off writing a lot of this because as much as i'd never want to hurt anyone's feelings with my own thoughts and feelings, i just can't hold it in any more; i'm emotionally exhausted, and the only way i know how to release stress is write. and if i don't write here, then where? so, here goes. i'm going to turn comments off on this post too, because.. well, this is for my piece of mind, so i save myself from a nervous breakdown, not for sympathy. honestly, sympathy is the worst thing anyone could offer me right now. sympathy doesn't get shit done. neither does thinking i am being dramatic. 

moving house this year has been the hardest experience of my life, and i've moved a lot. i've moved across the world, from australia to new zealand and back again, and then on here to london. and since being in london, six other house moves. six, in five years! that's crazy, even for london standards, and yet, this move was the most stressful experience of my life.

from the minute we arrived five minutes late to the viewing, and the agent showed up thirty five minutes late to the viewing, things were bad. we were passed from pillar to post while trying to get a straight answer, and for them to take our holding deposit, to ensure the property was taken off the market. weeks later, we pushed about references, as no-one had asked us for them. there was absolutely no rush at their end, though we had to hand notice in on our current flats. funnily, when they needed something from us, they were very quick to ask. when it was us doing the asking, less so much. it was inching closer to move out date, but  we still didn't have a move in date.

i was losing more sleep than normal, and waking to panic attacks in the night; chest thumping, heart racing, sweaty nightmares crippled me in those weeks of not knowing, and so, not wanting to mess my landlady around, i booked a local self-storage unit to hold all my stuff until we had a date. it worked out cheaper than renting my old room for a week at a time. plus, i couldn't be in that flat any more either. i'd packed, i'd sorted, i'd planned my move. i was still so sure something would go wrong and we'd lose the flat, at which point i'd be homeless. dramatic, yeah. course i'd have places to stay, and i could probably have stayed on in the old flat too, but my nerves were shattered and the thought of going backwards and staying in the flat made me sick to my stomach.

eventually, with a day to go before i moved out - one single day before the point of no return, they took our deposit. the paperwork was signed. and a move-in date was agreed. finally! with hope on the horizon, moving men were booked. did i relax then? did i fuck.

we arrived at the agents at 9am the day after the long weekend, as agreed. carmen was so excited, but i knew something else would go wrong. cynic or not, something wasn't sitting right with me me. and i was right to worry: apparently, some paperwork hadn't been received so we couldn't have our keys. there were three working days in between us paying our deposit and the day we moved in, but no-one thought to call. no-one.

we had two separate agents trying to work it out for us while we sat in silence in a cafe across the road from the agency, frantically calling our moving men and pushing back the pick ups. they were booked for 11. spoiler alert: we didn't move in until after 5pm. we'd booked whole days of work to sit around in a cafe, homeless, while the agency sorted through another of their lazy mistakes. thank god for carmen: she was a sea of calm to my complete and hardly-irrational outrage. i paced the street and watched her phone die from the amount of calls she made and received. we made lists; of who we'd kill, of things to buy, of things we could send the property manager in the mail. anonymously.

four hours later, we had the keys.
four minutes later, we opened the door of our new flat... to an absolute tip.

the previous tenants hadn't completely moved out, and no exit clean had been booked. the flat was not how we remembered it, and we could have cried. except, we were too tired, too stressed, to exhausted to cry. i used some very choice words on the phone to the agents that i regret, but i was pushed to the edge. there were baby photos on the wall, a bin full of feminine hygiene products int he bathroom, and moulding food on the kitchen counter. within the hour though, the cleaners were in the flat, and we were homeless once more, back out to meet the movers to continue the move.

it was a long old day, but by 6pm, we were moving our stuff into a freshly-cleaned flat, that was finally all ours. for the next 12 months, at least. i wish that's where the story ends...

that night we discovered the missing mattress on the second bed; that every single light in the bathroom was faulty; the broken smoke alarm; the fact the wardrobe in the first bedroom had no rail; the boiler timer was set for one million degrees. arguably little things, but after the mess that had been this move, things that we basically unacceptable. the next day we found out the landlord had fired yet another of the property managers and we'd been passed on to our fifth.. in six weeks.

carmen went on holiday the next day - ha. it was up to me to unpack, tidy the boxes away (i mean, i decided that, it wasn't her demand, haah) and get the utilities arranged, but it took them another week to tell me who the current electricity supplier is (ps. did you know you have to know who the current supplier is when you move in to a new flat? i had no idea.). a week to get someone to look at the broken lights and smoke detector. and then, only because carmen used the words "illegal" and "unfit to live in" in an email to them to sort it out when my daily reminders were getting nowhere. a week to find out which part of the garden is ours. it's just as well carmen's been on holiday, as it took them over a week to supply a mattress for her bed, and even when they did, they left it in the garden, in a box, in the rain, and i had to drag it into the house and leave it in the hallway until someone could come and help me move it up the stairs. can you believe it?

honestly. those first few nights i slept so well. i fell asleep early(ish), and just slept. despite the fact i was in a new house, with new noises and creaks, i was so stressed in my waking hours that bed time was the only time i didn't have to think about broken lights or no smoke detector or the fact there's no microwave (needs: recipes for oven cooking). sleep in my giant bed has never been more comfy either, and decorating my bedroom has been quite fun and relaxing. except the fact the wardrobe is broken and i can't actually unpack, finding new homes for everything is quite therapuetic and does a lot to calm the nerves.

as does wine, which i had been drinking a lot of - medicinally, of course. it's got to get better, right?
(hint: it does. read more here)

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