I live it pretty much alone – great friends, some lovely relatives (and some not so lovely), but I do live alone and I’ve finally had to realize that’s by choice because even when someone suitable for a home share comes along I’m not entirely comfortable until they’re gone. The cat that walks alone, that’s me, and usually, I’m absolutely fine with that.
And then something has to be done and you realise having another human being in your life can be truly useful. Whether it is as minor as putting up a six foot curtain rail, or as major as trying to work out how to get a dog + cat + car + furniture from point A to point B 2000 miles away – and on a very, VERY, tight budget.
I’d like to drive, in my much-loved car, with my dog and my cat, sending the furniture via professional movers, but I can’t, obviously, drive 2000 miles in a day and I don’t know if I will be able to find pet-friendly hotels all along the route at exactly the point where I am tiring and thinking it time to call a halt.
My sister and her bloke have done the same trip every winter for years (well, without the furniture, of course). They plonk the cat in the motorcamper, he drives, (her bloke, that is, not the cat) and she follows in the car, and they stop whenever they want for as long as they want.
Could be a plan. I could buy a fairly elderly but hopefully reliable left-hand-drive motorhome, and sell it when I get there. That’s me and the pets sorted, but unless I’m going to nip to the shops in a motorhome, mmm, what about my car?
A clone would be extremely handy at this point. Or a second driver – someone I like enough to share the close confines of a motorhome with, overnight – bringing up the rear.
I had a eureka moment – tow the car! I mean we’ve SEEN those campers, right? And yes, we’ve been caught behind them as they pant up hills at ten struggling miles an hour but . . . if my aging motorhome did break down, it wouldn’t be impossible to unleash the car and go hunting for help. I was really rather pleased with that. See? It is possible to have it all!
Apparently it’s a bad idea. Towbar expensive, trailer expensive, taxes, tolls, and fuel all doubled, not to mention straining the elderly motorhome to the point where it will die on me. Not worth taking a fairly old car which is right-hand drive anyway, no matter how loved or reliable it is.
So my brain has quietly exploded. I even wonder if I am past the age of adventure. Everyone said I’d never cope when I came to the UK (no pets, no car, too many boxes of books) 17 years ago – in fact, the way things are panning out, it would be 17 years almost to the day when I leave again – and maybe this time they’re right.
And yes, I do hear your eyes rolling. Pete’s sake, woman, you’re saying out loud, just fly with the animals, rent a car, be at the house to meet the movers, then buy a car and return the rental, bob’s your uncle.
Oh, would it were that simple. I’m on my third offer for this house. I rejected the first, the second fell through, and although third time can be the charm, ain’t no guarantees. The one thing I cannot afford to risk is buying t’other place before I have sold this one, or I will own both and eek, that tight tight budget will go nuclear. So that’s on hold until missives are concluded (which may only be a Scottish term? basically not before the deal is signed, sealed, and funds transferred).
Missives are often only concluded on the day of occupation. Okay – furniture into store, and you suddenly start to see the attraction of the motorhome, rather than me to a hotel and the animals into pet storage. Once I have the money in my hot little hand I can re-start the process in Spain, but it could be weeks before that completes and I can move in. Again, the motorhome means I can be there on the spot, hopping from foot to foot and spurring them on.
So I am bidding for one on eBay. Never seen it, although I’ve pored over the pictures and researched the make intensively and will come back and kill the seller if it’s a pup – I write whodunits, I know how to kill.
So far I am still the winning bidder. 5 days to go. I genuinely, now that my brain has exploded, don’t know whether I want to be the final winner, or whether that’s the biggest mistake I’ve made so far. In fact I don’t even know if the house in Spain will still be on the market when this sale does complete. Maybe it shouldn’t be. Things that are meant to happen fall neatly into place. This is not falling into place!
I’ve not blogged much lately so with any luck no-one will even see this rather forlorn ramble. I can’t write. I can’t think. It’s as much as I can do every day to teach, both to keep at least some tiny income trickling into the coffers and increase my experience as a very newly-qualified teacher of English as a second language.
And yet – in some bizarre way – I’ve never felt so alive, so challenged. If it does all fall through and I have to settle back down to life as it has been (with or without an expensive left-hand-drive motorhome sitting outside, eep) it will be very anti-climatic. A sneaking relief, the easy option but – very flat indeed.