Thursday, March 01, 2007

1001 things to do before you emigrate


Aah, for the first few days after hearing we got the job I was in fantasy mode, dreaming of myself looking slightly dusty but nevertheless terribly glamourous in a pracical kind of way, a bit like Meryl as Kaaaaren Blixen in Out of Africa.

Alas and alack. My mind is now riddled with the thousand and one things to do. I am working my way through telling all my friends and their unbridled enthusiasm and happiness for me is in stark contrast to the worry lines that are on my brow.

When I think of myself in two months time, I instantly relax and go back to fantasy land. However, it's getting from today to two month's time, to a point when I am ready to leave the country with all loose ends tied up.

Things I have done since finding out:
1. Painted a load of tester pots on the wall in a fit of 'I'll just give the place a lick of paint before I go' zeal. Plus I'd had a few glasses of wine so was generally feeling a bit over enthusiastic.

2. Finally got around to cleaning up. Properly. Not just putting everything away where its meant to live. But scrubbing cupboard doors, cleaning ovens, wiping down woodwork and skirting boards and making sure that dust is my lodger no longer.

3. Looked at the newly cleaned house marred only by splodges of ill-applied tester pots on the walls and decided I did not need to re-decorate much after all. Probably in the bedroom when the fitted wardrobes I have ordered arrive. And definitely in the bathroom as that is being retiled as I type. But nowhere else really needs it. Not for grubby tenants anyway.

4. Got letting agents round, panicked about whether rent would cover mortgage and agents fees, phoned mortgage company, enquired about interest only options, did the maths and breathed a very small sigh of relief. I won't make a penny but I should just about break even, as long as things don't go hideously tits up...

5. Went to the dentist and was told I had lovely healthy teeth with marginal gingivitis. Huge sigh of relief and commitment for at least 3 days after the appointment to spending 'more time brushing'.

6. Went to the doctor and grilled the poor man for ages about long term anti malarial options, long term contraception with anti malarial drug cocktail side effect options (turns out Doxy is the only one that affects the pill, but then only for the first month or so, but then again you can only take doxy for up to six months etc) and my completely not embarrassing at all rash on my torso that two previous doctors have prescribed medication for which has completely failed to shift it. As the bloody thing gets much much worse in hot, humid conditions, it's high time to knock it on the head once and for all. Left doctors' with prescriptions for Larium (the one that makes many go doolally, which, if I do react the same way, I take it back and swap it for doxy and have to bridge the six month doxy sessions with bouts of chloroquine, which is not the strongest anti malarial for that area, and when Debbie took it at Murchison she only lasted 3 mths before getting Malaria....), and Selenium body shampoo (for the rash - will have to get the boy to help me apply), and another few months of the pill while I establish whether I really want to put my body through taking it for another year or if I should just defect to the diaphragm.
In the end, the doctor had to ask me politely to leave I was taking up so much time.

7. Taken a window off its hinges to sand down one side which was sticking and replace the handle. Turned out the whole thing was completely rotten. There goes £400 for a new window, being fitted tomorrow.

8. Had the bathroom (almost) 'done'. Gone from a glamourous £3k brief to £1k of tarting it up with new tiles and a new shower and a toilet cistern that works without a special technique that doesn't require guests to invite me in to do it myself (thankfully after they've lowered the lid to hide the evidence).

9. Spent an hour washing off one tester pot in the kitchen. And have so far covered the three testers in the living room in 7 coats of paint (dark greeny grey over cream... needed a bit of extra cover up) and two coats in the hallway.

10. Am excitedly watching bidding hot up on ebay for a few things. All money gratefully received. I am going to be broke as hell. But life is often simpler that way.

11. Booked my theory test for the motorbike license. March 13th. Aaargh. Sat two 'mock' tests online. The one where the boy nudged me in the right direction on a couple of dodgy questions I passed with flying colours. The one where I did it all by myself with him trying not to snigger as he read over my shoulder, I failed. Bought a book on ebay to revise from. Paid for it with money I'd made from the buy it now on a scubapro mask that never fitted me. So it was free. More or less.

Mmmmm. Still got a million things to do. Better get on with it.

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