Monday, March 31, 2008

What do the relatives think?

We went back to the UK for 48 hrs this weekend so the children could see their grandparents and the youngest two could collect their birthday presents. I had organised all the photos of the house and plot into a neat file all duly labelled to show them how far we had got. I forgot this! Luckily we also had the CD with the photos on so put that on the computer and left them to sit and flick through them in peace. We got on with looking after the kids and packing up so didn't stay with them. When I asked my husband in the car on the way back to Belgium if they had commented, he said no and they had said nothing to me either. One of the hardest things about relocating is trying to justify eloquently why we are doing it and not getting too disappointed when others don't have the same enthusiasm. However, how could you not want to wake up to this view every morning?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

How much can fit into a 40ft container?

Belgium is big on recycling which is admirable but first you need a degree in working out what goes where, in which bag (each one 2 Euros), collected on which day (you are given a very complicated colour coded calendar) and then the frequent humiliation of the big red sticker on your bag and it being left outside your front door so the neighbours know you got it wrong, yet again. After 3 years, I think I've cracked it but not on large items. These can only go to some EU strictly ruled secret depot which I've yet to find. Anyway, my Dad drove a transit van out from England and very kindly took all my rubbish back for me - not sure my carbon footprint would agree but I am desperately trying to de-clutter before we move. The children are my biggest threat - each time I carefully pack up a box of their stuff - it's found, unpacked and accompanied by tearful declarations of attachment. Coupled with this my list of 'must take' items is poles apart from my husband's. I have solar lights, eco bulbs and numerous light fittings for the house and shack. He has outside table tennis, a basketball stand and a 40" plasma TV on his.............we joined forces on awnings, presumably so he has some shade under which to play ping pong.

Anyway, the removal expert came yesterday did lots of note taking and then informed me that he would drop off some boxes (recyclable of course) to get rid of all my rubbish - I thought I had. He then did lots of head shaking at the unusual destination point (he'd never heard of Dominica of course) and said I should expect a large quote for my 40ft container.

So now I'm waiting for the large quote and making sure I make the most of the rapidly diminishing 40ft space.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Waiting for news from the bank

We were hoping to fund our build project without the need for a loan. However, the sale of our townhouse in Turks & Caicos fell through. We spent 3 months reading emails from our buyer of how close he was to signing the papers and transferring the deposit. Of course, when d-day finally arrived - about the third one - he pulled out. We now hear he has bought the empty plot of land next to us and is going to build a replica of ours. That's the way it goes in property purchasing - you always think you can buy land and build cheaper - which of course you can if you can stand the hassle of doing it yourself. Anyway, we are now the proud owners of a lovely house in Dominica but to complete our complex (I've always wanted to be on the Grand Designs show) we now have to complete the railings, landscaping, The Shack (ask my husband) and the swimming pool. The loan paperwork has all been sent to the National Bank of Dominca and we wait in anticipation now for their answer.