In the next week or so, the plans to buy a house should turn into the state of having bought a house and all hell will let loose. All bets and gigs are off and we're planning a fairly abstemious existence of DIY and dust. Heaven knows how much it will all cost and whether we'll tire of it in the first five days. However, this is the plan and it's worth having a crack at it.
Packing has already started, with the list of things we can survive without being longer than the list of things we're allowing ourselves. I should really put more items on ebay, in order to attempt to fund household expenses. However, the problem is that my ebay wishlist is longer than my list of possessions that I reckon I can't find a future use for. I think I have a problem with hoarding.
Since I last wrote something on here I've had the usual sort of Christmas. Well, I say usual. It's hard to tell what's normal and what's not. For the fifth year running, I volunteered for The Crisis Open Christmas. For the second year running, I did so as an assistant shift leader, sleeping at my girlfriend's place in Reading and commuting to London to do it. Every year is different as I come to the shift with my own different view of the world, and as the group of users and providers of the service change. This year was, overall, a more peaceful year, though there were a few situations where things were tense, physical, or just plain scary. Overcoming my own fears and putting on a brave and reasonable front is part of the challenge of leadership. This year, I think I could genuinely tell when I was being useful and what I contributed. Last year, with my whole world in a state of flux, I was too self-absorbed and self-doubting to be able to work it out.
The time following the last shift and its associated binge-drinking exercise, and the final sleep of New Year's day (leading up to this morning's return to work) is a bit of a blur. I did much sleeping, getting my body back onto day shift (I'd been sleeping from 10am to 5pm during Christmas to enable me to do a 10pm to 9am shift at the centre). There has been some excessive wintry eating, and I've probably gained a couple of pounds. I think my weight has pretty much stabilised since about September time, so I need to think about rethinking the eating, since if I don't get the weight coming down again, I will never be able to justify the complete avoidance of the gym that I wish to maintain.
At the moment, I'm awaiting further instructions at work. There are some minor instructions, which, thankfully, owing to the magic of slow computing, are taking up the morning in their execution. Once these minor instructions are completed, I hope to find out what we're doing next and how. I quite fancy hitting the ground running this year. A productive day in the office could really set me up for a productive night in the DIY nightmare that is soon to be my life. Bizarrely, I think I'm looking forward to it.
Last night we went for a walk, which made my decision to slum around the house in shorts and not get changed before going out seem a little foolhardy. As part of the walk, as has been common on similar strolls, we wandered to the new house and had a look at one of the key areas for development - the kitchen extension. I wonder exactly how straightforward this is going to be. My guess is that it will be a lot more tricky than it seems. Little things like the fact that I want to move a bathroom around, and the fact that the central heating and water tank probably want replacing AND moving... these are going to cause problems.
I need a plumber.
The whole lot, really.
Wish me luck.