WE HAVE ARRIVED!Sorry it's taken me so long to post anything- Talk Talk are being ridiculous and still haven't installed my broadband; we're currently writing this in Subway so that we can abuse their free wifi service. (Although I had a big rant to them about it this morning and they've given me some free phone minutes, so they're slowly working their way out of my bad books).
So, where to begin! My dad brought us up here along with a van-load of things last Friday (15th), and since then it's been literally non-stop. The house is still in a state of disarray whilst I try and unpack everything room by room (Percy's room and the kitchen are done, the living room and my room are still marginally atrocious). We're slowly getting there though. We've managed to gather loads of furniture together, and a fridge (thank god for gumtree), and a washing machine (bless you Bright House), and a mattress.
We've been exploring around Seaham and Sunderland and we're getting to know the place a bit better. We've been down to the seafront, and the harbour, and had a few coastal runs. I've been attempting some DIY (HA HA HA HA HA) because I want everything to look nice, and (to be honest), the place needed it. I've managed to put up a pole in a cupboard so that I can hang things up. It's level. I'm pretty impressed. (Although initially, I was just basically making multiple holes in the wall because the plaster is so shocking. Finally realised that I should probably try to screw it into the wood instead...)
I've also started stripping the paint off the bannister, because it was..., well, it was gross, and I want all the woodwork in my house to be all nice and paint-free and varnished. I figured it would be easy. Shouldn't take me too long. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA STUPID GIRL. Basically, everyone who has ever lived at this house has painted the wood a different colour. And nobody has ever bothered to remove the previous paint; they've just painted over it. Which means that when some idiot like me comes along and decides that it needs sorting out, they have about 14 layers of paint to get rid of. That's not easy. I've been scraping it, I've been sanding it, I've used chemical remover stuff which burns your nose. It is officially the worst job in the world. My dad mentioned getting some of this nitro mors stuff so I've gone and picked some of that up today and I'm going to give it a try later.
As I've already mentioned we've also managed to furnish the place relatively cheaply. I actually managed to get a lot of things from family and friends which was really good, so before I even moved I had a sofa, tables and chairs, a bed frame and some appliances. My main issue was things to store mine and Percy's clothes in. In Sunderland there's a HUGE Barnardo's shop which sells furniture, so we went up there last week and picked out a load of things. I was pretty chuffed- managed to get two lots of drawers, shelves, a TV, a mirror and delivery for under £100. It all got delivered yesterday. Put everything into the appropriate room. Went to give it a bit of a clean before I put the things away, and when I opened one of the drawers in my room, this happened:
"Why is this drawer green? That's a bit weird, the other ones weren't green. Honestly, that's so odd. Wait. Hang on. That's not just green. Oh my god. Oh my god, that's mould. There is literally a carpet of mould in the drawer. Not just a bit of mould, but an entire fucking forest. Oh my god, it's on me, I can feel it on me, there is mould all over me, it's engulfing the house, I want to crawl out of my shin and die, and cry, and shout and scream, and why is there mould, oh my god, help me."
I tried cleaning it. For about 10 minutes. Then I read that once mould gets into wood, there's no killing it, and it will grow and grow and keep coming back, and spread and you will die of mould (I'm a bit funny about mould in case you couldn't tell). So I have thrown the drawer away. I'm not even arsed about it. No mould is coming into my house. None. Bugger off mould.
Oh, we haven't got a boiler yet either. So I've been having two inch baths filled with boiling water from the kettle. And a vent in the kitchen is broken so a slug came in.
Honestly, it's a really lovely house. It just needs fixing up a bit. We really like it.
Percy has settled in now. She was a bit (a LOT) unsettled initially, but she always is when we move. I think she gets paranoid that I'm going to leave her. She's fine again now though, and is back to her happy smiley self. We went to have a look at a nursery for her today, which I really liked the look of. If all goes to plan she'll be starting in October so that I can use the time from then until January to get back up to speed with everything Chemistry related, prior to going back to Uni.
Speaking of Uni, I've managed to sort out distance learning with them (praise the lord!). I gave them an e-mail telling them everything that's happened and they've been really good about it all. Honestly, big high fives, hugs and super awesome praise to the Chemistry Department at Imperial. They've been absolutely amazing with everything (I'm basically the problem child of the department).
Obviously, I've had to rethink everything a bit career-wise. Now that we're up here and there's nobody to look after Percy (at the moment) I'm not going to be able to apply to medicine this year because I'm not going to be able to get the hours of volunteering in that I need to, before the application deadline. That's fine though because I've got a back-up plan. I'm going to go and look at doing a PhD and then going into medicine after that (and being a double doctor ;) ). It's three more years. My plan may change. I may end up in research still. Who knows! As long as I have some kind of 5 year plan, I'm fine with it.
We had our first driving lesson up here this morning. Absolutely hilarious. Honestly, I'm just a really shit driver. He says I'm not, but I think I am. And Sunderland driving is not fun. Whoever designed these roads has some serious issues.
Finally, Percy and I had some new additions to the family last week. Jeremy and Boris, a pair of 9 week old kittens. They're small, and black, and fluffy, and Percy thinks they're hilarious. Boris is quite chilled out and will happily just get on with life and curl up in front of the fire. Jeremy is a menace. He's constantly running around and knocking things over, and trying to cling to you because he's clearly got attachment issues. They're very messy (although again, I think this may just be Jeremy), and as fast as I can hoover up cat food/ cat litter, they've kicked it all over the place again. But they are very lovely, and they've definitely made the place feel more homely.
(I think they're about to kick me out of Subway so I'd better go now)
p.s. Just wanted to give a big shout out to everyone who's helped us out over the past couple of months. We really needed it, and we really appreciate everything that you've done for us. A special thanks goes to my Gran, Gramps, and Nana for letting me stay with you/ feeding me for my month of homelessness. I honestly don't know what I would have done without you all.