I’m Still Here – From the 1971 Stephen Sondheim Musical ‘Follies’.

Well it has been a few days and it is Showtune Sunday. (Credit to Daddy Simon for his title suggestion.)

It’s 3rd February already – where the Fleetwood Mac did that week go? Let’s try and get up to speed shall we.

House move is all booked for Friday ,but the overpaid, so called professionals that spurred us into action have now slowed down to a pace where they need cajoling at least once a day and we still haven’t exchanged contracts…

We’re off to a smart three bed semi in commuter belt territory – not quite a country house but it’s only a short walk to a county park. The house itself has benefited from a bit of a freshen up throughout and has been extended sufficiently so that we can have a good size lounge/dining/kitchen area which will free up the front room on the ground floor so that we can use it as a guest room. The kiddies will have a good sized bedroom as will we and the smaller room can be set up as an office. I’ll miss our en-suite wetroom but I’ll only have two floors to keep clean and the new carpets throughout will be a softer landing for Alexandra and Calder’s ever increasing falls from things that they shouldn’t be sodding well climbing on anyway. We’ve had to pay a slightly higher deposit because we have Pushkin and have agreed to have the ( pale, neutral!) carpet professionally cleaned before we depart but let’s face it the tomato sauce terrorists were going to make sure that we were going to have to do that anyway. It felt like home almost immediately and Alexandra and Calder were in their element running around and rolling about on the floor. The trains running past the bottom of the garden are barely audible above the usual background soundtrack of our lives and although it clearly gets a bit hectic at drop off and pick up times at the primary school directly across the road we have off street parking and I’ll have prime position for a bit of “what does she think she’s wearing” people watching.

When the letting agent confirmed that all was well last Saturday morning we relaxed a bit, planned a bit and then panicked a bit. We had less than two weeks to get ourselves packed up and ready to move. The last removal company that quoted had the best reviews and were significantly less expensive. We agreed that paying them to pack up for us was way less stressful than trying to do it ourselves despite the fact that Alexandra and Calder are always more than willing to get very hands on with an empty box or two.

We all went to Twins Club on the Monday and then pushed on out to Ikea in the afternoon.Despite the media frenzy that our appearance in last week’s Mirror generated we were not stopped for autographs once AND we had to pay for our own meatballs! Once we had decided on the items of furniture that we would need at the new place,we dropped a few random nuts and bolts around ‘bargain corner’ and left to put in an online order at home.

Daddy Simon had a Board meeting to attend on Thursday afternoon so Alexandra,Calder and I all piled into Gloria and set off south on the M25 to measure up at the new house. The low wall and fence post at the end of the driveway appear to have got a bit closer together in the past few days and I can see Gloria getting a coke bottle shaped restyle in the coming months. Once again the munchkins seem happy to run about and pay scant regard to the bag of toys that I had brought along. As I start to envisage our furniture in situ,the place seemed to shrink at bit.Plenty of storage space in the kitchen but no dishwasher or tumble dryer and the Fridge-freezer seems smaller than I remember. Oh well – who doesn’t love a challenge.

Alexandra and Calder have bored of chasing one another around the – “has that just got smaller again? ” – lounge area and are now wiping their noses on a glass door that I had forgotten existed. Now I chase them around the dinky sized “we’ll NEVER get two sofas in here” living room with a tissue much to their delight/ horror and reward their reluctant submission to the Kleenex with Land Rover and Teapot from the bag of toys.It’s heartening to see that I won’t have to alter my well rehearsed lines of ” Don’t bang it on the glass – I’ll take it away – no don’t bang THAT on the glass either!” and decide where ‘naughty corner’ and ‘confiscation station” will be as the letting agent tacks another zero to the end of our security deposit.

We head up the -oh goody stairs – Up three,down one, up two, down four. Measuring tape in mouth,notepad stuffed down back of trousers and a wriggling child under each arm I head up the stairs and shut us all in the first room. There’s a walk in cupboard so that keeps them occupied for a bit and as I measure up the window for curtains I see that the cavalry has arrived. I’d arranged to meet an ex work colleague and lovely friend here and then go on to lunch. Kiddies are delighted to have a fresh face to demonstrate the wonders of the 21st century staircase to and I quickly guesstimate the rest of the measurements required and bid a farewell to the bemused letting agent.

Quick stop-off at a Tesco that will become a local haunt – surely customer service will be better than that at Catford. I drop forty odd quid on ‘a loaf of bread’and Nina splurges a similar amount on ‘ some milk’ and then a lovely afternoon catching up before heading north on the M25. My back seat navigators fall asleep almost instantly and so I bump the radio off and enjoy the silence on my drive back to Catford.

I get some time to myself to attend the dentist on Friday morning – he’s running ahead of schedule so I don’t get to enjoy as much of the ‘Top Gear’ magazine as I’d like but he turns a blind eye to my lackadaisical flossing habits and I get a clean bill of oral health for another six months. It’s only when I’m settling up my bill that he suggests that it would be worth bringing Alexandra and Calder in for a check up.

“ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? ” Our little boy has to be tightly head locked into position by one of us whilst the other has to crowbar his tightly pursed lips apart with a blunt toothbrush which has been liberally covered with strawberry ice cream flavoured toothpaste. I mumble something about I’ll get back to you and debate whether I can get away with an enamel staining americano at Costas so that I can finish off that copy of ‘Top Gear’ before I head for home.

Saturday sees us in the Daily Mail – lovely article by Helen Weathers and great family pic by Murray Sanders and then a visit from friends in the afternoon.Sunday has been a family day – trialled “our the let’s all eat lunch together at the table” again. Suffice to say Kiddies ate tea at five and Daddies had dinner at eight – so still needs a bit of work…

Busy week ahead as you can imagine. But will be sure to keep you updated as and when I can.

“What’s the budget for model cars in my new room?”

“Oh hang on! I’ve just seen something that I can pull that might make it a bit more like a see-saw.”

5 thoughts on “I’m Still Here – From the 1971 Stephen Sondheim Musical ‘Follies’.

  1. I can see/hear the trains from my study and I love it! Don’t really notice them most of the time and when I do they make me feel connected. And as for the school over the road, just stick the children in front of the window at opening/closing times and you’ll be able to grab ten minutes whilst they watch everyone arrive/go home!


  2. Another busy week ahead of you. Hope all goes well and this time next week your at least in your new house if not settled. 😘😘😘


  3. Great news … it is all falling Iinto place even though ‘exhausting’ for you and crazy till settled in new abode. You are nearly there … so exciting.x.


  4. Oh Graeme you are just so funny it’s taking me ages to get through your blogs but would not miss one. Just when do you get time to do all this? Love them all. Am looking forward to next Wednesday 🤗😂😂😂


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