It's not as if nothing was happening. Oh no, sirree. But some notes about my/our lives were for travels and a little for cooking and baking. Much of my writing was musings about and learning from scripture. And some of the thoughts whirling around in my head were so time-consuming to process and sort and make sense of that they haven't yet ended up on my thoughts blog.
Slightly complicated, at times, to keep up separate blogs but it helps my mental filing system. And it does, usually, work, although I was a little bemused the other day to find a recipe snuggled in amongst the Bible studies...
Part of the busyness of the last few months has been house-hunting. Spent many hours on the Internet searching the small property market here, trying to make sense of estateagentspeak. We soon learnt that parking = 1 car, ample parking = 2 cars, multiple parking = 3 cars and plenty of parking could mean anything at all.
I learnt to look at floor plans and measurements and pace out our own sitting room and kitchen, trying to translate my imaginings into practicalities.
We spent time driving or cycling around Guernsey looking at possibilities. I vividly remember my disappointment on realising that a garden which had looked quite a reasonable size in the photos could almost have been measured in square centimetres, rather than metres.
We became acquainted with parts of the island we didn't know existed.
We viewed three houses. The first could have worked, but was expensive for what it was. The second was beautiful and newly renovated, though not to our taste, with a lovely garden and a bit of a view. And much too expensive. The third was a no-go even before we saw it. Thought it would be OK at first, then when we got there realised it wasn't what we wanted/needed at all. And ridiculously expensive for what it was.
Most of the houses we looked at or considered as compromises - for compromise is a key word in the Guernsey property market - are still for sale.
Praying and waiting and never giving up were always at the back our our minds.
Then another came up, at a reduced price. In an area we didn't particularly want to live in, not that you can be fussy in Guernsey. The type of house ( a small bungalow ) which we - I, but #can'tbefussy - didn't particularly want. And on a (relatively, compared to the quiet lane we live on at the moment) 'main' road.
But the garden was nice and the price now much more reasonable. So we went to view.
We were early. The estate agent was a few minutes' late. As we waited for her, wandering round a shrub-filled front garden, we began to get a feel for its charm. There wasn't a great deal of parking - probably 7 cars in estateagentspeak, 3 - 4 cars squished in carefully in reality - but we could make more. (We do have a motorhome to house, after all...)
Inside, the interior was immaculate. Quite recently refurbished, with a kitchen my friends are in ecstasies over and a large living room. A private guest area, away from the main part of the house. A sunny, welcoming glassed-in hall. The garden at the back of the house is filled with mature shrubs and bushes, little nooks and corners for sitting in, a garden shed and a private, walled-in patio which catches the evening sun.
So we put in an offer, it was accepted, and six weeks later we went to court to sign the conveyance and receive the keys.
We're not moving in straight away: first, we have to put up a little secure fencing for the dog and take out some shrubs to create more parking. We couldn’t get the phone moved over straight away so are waiting for that to happen as we have to lease our present house until the end of June anyway.
So we're doing things in bits and pieces at the moment, on the hunt for some furniture (bookcases, office cupboards, a sofa), trying to declutter (not very successfully) as we go…I've been packing things away, now, for a year and finding that we've lived very successfully without some of our 'precious' belongings...
Thinking again about decluttering, and about what is important in life, and realising this truth as we went through a long, involved process to arrive at this point in our time:
Psalm 34:4 (NIV)
But that is another story...