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To Let

It’s official, the house is now available to let and I’m busy getting all those odd jobs done that we never quite got around to.  Like putting draught excluder on the windows and doors that previously allowed the gales to blow right in as we shivered inside muttering: We should put draught excluder on that window/door.  Daft isn’t it – £6.95 in B & Q and we’re snug as bugs.  The only thing is we do get a bit of a shock when we open a door and realise it is actually still blowing that gale outside, we just didn’t notice it!!!

Enough about draught excluder.  The To Let board has just gone up outside the house and I feel quite strange looking out at it – there’s something slightly vulnerable about being inside a house that’s advertising the fact that you’re going.  Anyway, we’ve had an enquiry from a family relocating from Austria which I’d love – there’s something really appealing about a family having an adventure here as ex pats while we’re in Vietnam doing the same.  However, sentimental old fool that I am – a rental’s a rental and I won’t insist that the house goes to ‘someone that I like’ 🙂

Christmas was wonderful and we had plenty of time with all the kids which was great – they seem to think that they must spend lots of time with us because we’ll soon be gone.  They do know we’re back on 16th June don’t they?!  Ah well, I’m not complaining, it’s been ace.

This week has been remarkably stressful because I ‘phoned Singapore Airlines, just to confirm the arrangements for Sally and was told that they don’t take pets from the UK.  Panic, panic, deep breaths, scream.  Not to be deterred I emailed them and asked the same thing, only to have a lovely man call me to say yes it can all be done, to explain the process and get her booked in.  Maybe I’m old fashioned but I always like to speak to someone first and really dislike/distrust online booking forms.  This incident reminds me though how important it is to do both – but make sure you’re dealing with someone who does actually know/have the ability to help you.  Avoid call centres at all cost!!!

In addition to clearing the house I’m busily arranging to meet family and friends to say goodbye – only 6 weeks really to do it all and we’re going to Vejer for a week in the middle of it all so plenty to keep me busy.

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You’re booked!

Flights booked – check

Fraser Suites booked – check

Furniture sorted – err, no.

Ho, hum, we’re making such a meal out of this ship v. store business that I’m tempted just to bring everything, wastepaper bins and all.  Actually, that reminds me, when we bought a house in Spain a few years ago I had a devil of a job finding wastepaper bins.  So yeah, I guess I will bring them with me!

Everything’s pretty much on hold now while we enjoy our final Christmas in the family home before everything gets removed and the house becomes someone else’s home.  The agent is coming on Thursday to take photos and is really confident about letting it quickly – hope he gives us time to move out!!!  What a strange day to take the photos though – Christmas tree and chaos everywhere but, his choice.

CELTA is finished – yippee.  I’m quietly confident that I’ve passed and will be gutted if I haven’t.  Speaking of passing things, my extremely clever little sister heard today that she’s passed her M.A. with a Merit – well done Zo if you read this 🙂

We had such fun booking our flights to Hanoi because I’d decided that I definitely want to go Air France because it’s the quickest journey time – 14 hours from Manchester to Hanoi with only the one stop in Paris.  Perfect I thought.  Perfect we thought – let’s book it.  And that’s where our problems started.  1st March, two passengers, one way to Hanoi.  Everything going smoothly until you actually click the button to confirm your purchase and then it broke us the bad news (rather brutally it has to be said):  No seats available.  Seriously?  For the 1st March next year?

Okay, we tried the following day, week, month, 6 months ahead.  Nothing would work.  We checked Singapore Airlines (and yes I was sulking at this point – 19 hours.  Quote of the evening from my husband:  Well, 14 hours, 19 hours, what’s the difference? (and him an accountant) – 5 hours I replied.  5 whole hours.  We checked Vietnam Airways, Qatar Air, Aeroflot, South China Air (oh okay, we didn’t exactly check the the last two, but they did come up as options).  The journey time was an issue, the excess baggage charge another ($50/kilo – are you kidding?) and not wanting to stop in Doha another.

After several hours and a lot of frustration I had the brilliant idea that perhaps Air France would work if we booked a return.  Eureka!  2nd March, returning 16th June (for aforementioned younger sister’s wedding) – all booked and paid for, and cheaper than a single flight.

Now it’s just my stepson and the dog to sort – Singapore Airlines here I come.  What’s 19 hours for a youngster getting a free holiday eh!  Actually, the real reason is that you need an airline that does the whole route whereas the first leg of the Air France journey is fulfilled by Flybe.