Building Work: Practical Challenges of Moving Into Alternative Accommodation

The logistics of organsing everything needed to fix the water damage were a nightmare. First we had to wait weeks, which turned into months, for the builders to be available. When the builders were available we needed to sort out who was going where. That’s 3 adults, 1 child, 2 cats, 5 guinea pigs and 1 hamster. The hamster was easy, she has stayed where she is in the front room. All the guinea pigs live in either the living room or the kitchen. That’s 3 guinea pig cages. My daughter was also very concerned about them becoming stressed with the noise, but there was no alternative for us, but to keep them all in the house. Part of this reason is their reaction to strangers, as one night the 2 younger girls hissed at a couple of Ben’s friends. At least at home with Ben looking after them they are used to the sounds and smells of the house. The 2 cats should have gone into a Cattery, but there is only 2 in our area and they were fully booked over the school holidays. The cats are staying at home, which is probably less stressful and restrictive for them than being moved to a Cattery. Ben decided to stay at home to be closer to his friends. He is camping out upstairs, using my daughter’s room as a kitchen. He benefits well from this as he is able to have his friends over every day. Plus, he has some independence (and peace) away from his family.

We had 3 days to remove everything from the kitchen, living room, utility area and downstairs shower room. I tried to be organised whilst waiting for a date for the builders. I cleared out a fair amount of unwanted items. However, so much of it was in use, whilst others were too heavy, or too low down for me to sort through. My endo pain flares up when I kneel down and crouch forward. I experience severe, sharp, stabbing, twinging, pulling and twisting pain. Being in that position on Boxing Day whilst washing the kitchen floor caused the flare up that led to my ultrasound earlier this year. Also, I am always mindful of activity levels and the effect of them on my pain. I did increase my activity levels during this time, with frequent changing of activity such as spending time with my daughter and helping her with any projects she was doing. This would have been a sitting and thinking acitivity, to allow my body to relax a little before returning to move more belongings. I did push myself more than usual during the run up to moving out.
Chris was at work for the full three days, due to such short notice he wouldn’t have been able to get time off work. He works in the Radiology Department of a local hospital. They plan their staffing levels months in advance. He did a lot in the evenings and on the Saturday we moved out. You can see how much we still had to clear on the Saturday in this vlog:

Ben was excellent. He was slightly removed from our stress and so he had an objective perspective on the situation. We left the house at around 2pm. Ben and his friends moved the rest of the belongings out for us. I am so grateful to them all for their help.

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