Hello Lily, if that IS your real name…

Lily waits for us every morning outside the lounge window.

Last night me & Joe met another of the neighbours (after showering at family’s houses and a quick trip to Homebase).

As per usual, when we arrived home, Lily was sat on the doorstep waiting for her dose of Whiskers nibbles and a good cuddle, as well as a play with her favourite plastic bag.
(What is it about plastic bags that she finds so exciting?!)

The neighbour who turned up at the front fence was in fact Lily’s owner, Sue, who lives 2 doors down we found out. Hooray!
We were so worried that Lily was coming to us because she was lonely. In fact, it turns out that the old woman who used to live in our house was lonely, not the cat, and she would invite Lily in every day, feed her, and get some company. D’aww.

We were also worried that if she did have an owner, we were (unintentionally) stealing their cat. Although, let’s face it, cat’s pick their owners, and me & Joe are pretty awesome.

Sue also managed to give us more info than we expected. Lily has a sister called Codi. We’d never seen Codi before last night. She was the complete opposite of Lily; skinny and very timid. Sue told us that because Lily is very territorial over our house, Codi has never dared come near us. Bless her. Luckily, Sue said that she doesn’t mind Lily being cuddled by other people (it sounds like we are not the only neighbour that she goes to when Sue is out) and that if we want to give her treats, we are more than welcome.

(Before leaving, she even asked if Lily was going to head into our house for a bit! Sounds to me like we’re heading into a joint ownership…)

So now we know that we can enjoy the fun bits about owning a cat, without having to actual worry about owning her. And to think, we were so close to just buying her a collar and calling her ours.

Oh yeah, and we discovered that her actual name is Pebbles! It’s going to be hard to stop calling her Lily…

What a difference a month makes

It took us one whole month from getting the keys to the house, to making it decent enough to live in. Joe took some pictures of the house just before we had the keys, and here are some updated images now that we have got our stuff in, so you can see how much it has come along (and how much we still have to do!) in such a short space of time. Really proud of ourselves, and grateful to the family who have been superstars.

The Lounge

Before

Since then we have…
Stripped and skimmed the walls and then painted them white.
The fire has been removed completely and the floors have been stripped back to the floorboards.

After

The dining table has also been shoved into the lounge for now. As soon as we build a dining room, that's where it will go!

The Kitchen

Before

To be honest, not much has been done in the kitchen. Eventually, we plan to knock through the back wall to extend the size of the room and then build a kitchen. So far, this room has had the boiler installed, and that’s about it! It is mostly being used for storage.

After

Bedroom 1 (the “master” bedroom)

Before

In our bedroom, the horrendous moss green carpet has been removed. The bright pink wallpaper has been stripped off. The gas fire has also been removed. We have skimmed the walls and given it a white coat of paint.

After

Even managed to fit my dresser in there! Plenty of my junk yet to unpack though...

Bedroom 2

Before

This room has been stripped of the horrible wallpaper. Because we couldn’t afford to have another room skimmed just yet, we decided to just paint behind where our wardrobes were going to go, and leave the rest until later. You may have heard me talking about the wardrobes before. They are massive and once they are assembled, we are NEVER moving them.

Poor Peter (Joe's dad) having to assemble them. You're a legend Peter!

The rest of the room is currently being used for "storage"

 Bedroom 3 (The boxroom)

Before

I would have loved to show you what this looks like now, but it is currently home to a computer desk, a spare single bed, and an entire bathroom suite, so it’s pretty stuffed!
We have however, removed the lovely carpets, and all wallpaper.

The bathroom

Before

What used to be this awfully dated pink bathroom suite (rotting, may I add) and a separate WC, we have now ripped out all fittings and tiles, as well as the adjoining wall. We have taken everything back to the brick, added plasterboard to the walls and ceiling (to make a lowered ceiling) and added a toilet. As soon as we can afford taps and tiles, we will fit the rest of the bathroom. Hoorah!

After

We will probably take things a little slower now. We got so much done in the first month simply because we had to. I can’t wait to get all the dirty stuff out of the way and get some flooring in the next few months. It’s going to be a blast.

Karen x

Adventures of a scavenger

For those who have been following my blog this past month, you will have seen a fair few pictures of a cat called Lily.
(Click here if you need a reminder)

She is one of the neighbour’s cats, although we have no idea where she lives. She is super soft, super fat well fed, and so can’t possibly be a stray. However, she has been at our house every single day since getting the keys in August.

Since we officially moved in last week, she has certainly made herself at home. If she’s planning on making such regular appearances I might have to get her a flea collar. Just in case…

Oh make yourself at home Lily! She joins me in bed the first Saturday morning in the house.

Joe & Lily having a good tickle on the couch

"Helping" me unpack...

Playing hide and seek in my wardrobe

Back in bed! Lazy thing. Licking her arse where we sleep. Nice...

Running after me first thing Monday morning. Don't worry Lily, I'm just going to work. I'll be back! (And yes, that's a toilet in our front garden. But that's another story for another day...)

I’m sure there will be plenty more Lily-related posts yet to come. She’s a cheeky thing.

Karen x

Saying goodbye to renting

Me & Joe have been mega excited about getting the house for pretty much most of this year. After all, we first spotted it in February so it took us longer than average to complete the buying process. Saying that however, we will really miss the flat.

It was our first home together. We both had a birthday there. We had our first Christmas as roomies together there. We had lots of events with friends there. It was a really good first home to us. I remember when we first went to view it in January 2010. It had been chucking it down with snow and we were panicked that our wet shoes would ruin the carpet (at that point, it was a showroom flat).

What I loved about it the most, was that it was plain, modern, and I even liked the fact that it was completely empty, meaning we needed to buy furniture of our own. My absolute favourite thing about the flat was that my little sister lived upstairs meaning I could see her everyday. I will miss that the most, but it gives me a good excuse to come back often and see how the new owners/renters are treating the place.

When we left on Wednesday night, seeing it empty was really odd. I never realised how massive it was.

What was our bedroom. It was HUGE! Might not look like it here, but it was pretty monstrous.

The lounge

We’re still excited about the house more than we ever were about the flat, because we know that we will make it our own and have the freedom to decorate it how we want. We know that we will be investing money rather than throwing it away renting. We know that it will be the house where we start a family, and really make a home for ourselves. But we will always look back at Apartment 40 and think of all-nighters watching Wrestlemania, Fajita Fridays and big butch neighbours that hated us. Byebye flat. You were good to us.

Karen  x

Crack open the bubbly…

…we’re in!

It’s official. On Wednesday 21st September at approximately….11pm, we were finally moved into the house. HOORAY!

We cracked open a bottle of bubbly we had been saving, ordered a chinese, crawled into bed, and watched a DVD. ………aaand relax.

I love my new house shoes. Bought them in Crete because I knew we wouldn't have floors in the house. They're so cute!

Karen x

A lesson in moving onwards and upwards

So we are officially out of the flat and into the house today.
(Well, Joe is sorting out the last minute bits and bobs. We’ll have a big clean up of the flat tonight before handing back the keys.)
It was a long process, but this past month since we received the keys has been a real eye-opener. Here’s what I have learned in that time.

How much we take certain things for granted.
For example, a kitchen side. Do you know how hard it is to make a round of coffee/tea without any kitchen surface? It’s an absolute buggar! I am absolutely adding a kitchen to my wishlist.

Cardboard boxes appear to be worth their weight in gold these days.
Amy and I were very close to getting the flat packed up over the weekend, but were about 3 boxes short. A quick trip to Homebase showed us that five cardboard boxes cost £24.99. No thanks! As if moving house isn’t expensive enough…

We did get some boxes from Joe's Auntie Debbie, who works at the hospital. We may have looked like druggies as they were mostly syringe boxes but that was all part of the fun. Also, the rats just loved playing with them. I might keep a few as toys.

Moving house is hard.
I have moved almost 10 times in my short but happy existence, and I can’t remember it ever being this stressful before. Possibly because the house we are moving into isn’t exactly ready to be lived in yet, but I don’t mind that so much. Camping with walls should be an adventure.

I am more of a hoarder than I ever realised.
Not to the extent where I keep old rubbish and rotting food, like those people on the telebox. But I have found so much junk that I can’t believe I have moved from my mum’s house to the flat, and now nearly moved from the flat to the house! For example, I have kept for a long time now, bags of bags. Yes, plastic bags. What a numpty.

There is a paranomal website called TAPS.
After trying to buy bathrooms taps online this week, Google kept sending me to The Atlantic Paranormal Society. They say you learn something new every day…

Family is underrated.
We’ve had an unbelievable amount of help and support from our families. No matter what people say about needing all the money in the world to buy a house, I disagree (although it does help!) If you have a good family, you can do anything. I’m a lucky bunny.

Karen x

You have mail: a Royal surprise


Ever since we got the deed to the house upon completion, I’ve been fascinated with the woman who used to live in it.

Her name was June, and she was the original owner of the house when it was built in the 1940’s. She passed away last year and so the house has been empty since. We knew that she was elderly for a number of reasons…

1. The fact that she bought it in the 40’s and only died last year was a bit of a giveaway.
2. The house was dated. As in, there was no central heating, the brickwork and walls were apparently “typical” of the 40’s (whatever that means) and the bathroom had corroded – well, quite rightly after 70 years after installation.
3. The fact that there were handle bars (or safety rails as I think they’re actually called, but I think they look like handle bars) on every other wall, gave us a clue that she was an elderly woman.

What Joe learned yesterday really made me smile. Working on the house, he met our postman and as we’re nosey and would love to know about June more (as she has so far been the only woman to live there) Joe asked what she was like.

The postman said she was “lovely” and that he “really enjoyed delivering her letter from the Queen 2 years ago“.

She was 102 years old!
I’ve never seen one of those letters. I’d love if it we find it in the loft at a later date.
Dearest June, Happy birthday innit. Love Queenie.

I really love the fact that the postman knew her and was friendly with June. I remember when my Nan passed earlier this year and although the majority of people at her funeral were family and friends, one of the biggest bunch of flowers came from her postman. I think it’s the cutest thing.

I can’t wait to find out more about her. I love history.

Karen x