Tag Archives: house

Living Like We’re Leaving

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With under 7 weeks to leave the UK and less than a month before we want to leave the house we need to start living like we’re leaving.
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One month today we hope to leave the house! So today we need to put in place those 30 day cancellation periods.

So this evening it will be phone calls to Satellite and Broadband providers, dishwasher and washing machine providers (we hire them!) and other insurance policies which form part and parcel of home ownership in the UK.

Another sign of leaving MK on our road to Mwanza.

A Fair Exchange!

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When I look at our new house in Mwanza, I am excited and intrigued and have genuine anticipation. I think it looks fab. A number of others have told us that we’re “brave” – that word again! I think everyone has their own opinion as to what makes a good home and what they want from life. As someone brought up in the UK, I have generally followed the conventional pattern.

Finish education, get a job, get married, have kids, get promotion, move to a bigger house….etc.

There have been subtle differences though – 13 years ago I gave up Science Teaching full time for a short while and looked to becoming a web designer (which didn’t work out), retrained and re-entered teaching as an ICT teacher at a lower grade. This proved to be a good move and took me into my present job in my present school.

After 11 years, a couple of promotions and some fabulous experiences through school in Gambia and the Far East, I have felt it’s time to leave.
I am stepping off this particular “hamster wheel” and changing direction – this time it’s not the subject I’m changing but country and culture. As far as the UK way “I’ve been there, bought the T-shirt”, it’s time for something new. I know Anita feels the same.

For us this is the chance to explore and experience a new way of living. We are not exchanging a UK life for an equivalent one in Mwanza, we don’t expect things to be the same, that’s the point. We have no doubts there will be a lot we’ll miss in Mwanza, but we think we’ll be gaining so much more. There will be frustrations (life has frustrations built in) but we believe also so much more rewarding- look at the ‘Bucket List‘ for more of what we’d like to do when we’re out. We’ve not lived in a detached house since we both left home so this will be a first. The tropical garden with it’s trees and wildlife are a bonus. The life we are leaving behind is different to the one we’re going to but that’s the whole point and we’re both up for it. 🙂 🙂

No Rest For The ……Emigrants

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As we move within two months of departure we are both feeling thoroughly exhausted. Life goes on as normal (both of us still at work, today I’m dropping the car off for a service, hence a slightly later start) and yet at the same we are planning our escape from the UK ;-). The house and garage whilst gradually emptying are still remarkably full. 20140623-074050-27650461.jpgA lot now is going to the dump.

20140623-074013-27613354.jpg. We have boxes of stuff for the charity shops.
Now we are factoring in goodbye events at work, church and locally. We’re looking forward to these but they are taking up time. We also have a birthday celebration for my son (this week) and an early birthday / goodbye for my daughter to organise. It’s all go! Luckily my mum is down for the week so it’s great to have some help. I could just do with a duvet day – I can’t remember the last time I had a “Do Nothing Day“.

Oh well better get off to the garage – time waits for no man.


20140623-075029-28229282.jpg Last night’s Barbecue – a short respite!


Cutting Back and Measuring Up

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This afternoon has been spent in the garden. Cutting back the Wisteria and clearing the deck. It’s been several weeks since we’ve had the chance to get out there and we needed to. Especially as our garden tools are going this evening.20140622-150458-54298488.jpg







20140622-151856-55136852.jpgMeanwhile Anita has been measuring up the furniture (table, shelving, piano keyboard) prior to putting up for sale.


Dwelling Places

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I could have titled this post From Haverhill to Mwanza, but “Dwelling Places” it is.
One of my favourite words in the English Language is ‘dwell’ it has so much more to it than the word ‘live’ which is often used to replace it. Dwell has depth and solidity, a word of permanence.
The provision our new house to be and the imminent completion of sale on our current house has got me reminiscing about the places I have dwelt. From Haverhill in Suffolk to Lincoln to Nottingham to Milton Keynes to Mwanza.








New House

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Photos of our new house and garden in the compound, complete with compound Dog (Macy). All this courtesy of a new colleague and fellow blogger Naomi. Thanks!

It’s great to get a sense of where we will be.

Exciting times 😀


Weekly Photo Challenge: Rooms (For Sale)

Rooms for Sale

A submission to the Weekly Photo Challenge : Room 

With all that is happening with our impending move I had to make this last minute submission. The many rooms of our house ready for viewing when we put our house up for sale in February.







Tool Sorting

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As England labour away against Honduras in a pre-World Cup friendly, what better way to spend the evening with an ice cold Cider 🙂 …… sorting out the Tools

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Another Week Down!

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The weeks are flying by at a pace and with 11 weeks to go it’s beginning to feel like we’re never going to get it all done. Though remembering back to one of Anita’s early posts – you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

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Hidden Costs

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Moving abroad isn’t cheap!

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The Sands of Time

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It’s difficult to believe that today is the end of my penultimate term. Like grains of sand rushing through the narrow neck of an hour glass, time is rushing by at an ever increasing rate.


Suddenly we find ourselves nearing the end of May. In three months time depending on how you measure it, we will will either be spending our last day in England (Friday) or our first day in Tanzania (23rd).
I think that part of the issue has been the business of work and also the plethora of Bank Holidays concentrated into April and May, another Bank Holiday weekend is upon us and will allow us to meet up with Family. The rest of the week will possibly involve a trip to Lincoln to drop off some stuff for storage and some further house clearance. We aim to of some trial packing to see how much it all weighs. We are also looking at some options for our equity and considering the possibility of investing in a smaller property.
It will be a busy week – probably our last week off before we move. We hope to make the most of it.


Potential Paralysis

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There is a sense of potential paralysis at the moment. It may be obvious from reading this blog that there has been a bit of a lull in preparations for leaving.

We have not been sprucing up the house/garden

We have done all we need to in this regard and have sold. The daily routine grind of clearing and tidying is not necessary – so we have perhaps reverted to a more normal way of living (coffee cups left on sides and clothes not always put away). Though we know we must not let things slide too far the pressure’s off. Work has been busy for both of us and in teaching this has been the busiest term and a half making sure pupils are prepared for exams and coursework moderated.

We have not been clearing out the house.

I knew this phase would come when we had to start getting rid of stuff we still wanted and / or did not know if we were going to need. Winter clothes have served their time (we think!) but will we ever need them again?
Storage is going to be an issue for us! Some items of sentimental value are going to have to go so tough decisions are going to be needed. We must be ruthless.
Then there is the issue of shipping we have had little concrete information about the practicalities of shipping to Mwanza. We don’t want to spend the earth sending out stuff we will never use but don’t want to find ourselves without something we really need. In the UK this is not so much of an issue – you go on holiday and forget to pack a corkscrew or a toothbrush you pop to Tesco (other supermarkets also exist 🙂 ) and pick one up. However, my experiences of looking for AA batteries in Cambodia last summer reminds me of how this may not be so easy in the developing world. Those I found in Siem Reap were of poor quality and lasted a matter of hours.

What Next ?

Our house is going through the process of completion and once complete we need to decide where and when to invest our equity. We have ideas which I won’t share here yet, but it’s another thing to add to the list. We need to invest wisely and the biblical Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25: 14-30) is a helpful one to think on.

Ninety three days seems a long time but we need to avoid doing nothing for fear of doing something wrong. So it’s an end to potential paralysis and half term next week provides an opportunity to take action!

Travel Theme :Blossom

Taken from our very own garden – I make no bones about sharing pictures of our amazing Wisteria blossoms in combo with the Ceanothus.









A submission to this week’s Travel Theme: Blossom

I’ve got a bit of a headache :-(

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A lot’s been going on since January when I got the interview and then the job in 5 days flat for Isamilo School and I think it’s beginning to catch up with me.

Firstly the house clearance – we’ve got rid of a lot but there’s so much more to go.

Secondly the house – on the market, then the viewings and the perpetual tidying (I’m not good at that!), the lack of sale due to solar panels then the dramatic offer of a loan and subsequent purchase ( subject to contract).

Thirdly work with the usual stresses and strains which come this time of year as we push the students to achieve of their best (some more reluctant than others). Today finally the Year 11 and 13 coursework is ready to go.

I’ve been wandering around with a low level headache all day. I’ve kept my health so far this year but there’s a lot happening. So tonight I’m having a night off enjoying a long soak in the bath and keeping well (if I can) for tomorrow. A headache’s not much but I can be prone to migraines at times of stress so don’t need that. I also need to get back into regular exercise which is ironic because this headache is forcing me to miss Badminton 😦

In contrast to the general tone of this blog I refuse to be downhearted and just ensuring the headache continues to subside.

Believe it or not we’re still not half way through the time until we leave the UK. That will be 1 week from now. There’s still a lot of time and a lot of things to do. So batten down the hatches and enjoy the ride. 😉

Weekly a Photo Challenge: On The Move (4) – Literally

Had to be done! Since we are literally On the Move from Milton Keynes to Mwanza 🙂


So What Next?

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So we’ve sold. So what happens next?

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In an earlier post I referred to the need for the need for patience in selling our house and linked it with the need to wait for our Ceanothus / Wisteria to bloom.

Well we have now sold (subject to contract) and the Ceanothus / Wisteria has come into bloom. A juxtaposition of events reflecting timing – for us God’s timing!

20140506-143055.jpg19th April 2014

20140506-143406.jpg 5th May 2014



‘Nuff Said

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That Friday Feeling!

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Finally Friday. Continue reading