It has been echoingly quiet on this blog for the last month, with only the infrequent post and the odd lonely tweet. I’d like to blame this on the increased workload of the impending move (the eternal blight of the trailing spouse), my current role as co-chair of the Teacher Appreciation Committee (those of you who are familiar with my previous comments on volunteering will now be choking on your morning coffee) or my incredible behind-the-scenes productivity on the series of checklists that I am creating. Alas, none would be true.

expat life

Photo courtesy of ana-white.com

The truth is far less glorious. I have lost my perk.

For the last month, I have looked like a wet hen, moping around with a downcast air, a surly temper and absolutely no interest in doing anything but watching reality TV and Downton Abbey reruns. It is the pre-move gloom, biting hard, and it’s crushing my creativity.

Thankfully, this morning, my pecker is back up, all thanks to a couple of wonderful websites that I discovered – none of which have anything to do with relocation, but everything to do with creating a home. Yourself. With tools.

It turned my thoughts to previous partners in DIY crime, Gill and Sarah. Gill, who at 6 months pregnant was heaving up floorboards in our old Vicarage (don’t feel sorry for her – she returned the favor by bestowing on me the dubious honor of spreading 10 tonnes of horse poop on her very large and prickly raspberry patch) and Sarah, who flew 4000 miles to grout my tiles. (Both of these activities sound like euphemisms for something far more fun and frisky, but neither are. They are grotty horrible jobs made only bearable by having good-natured, willing and long-suffering helpers, and copious amounts of alcohol at the end.)

Hence the title of this post. Sadly, Gill has the policy of generally ignoring any blog post with the word relocation in it, because she is happily settled in rural Wales (or, as we refer to it, God’s own country. Not particularly modest, the Welsh..), with a large vegetable garden and a now glaringly absent (and therefore completely useless) gardening assistant, currently writing these words from the comfort of a warm bed, 4000 miles away from the rampant raspberry bushes and piles of manure.Having witnessed so many of my epic disasters, she is only hungry for tales of chaos, knowing that they go hand in hand with a thriving, curious and spontaneous person who relishes making mistake because frankly, they make the best stories.

Which, as you can tell from the crickets chirping in the background, has been the person who got lost for a while there.

But thanks to a morning of excellent internet connection and the wonder of Pinterest, I’m back now, and this is very good news on two fronts.

The first is that in honor of Gill and Sarah, I am including the links for the two of the best DIY websites that I have ever discovered, full of projects that you would actually want to display in your home and very, very detailed instructions.

The second? We have spent the last 2 years in San Francisco in a rented home, so not one of my geographically convenient close friends is familiar with this DIY obsession, nor my complete disregard for life, health, personal commitments and designer clothing in my pursuit of a spare pair of hands.

These unsuspecting dears are coming over to the new place for dinner on Sunday. It’ll be like lambs to the slaughter. I sense some really good inspiration coming on..

 

 The Friendly Home  (Great name, huh?)

Ana White (and here’s a direct link to her chicken coop plans)

 

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9 Responses to Resilience and the Trailing Spouse. Especially for Gill and Sarah..

  1. sarah says:

    OMG… only looked at the first few photos and I am so overcome with excitement I can’t type sensibly.

    I can already see a use for the entry hall cupboard thingy. LOVING IT… getting the drill charged .. yipppee …

  2. ali Bodden says:

    Fabulous ideas for do-it-yourself projects!! Can’t wait to try them out and put the man of the house to work. Haha!

  3. Oh Rachel! You are just the tonic for for my pre-moving back to the UK in two weeks blues…I just stopped shampooing the carpet for awhile and escaped to twitter for a moment, and there you were with your article/website/blog. Thank you, thank you!

    • Rachel says:

      I am so glad! If it’s any consolation, I too am at the carpet shampooing stage, which has predictably coincided with the rain / muddy shoes / paws stage. *sigh*.

  4. Staci Johnston says:

    Would love to build a chicken coop (or two) with you. Am slightly concerned mine won’t look quite like the gorgeous Ana White’s does nor will the project only take two days~
    but life is really about the journey isn’t it?

  5. Norman says:

    I guess the funk means the house deal went through?
    Congrats!
    ;-)

  6. I have indeed been missing your missives, Rachel, and actually did choke on my beverage when I read the words ‘co-chair of the Teacher Appreciation Committee’ (thankfully it was water). I’m not much of a DIYer, but enjoy decluttering, shopping for interesting items to make space homier, and the piece de resistance: getting organized. (Don’t expect much, I merely said I enjoy these pursuits, not that I actually succeed.) Giggled at the ‘lambs to the slaughter’ reference, but equally glad I’m not within reach of such an invite!

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