Monday, 6 August 2007

leaving hawkhurst

so....... our last sleepless night on the floor in our sweet cottage - all of us bundled in to one room, the house empty of all our treasures and belongings........

the dogs really unhappy at the loss of the dog sofa and chair.

me cheerfully saying "it will be just like camping" but inside quietly dreading the next day...... the day we were to say goodbye to our first home - hand it over to strangers who we hoped would love it like we have.

up bright and early and i am stunned at how much we have still to do - we desperately try to put off completion until late afternoon - they give us until 3pm.

lorry packed to overflowing, shop still full of furniture ( i told stephen that a 7.5 tonne lorry was never going to be big enough! )

and at 3.30pm stephen rushes back in to the house from yet another trip to the tip and tells me that they are here........ the owners of this house - the house that i have loved so much and never really wanted to part with.

if finances would have allowed we would have rented the place out ........

my mind is suddenly empty and i feel absolutely nothing.

stephen goes past me dragging an enormous potted olive tree - red faced and puffing!

( what can i tell ya - i left the potted passion flower behind - the olive tree had to come with us!! )

so they stepped in to there new house - smiling and happy - and at that moment i knew they loved this place and would make it in to there home.

i was ready to leave.

i just had to find the four cats that were still in the house.......

i left artichoke cottage with a cat under my arm and everything felt right.......

we walked round to our best friends house for tea and cake - we were officially homeless!

by this time we were both so worn out and we still had the rest of the shop to pack and a 14 hour journey ahead of us.

needless to say that by the time the shop was emptied and the remainder of our belongings were stacked ready for the 2nd lorry, we were in no fit state to drive 1 mile let alone 750.

we had a wonderful evening with our friends and slept in their comfy guest room.

the cats and binks the rabbit were all shut in the office as our friends dogs kept licking his lips at the sight of them!

6.30am and we left hawkhurst both sobbing - not for the house but leaving our friends.

it was the hardest thing i have had to do - the thought of not being just around the corner was heartbreaking.

we have a cunning plan to get them to move to scotland............

we travelled 2 minutes ( yes only 2 bloody minutes!!! ) down the road when 1 cat pooed - so the first stop was actually still in hawkhurst.....

not to be down hearted we set forth on our road trip only to have to stop again after 5 minutes to deal with yet more poo and lots of sick - where it all came from i do not know.

all animals ( except binks the rabbit ) had been starved so should have had empty tums.....

the smell - the footprints of poo - the drool that continuously flowed from bella boo's mouth - the wailing from twigs

all equalled the road trip from hell.

we stopped after 2 hours to water all and let the dogs out for a pee - we parked far, far away from any other human as we were so ashamed of the odour and noise that was seeping out of every part of our car

just picture the scene.....

2 fully grown adults

2 whippets

4 cats

1 rabbit

1 litter tray

spare litter

animal food

last minute items from the house

clean clothes

bad smell

screaming cat

stressed me

all in a renault clio........

never again.

by the time we had travelled for 6 hours twigs had stopped screaming, bella boo and archie had stopped pooing and vomiting ( bella continued to drool for the entire journey ) and i had calmed down - we stopped for lunch.

stephen took the girls for a stroll and i let the cats loose in the car so that they could use the loo, drink and stretch their wee legs.

yep - that is bracken lying down in the litter tray - she has asked me to point out that she is very old and is allowed an occasional senior moment.........

and she would also like it to be known that she did not utter one word or pass anything from either end for the entire journey - she is a true classy bird!

as for the rest of the journey - what can i say......

the most breath taking scenery, traffic getting less and less the further north we travelled, our smiles getting wider the closer we got to our new home.

and even though it was dark when we arrived at our rented cottage i knew instantly that it felt right ....

i could make a home here - even if it will only be for a few months

we had arrived in scotland..........


Primrose Hill said...

So glad you've made it up safely with animals et al! Your journey sounds quite epic but so similar to ours when we moved up here.

We were only moving an hour and a bit further north, but Lexie managed to poo in the car (Greggs most treasured posession!) All I could do was stand and laugh on a layby on the A9 as he tried to scoop up the jobby that had fallen down beside the hand brake!

When I left our old house for good a couple of days later, I sobbed all the way from Stirling to our new house - I was a complete wreck as the cottage was such a smelly tip when we arrived!

Ooh the joys! Hope you, Stephen and all the animals are settling in well to the cottage.

Looking forward to seeing the pics and hearing more tales!

L xx

Ali said...

I was giggling, even before you got to the bit about the Renault Clio!! Glad you can see the funny side of it.

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Yes sorry I was giggling too,although it must have been a nightmare.It's amazing how much you can fit into a Renault Clio. The excitement was building for me as your story went on, it's great to share oyur journey and I'm really looking forward to reading more about your new life.

Sew Recycled! said...

I would have loved to have driven pass your clio! Everyone probbly thought you were Noah escaping the floods down here! Glad to hear you have arrived - please post some pics! x

Jennie said...

I've just discovered your -lovely - blog and just wanted to wish you well in your new home, where I hope to follow your exploits. From one Whippet and cat lover to another (sadly no longer any Whippets, but hey, we make up for it with 8 cats!), Jennie in Wales

Clare said...

Just to wish you the very best of luck in your new home. :)

Monkee Maker said...

I shall never ever complain about travelling with kids again!

Glad you all got there safely, even if you did smell of cat sick, and hope you'll be very happy in your new home

Leanne said...


I stumbled on your blog recently too... I love reading it. We moved from erts to Somerset last year, and in a trasit van had 5 cats, 2 dalmatians and a whole lot of hens! it took us about 4 and a half hours of sicky pooey travel, and oh the aroma! I cant imagine what a journey to scotland would be like!

wishing you a happy re-settlement there, and I look forward to reading more!
Best wishes Leanne

paper-and-string said...

I'm so excited for you all, it's a very brave thing you have decided to do and I wish your adventure lots of luck. Thanks for sharing, I can't wait for more :-)
sarah xx

Jane said...

It will become the stuff of legend - the beginning of a brand new life.

We were cheering at leaving our last house (psychotic neighbour)but I would hate to leave here.

The first time our middle cat traveled by car she poohed on Euan's head as he drove!

We tend to force all friends to move to Scotland!

Good luck

Miles Away In France said...

I am sooo excited, can't wait to see and hear more about your new life that is just beginnng.

Brings back memories of our move to france, we sedated Belle though so it was less eventful than your journey.


Racheal x

Ragged Roses said...

Something about cats and Clios - all our cats were sick in our old Clio! It does paint a funny picture Tracy - sorry don't mean to laugh as it must have been hellish at the time. When we moved one of our cats went AWOL - M had to stay in our old home (with new owner's permission) until midnight waiting for her to return. Me and the girls moved in by ourselves to a new home with a flooded kitchen. It's funny now .... So looking forward to hearing more of your story
Kim x

Gigibird said...

Having moved in the not too dim and distant past I know exactly how it felt to leave a much loved house but also like you after a few minutes I knew I had made the right decision.
It was very brave of you to have your menagerie in the car... I can almost smell the smell

Chara Michele said...

So glad you arrived safely! Your journey there sounds like quite the journey though! (And I think traveling with just 2 cats is miserable at times:)

Mary D in Texas said...

Reading your story made me giggle remembering my own adventure. We had to evacuate from Hurricane Rita with 4 cats and a dog. We were in our vehicle for 17 hours.
And as you said "never again".

Anna said...

What a nightmare trip - so glad that you've all made it there!

And I managed to inveigle my best friend to move right next door to me, so I'm sure you can lure your friends to Scotland.

claire said...

H Tracey

so pleased you are online again.

I was giggling a lot about your smelly incidents with the animals!!! hee, hee! It wouldn't have been a proper road trip without some poo and vomiting!

Glad you arrived safely and I hate goodbyes too. It's horrible to leave those you love behind.

Lots of love Claire x

P.s I had an escapee from the cat basket once and he very sweetly sat on the back of my seat (it was a Morris Minor). He then weed all down the back of my neck and arm . . . it was a dark winter's night and I was on my own so i couldn't stop!!!!

Vanessa said...

Your car sounds alot like noah's ark, but without the water.

Me & my family went on hoilday to Scotland at the end of June, it was beautiful, you lucky thing!

Hope your getting settled in!

Vanessa x

Rose Vintage said...

Oh Tracy, poor you it must have been the journey from hell! Hope you are all settled now and enjoying the start of your new life. Glad you are back on line and can't wait to hear about your new life in Scotland


buttercup&roses said...

Oh bless you, what a journey you had! It must of been awful, (although I must admit I did giggle alot while reading this!!)...

I wish you and the tribe the very best of luck and hope everything goes well,

Keep us posted (and entertained!)

Best wishes, Jennifer.x

julie said...

what a journey - so glad you all made it though - sounds like you've arrived with smiles on your faces and I'm so happy that you feel a sense of home there already.

carolyn said...

Hey Bracken is a star! Sounds like the journey from hell but you made it, be happy in Scotland.

Rubyred said...

What a nightmare journey,but hey you've made it now!Good luck with your new life in Scotland!Looking forward to seeing some piccies!

Alison said...

What a trip bet you don't want to do that again in a hurry! Have all the animals settled in their new home?
Alison x

Samantha said...

What a journey - but you survived it.

Things can only get better now.

mollycupcakes said...

Hello hun, I've just read your last post and I didn't know weather to laugh or cry at it all. Well done to Bracken what a true posh old lady you are. lol
And bless to all the other animals I guess they where just excitied thats all.

I'm so looking forward to more photos and can't wait to see your rented cottage.

Best wishes to everyone and big hugs x
Catherine and family x

Vintage to Victorian said...

What an achievement to arrive without losing any of the animals!! Have to admit to enjoying your description, but I'm sure it must have been a nightmare in reality!

Good luck in the new (temporary)home - looking forward to seeing life as it is lived north of the border.

Angel Jem said...

I love cats (but would never want to own one) because they are such cantankerous beasts!
At least you didn't have a little old granny in the back of the car... or a rhinocerous...
and at least you arrived after dark so the neighbours couldn't stop to watch and think what on Earth you were doing....
and at least the car didn't break down...
and the cottage at both ends has gone to somebody it will love...
And you're there and you know you're there to stop for a while.
Thank Goodness. If you're like evryone else I know, you will never want to move again.

What did you say? The place is only rented?
You're moving to your proper place in a couple of months?
Oh No! You have to do it all again! (And don't be fooled by the distance; we only moved a mile and a half and it was hell!)

kat-out-of-the-bag said...

And they say never work with children or animals........
Well done for travelling all that way in those circumstances,bless your elderly cat,and the very best of luck in your new home.I'm new to blogging and I enjoyed reading yours.......
Enjoy Scotland,
Kat =^..^=

French Knots said...

I thought you might like to know I have nominated you for an award...the Nice Matters award. Check out my blog if you wish to participate.
I'm sure it'll keep while you get sorted out, build you house and enjoy your new life! Hope the trials of the journey are behind you now and you are relishing your new adventure

Vintage Amethyst said...

Aahhh glad you made it ok, and that you felt happy with the new owners.
Wishing you lots of luck and happiness in your new home and I can't wait to hear more of your new life.
Oh and I've also nominated you for an award, check out my blog to see!
Tee hee!
Alison x

PlantWoman said...

Dear Tracy,

Have only just come across your blog. Very entertaining!

So glad you arrived OK, complete with entourage and in one piece - and very happy that you and Stephen are enjoying life to the full. You sound very busy.

Hawkhurst is strange without Cupcakes. Kass Interiors now occupies the premises, with a little Jack Russell in the window, curled up on a chair. Angel Print and fishing supplies shops are still empty... Trading 4 U about to close down. Life goes on.

Look forward to watching your progress and more news as it happens.

Much love from an old customer,

M xxx