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
1 litter tray
last minute items from the house
all in a renault clio........
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..........