Sep 02 2012

Chaos, stress and a glass of wine

When we first became serious about this adventure in October 2011, we put a date in the diary. The date was today – 2nd September 2012. In some ways it is frightening to think that we should have departed today. But then again, we would have done things differently along the preparation path, so may have indeed been on the ferry tonight instead of in a chaotic house. The date changed for us for all the right reasons, including giving us the chance to be a part of the Adventure Overland Show, so no regrets.

This week has been the epitome of chaos. Again, it is all for the right reasons, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the mind to comprehend. The good news is that the cupboards are getting emptier and emptier. The bad news is that I haven’t managed to sort through everything that is now in piles on the floor, or bursting out of boxes. My nice orderly system a few weeks ago is no more … I only hope that we put the right boxes in the vehicle … Stress levels in the house are soaring – but so far no major fall-out between the explorers. That is the most important.

So what has this week been about?

The removals company has been a major source of both frustration and stress. The costs slowly mount (oh yes, we have negotiated your storage cost, but that didn’t include the insurance, which is the other arm and leg …) and so we are reducing our meagre belongings even further. We are now aiming for under 250 cubic feet. Now, to appreciate this, measure out 6 ft by 6 ft by 7ft high. That is it. The sum total of all our possessions from a 3 bedroom house.  Not a whole lot for 2 people. Anyway, negotiations continue, while we come up with other cunning ideas.

On the upside – the chaos in the house was compounded by the “Grand Central Delivery Depot” that was our house this week. All variety of items were delivered – from our washing machine tub, to business cards, to bicycle spares.  All very necessary for the trip.

We also received the audio files from BBC Surrey. We have uploaded these onto the website (after learning yet more new technology!) so please do have a listen. Remember – no laughing. It was our first time in the studio! Follow the link here.

We listed numerous items on ebay to sell. Mixed success (as always) but importantly, the furniture is selling. Probably faster than hoped, so the bedroom now has piles of clothes that need sorting. All books and CDs are now heading to work with Viking Explorer to see if there are any takers there.

Viking Explorer is also sending a pile of Norwegian books to Den Norske Sjoemannskirke which will be used by the Norwegian community in London.

The sorting continues, and the pile for the “Giant Car Boot Sale” in 2 weeks is growing out of proportion. Me thinks 2 cars will be needed. Anything left will be heading straight to the charity shop.

The first of the 2 other cars looks like it has a new home too. Friends are keen to take it over, but need to sell their little van first. Hopefully that won’t take too long!

I have written and submitted my first guest blog. Hopefully I’ll be successful, and I’ll see my scribings and musings inspiring others to follow their dreams.

I am starting to feel rather exhausted. The end is in sight, so I just have to grit my teeth and carry on for the last bit.

And so, after a busy week, and with a mere 5 weeks left, I think I have earned a glass of wine tonight.


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  1. Et

    When the jobs start getting me down, I read someone else’s travel blog. It gets me motivated again every time. Every now and then I also take stock of what I have already done (especially the admin and vehicle modifications), and then I realise that I have already come MUCH further than I still have to go (before our trip).

  2. patrick gilligan

    Hi you two
    There are two may adjectives to describe what you are doing suffice to say “Magnum Opus ” (great work )
    I will continue the good work at Team Heathrow, by saying goodbye to the Para Olympians next week

  3. Vic

    You two are doing great!! I love the photo of your lounge… Hey, ours looks like that most days!!

  4. Julia

    I feel so excited for you both reading this! In a few short weeks, all of the chaos will be but a distant memory as you are off on the road and living your dream. All strength to you for the last weeks of preparation! x

  5. Joy

    Oh Sheelah… I feel for you having relocated to the Mainland just last month. If it’s any consolation, when you land at the other end and everything is in place, you forget about the frustrations and annoyances ( with the help of more wine :) . Best of luck for the rest of the preparations!

  6. African GirlChild

    @Julia – on a logical level, I know you very right you are. I’ll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about ;) In the meantime, I keep working hard and monitoring stress levels and getting enough sleep. A mere 29 days until we hand our house keys over to the estate agent … Thanks for your support.

  7. African GirlChild

    @Joy – Thanks for the words of wisdom! I need others to remind me I am not going mad and that I will get through it all! The logical side of my brain has no chance when this fiery, stressed persona emerges! But we’ll get there … thanks for your support!

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