The big move – Part 1

I know, I know… it’s been so long since I last wrote anything. Still, in all that time we have packed up in the UK and moved half way across the world, found somewhere to live and finally managed to get internet access. We have no belongings yet, other than the things we brought with us in suitcases or what I have had to go out and buy, just so we can manage.

The story, so far, then, or at least the first part of it….. those last few weeks in the UK were a chaotic scramble as I worked up until the last fortnight and the Bear was away for most of the time.  I managed to sell my house in the north and we brought the contents to Nottingham. What that meant, of course, was that I then had double the kitchen equipment and friends were given box loads of the spare stuff. I had to empty the cupboards of all my spices and ingredients, all those delicious things I had collected  on my travels and hadn’t used up and still the kitchen was overflowing with plates, cutlery and equipment.








It all had to be packed away…..










 The pile of boxes stood taller than me and filled the kitchen area








And the living space… and that was just upstairs. Downstairs was just as bad. Boxes everwhere we looked and it wasn’t as if we were taking furniture apart from a bed, a desk and a chair. All of that was just things….








Boxes and boxes of things








 That all had to be packed into the sea container, ready for the long journey from the UK to Malaysia.

Eventually it was all done and we could look  around at our empty apartment.








That was my kitchen – so small and yet so much went on in there. I always called it a Footballer’s Wife of a kitchen – pretty to look at but precious little to recommend it in real life.  It was badly planned, with the small fridge and freezer on either side of the oven and the drawers where you would keep cutlery and Stuff at the very end of the workbench, as far as you could get from where you would need it. 

(Everyone has a Stuff Drawer – it’s where you put bits of string in case you need to tie anything up, or where your Swiss Army penknife goes, just in case you meet a horse with a stone in its shoe and where you put the collection of red rubber bands the postman drops outside the letterbox because he can’t, quite frankly, be bothered to put them in his pocket. Stuff. It collects everywhere and needs a drawer of its own. I bet you all have a Stuff Drawer)

When I look at that kitchen I think of how much more I want from a kitchen. I want the space I’ll be working in to be away from the sink which is jammed in a corner. I can’t count the times The Bear has come over and wanted a cup of tea when I was trying to work .  I want a fridge that I can stand at and look into, rather than having to kneel on the floor and practice advanced packing techniques to get the bare necessities in there. To be fair to the planners though, they probably weren’t thinking of me when they did the apartment, they probably thought the people living in there would go out to eat all the time.

When we moved in, the person we bought the place from had left a huge pile of takeaway menus and the oven had never been used.

I really want gas – that electric hob has been the bane of my life because I love the speed and responsiveness of gas. We always planned to put an induction hob in but we just didn’t get around to it. We had just decided to go and get one in the sales when the Bear  got this new job in Malaysia.

I want more storage space – we did build a larder when we moved in, where there was some wasted space at the top of the stairs, but I want more cupboards to put things away easily.

As Bear says, all I’m saying is “I want… I want”  but I was determined that I  would think of all this when I went looking for a new place. The kitchen is probably the most important place for me and while I can, and have cooked quite successfully in that tiny space, if I can get somewhere better then I should.

The apartment looked empty now – well, empty of boxes, anyway










We were leaving our furniture behind and the plan was we would rent out our place and then rent an apartment in KL. On our first trip out we had looked at some condos and a lot of them were available furnished so we thought that might do us. We didn’t have anywhere sorted but at least we had an idea which part of the city we wanted to live in and the type of place that would suit us. Besides, our container wouldn’t arrive for a good six weeks after we got there so there would be planty of time to sort all of that out.








We stood on the balcony and looked out over the city for the last time, wondering what the view from our window would be in Malaysia.










We headed back to the north to say goodbye to the family

and then we turned round and drove away……