I don’t know how the Donner Party did it. It was the biggest move I made, even bigger than emigrating. People tried to warn me, but hey, I am a stay-at-home Mum, so surely I can pack up a house while still doing laundry using a portable washing machine and no-tumble dryer,
Finally we got here with our rented van and four strapping young men — oh, and my hubby. Mind you, at least half of the boxes were sent un-marked even though I was frantically wielding a Sharpie about.
It was a very sad day for me leaving the beautiful skyline behind as we drove tentatively over the Bay Bridge with thoughts of when will I ever see this place again. The next day! We had to go back and clean, eleven hours with a 20-month-old, which wasn’t even necessary as our old landlord didn’t really care what it looked like since he plans to renovate the place and probably bang up the rent by at least $500.
Back again on the Monday just to collect a few last bits, which I was charged a day’s rent for! Cheek of it! I have to admit after spending two nights in our lovely spacious, clean, quiet and sunny Pleasanton home, I absolutely hated going back into San Francisco; the contrast was shocking really.
I am loving Pleasanton, even though lots of people I know said I’d hate it. But you know what? The people here are so friendly and helpful — gosh, one cannot even pop to the store for a soda without bumping into a happy local, willing to offer a helping hand, funny though as no one understands a bloody word I say! It is like landing on the tarmac at SFO all over again. I need to adjust my accent just to get a coffee.
The best bit of all is seeing my little girl run freely around the house shouting “home sweet home” whilst playing her harmonica. Watching her paddle about in her turtle pool in the back yard; helping Mummy water the plants with her frantic splashing. I underestimated the power of the yard, even though I was a gardener for many years back in the U.K. and planned many a kid’s spaces.
Obviously moving in has not all been a bed of roses. The previous tenants had a dog, and as predicted (my favorite saying) the carpet was rank! In fact the kid’s room had one spot which, if I was not mistaken, smelt like a rotting dirty diaper mixed in with a bit of dead rat! This meant three weeks of to-ing and fro-ing with the landlord, three cleaning sessions and eventually a new carpet; which means I am still not quite ready for the family visit this weekend since half of Toys R Us is strewn about the place, along with a small village’s library worth of books and random knick-knacks littering every single surface.
Also I have had to say RIP to most of the veggie starter plants I’d purchased on our second weekend here. I imagined a bed of fresh sun-ripened tomatoes knocking at my salad bowl’s cobwebs by May, but now I have finally sequestered into launching the burnt shriveled up sprouts into the compost bin, or, well, the plastic container I am intending to use as a compost bin but will eventually throw out once the bugs start to annoy.
All in all, I have enjoyed your town so far! Next time I’ll give you some of my English opinions regarding the local eateries, supermarkets, coffee shops, parks and pubs (yeah I have been to two already and let’s just say there was some serious jiving going on at one of the local bars).
Tumble Dryer = Dryer
Bloody – damn (eentsy weentsy curse I suppose)
Tarmac (Tarmacadam) = asphalt? Don’t actually know what the American version is but I just know people give me stranger than usual looks when I come out with this word!
Rank = gross
To-ing and Fro-ing = Back and forth