And so I came home laden with flowers and chocolates, scented candles, a lovely handmade notebook, a VERY generous garden voucher and many cards saying some jolly nice things which made me blush and wonder if they had been presented to the right person. I will miss the school - it has spirit and soul and the staff are an inspiration. And whilst the children, on occasion, can drive the sanest of teacher teetering near the edge, they mostly have kind hearts and are, after all, just being children with their excitable, chattery joie de vivre ways.
It has been an emotional week all round. And if I had thought about it, and checked my almanac properly then it would not have been such a surprise that it was thus. Flippin' Mercury in retrograde again, you see. Nothing goes according to plan when Mercury is in retrograde. The best thing to do at times like this is to finish off existing projects, go with the flow, and avoid anything to do with contracts. Which is tricky when one is trying to buy and sell houses.
However, Mercury got his backside heading in the right direction this week and so things have started shifting forwards again. We have stuck to our guns, having both developed an armour of belligerence that we are fed up with being the accommodating ones, the ones who back down and step off the pavement and into the road, so to speak. After formulating Plan B, which was basically go ahead with our sale and then live in a tent with a cat and two hens until our purchase was ready to go through, we implemented Plan A which was basically, 'We have always said we wanted to move at the end of May, and we have been patient and accommodating, and we are not the ones who have been deceitful so we are sticking to our guns and NOT agreeing to the end of June. YOU caused the problem - YOU live with the consequences and put yourselves out.' (It was a long-winded Plan A!)
And then on Wednesday our solicitor got a letter from the vendors' solicitor - how about we complete on 7th June?
'Yes!' we all shouted. 'Yes!!'
Hurrah, we thought. 7th June! It is there, written in a letter.
Then on Thursday, the vendors' estate agent (they of words of deceit and smiling faces of snakes) phoned and said, 'Errr...is there any flexibilty on the completion date? Our clients are on holiday and would still like to complete at the end of June.'
On holiday? Who goes on holiday in the middle of buying and selling a house? (Our buyers are going on holiday next week, too....weird.) And flexibility?? Flexibility indeed....HA!
'No!' we said. (Or rather, Andy said. I was at work being oblivious.) 'NO flexibility. Your clients' solicitor were the ones who suggested 7th and THAT is what we are going for.'
But even though we had been firm and resolved, the elephant of doubt was back in the room.
And then today - another email from the vendors' solicitor. The 7th is agreed!
We should be exchanging next Tuesday/ Wednesday and then I can book the removal firm. Not out of the woods yet, but then is anyone until they are making a cup of tea in their new home? But this weekend looks more promising on the relaxing and fun front than last weekend when we thought everything was going to collapse like a soufflé in a snowstorm.
Thank you for all the messages of support. I know that in the Grand Scheme of Life, our bothers and fusses are minimal compared to the real sufferings of others. And we know we are lucky to own our own home and be healthy and capable and generally in charge of our lives. But, oh - has it been an uncomfortable and anxious few days.
Yet the days have been balanced with love and little acts of kindness too, as Andy and I leave our jobs and prepare to step into something new. And the lesson learned? All balances out in life. It is just developing the skills to be able to see the whole picture and not get in a stew about the occasional blemish.