Here is a list of our daily doings in order to achieve our goal of getting to the UK and living aboard our Narrowboat ! Here goes ...
Pre 2012 --- in March 2011, we had the animals vaccinated for rabies, a month later they were all tested to ensure they had raised antibodies for Rabies ... however, Jaffa (cat) failed, so that delayed our departure by a month. In 2011 the rules were that animals had their Rabies jabs and then waited 6 months before they could be issued their pet passports ... now in 2012, they only have to wait 3 weeks !
We also put the house on the market in March 2011 - we had one potential buyer but they wanted to move in earlier than we could leave (because of the Rabies - animals stuff ... so we lost them. After that, the house was on the market continually --- not one serious buyer - until Feb 11, 2012 ! She signed the contract on that day and we signed our contract on Feb 12, 2012. We have GO !!!
Friday, 10 Feb 2012 - checked out pet transport. The animals are all well-ready to go now, so no problems there. Got a quote for the 5 pets - $4400. The lady at the pet transport company (skypets) told me that when the animals arrive at Heathrow, there is still a 4 hour processing time before you can get them - so we decided to fly out a day earlier than the animals and stay in a hotel overnight, to get our heads together. We will then rent a van to pick them all up and take them to Macclesfield, where we will stay with my (Elaine's) dad for a few days ... poor Daddy !
I also rang the vets --- they are sooo helpful - we just have to make sure we have all the paperwork in order to give to the pet transport people, so they can liaise with the Australian Quarantine Service. (We were originally going to do it ourselves - ie, you have to take the animals for a health check within 48 hours of flying, and then take the paperwork to the Quarantine Services to get it all authorised - but now we are going to get the pet transport people to do it for us - so much easier!)
Saturday, 11 Feb 2012 - we signed our contracts - so we have the green light. We have a 42 day settlement period and will move out on Thurs 22 March. We will then move into Paul's work's warehouse for a few days - thank God, for Paul's boss ! He did say we could stay at his house ... but, as ever, we just have too many animals. So, we will literally just move into the warehouse / office with an old bed, our suitcases, the animals, animal food and kitty litter!
We will try to fly out on Wed 28th, this means that we will say goodbye to the animals the day before probably. We will arrive in the UK on Thurs 29th and go and either stay in a hotel for the day and night - or go to Paul's Mums in Milton Keynes. The animals will follow us and arrive on the Friday morning ... well that is the plan !!!!
OK - so that's the progress to date ... following I will just write what we do on a daily basis .. it will be interesting to look back on in years to come !
- Yesterday I also ordered 3 cat collars, 5 new animal tags with UK tel nos on them and also some Feliway and Adaptil - products to calm the animals down. I will spray these in the crates when we get them from the pet transport people - so they have a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling about the crates and don't hate them too much !
- Today I ordered two memorial plaques to leave in our garden when we go. One for our dear old dog, Byron and one for our naughty Bella Bunny ...:( It will be sad leaving them ...
On Saturday afternoon I pulled out the contents of the filing cabinet ... oh soooo much stuff! We had some bills going back to 2000 ! So I chucked all those into a box ready for shredding !
On Sunday 12 Feb 2012 we wandered round aimlessly for a few hours - not quite knowing where to start ! Paul made a little start on his wardrobe and put a few clothes into the charity bag. Finally we got the shredding and went up to Paul's work with it. It was a very cathartic process shredding our past! I also shredded a lot of my course notes from when I was studying all those years back ... it was funny to briefly revisit them before they got shredded into oblivion ! We got a fair bit done and then filled up the shredding bin to capacity so had to give it up for the day. I will do the rest when we go and stay up there on the last few days ... when I have not too much to do !
Sunday afternoon I decided the best way to start was to pack my suitcase for the UK! So I did that and then put the rest of my clothes into bags, for shipping. I have still have some in my wardrobe but we don't need too many clothes at this time of year ! I also packed up some other bits and bobs that will have to be stored. We will have to decide on what shipping agents to use, so we can get some proper boxes and pack properly!
Monday morning 13 Feb 12 I decided to send out an email to all my clients, letting them know that I wasn't going to take any more bookings, but honouring the bookings that are already made - that took me a while, but was a good process to go through, in gradually letting go of what we have here ...
The animal transport people were back in touch also on Monday morning, so we sorted out some dates with them ...
I didn't get much more done on Monday - apart from pulling the computer out of its cabinet and putting it on a temporary table ... the reason being that I needed to take some pics of the cabinet to put on Ebay ... but when Paul got home he told me he is undecided about keeping them again ... aaaarrgh !
Tuesday 14 Feb 12 - today I received the new cat collars and tags in the mail ! Our cats will hate wearing collars again, but they must ! I moved the computer cabinet out of the study room (as it is now empty and taking up space!) Still don't know if we are going to sell it or not ... it is nice stuff but is fairly big so may not be suitable in a new place if it is smaller than here in the future !
I had a few massages to do today so didn't get too much else done but I did call in the vets to get all the rabies paperwork in order for the pet transport people.