Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

Everyday experiences with twins. The ups, downs and downright unexpected.

Turns out, we’re too big for a container too… March 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 9:28 am
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For some time now, twinsdaddy and I been debating when is the right time to say farewell to Dubai and head home to England. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 10 years since we headed off to Singapore on our first expat adventure.

In the last decade we’ve lived and worked in Asia, the UK and the Middle East and moved house more times than we care to remember. We always knew we’d end up back in England and after many years away, it’s finally time to go home.

Now this is all very exciting and will no doubt form the subject matter for many posts over the coming months; but as a follow-up to being too big for a hotel room; I’ve just discovered, we’re also too big for a 40ft container. And frankly, that’s a bit of a worry.

Fearing that we may have accumulated some ‘stuff’ over the last four years, and knowing we’d arrived here with an almost full container, I thought I’d better get the experts round to assess the situation accurately.

My worst scenario was confirmed in a 30 second phone call earlier today when J happily informed me that yes, our belongings comfortably exceed the 60 cubic metres of a 40 ft shipping (or maybe that should read shopping) container.

“Have you accumulated much since you’ve been in Dubai?”, she merrily trilled down the phone?

Well yes actually. Twins.

How many cubic meters do they take up?


Finally… October 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 9:26 am
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It is official. We are no longer homeless.

Ok, so we were never actually homeless, but for the past few months, we have been in-between houses having sold our last home in the UK, but struggled to complete on the deal for the new place. For the first time in 13 years, we didn’t own our own home and it was a very unsettling feeling.

We’ve always maintained that wherever we are in the world, if we are all together, then that’s home. But the reality is, however much we enjoy our expat perks, we will forever be drawn back to the UK and when we talk about home, it’s not Dubai, but England that we refer to.

I don’t know how long we will stay here in the Middle East and when we will return to the UK, but there is a huge sense of relief that when we do decide to leave the sandpit, we know exactly where we are going back to. I know what our home looks like, where it is situated and which schools the children will attend.

If I’m honest, I’ve also mentally redesigned the kitchen and all the bathrooms, re-decorated every room and am now thinking of curtain options.

We’ve thoroughly tested our new ‘local’ in the village, I’ve checked that Waitrose do deliver to the new address (no, I won’t be shopping in Daylesford!) and we’ve decided where the cat flap needs installing so we can reclaim our lovely moggy Freddie, who has been fostered by my parents since the Arabian Adventure began.

If the last few weeks have taught me anything, it has been that I will NEVER again move house. The road to our dream Cotswold home has been long and painful. We have dealt with lies, greed, dishonesty and selfishness by the bucket load. We had a crooked estate agent and deceitful vendors. Throw into the mix that we’re about 3500 miles away, and you can appreciate that the entire experience was a little testing.

At one point last week, my other half was threatening to board a plane and insert large blunt objects into one chosen individual at our favourite estate agency, Knight Frank-ly Useless. He wasn’t especially complementary about the vendors either, but we were working on the basis that hospitalising them wouldn’t help us to secure the property. It was still incredibly tempting though.

When the call finally came through that legally there was no going back, I’m not sure that either of us fully grasped the situation. We had a bloody large drink each and sat with silly grins on our faces.

If the truth be told, I’m still grinning.


To sell or not to sell? April 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 9:29 am
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Given the number of times we’ve moved house, you’d think we’d be pros at the whole buying and selling lark. Yet every time we’re in the position to either buy or sell a property, we become indecisive wrecks.

I put this down to the fact that I find the experience very emotive. When viewing houses, I have an instinct that generally cuts in within seconds of stepping across the threshold. If I don’t get that feeling, then the house is off the list, out of the question, not worth looking around a second longer. It drives my husband insane.

Likewise I am very protective of the home that we currently own. I can accept that it is not perfect, that it would not suit everybody, but to me, it’s a fabulous house which I love and more importantly, holds lots of great memories. And anyone looking round it had better agree with me!

We’ve just put said house on the market. It went ‘live’ on all the key websites on Friday morning. By close of play Friday we had 5 viewings scheduled for the weekend. I knew we’d priced it too low!

Anyway, our agents are actually pretty good (though I’d never tell them this) and by Monday lunchtime, we had an email detailing the prospects who’d viewed together with their feedback.

This is the bit I hate. How dare anyone say that they’ve found a fault with my house. They should be extremely grateful to be given the chance of viewing it at all! Again, my husband despairs.

And then comes the interesting bit, of the 5 that viewed, 2 parties are ‘very interested’.  Hmmm. This gets us both thinking. Could we actually be in for an easy ride this time? Are we about to sell our house?

An hour later, an offer comes in. It is below the asking price though not embarrassingly so. And so the games begin.

My husband and I spend the best part of an hour second guessing exactly what the prospective buyers are thinking. Bearing in mind we know nothing about them other than their surname and that they are in ‘a position to proceed’; all we’re actually doing is speculating on the financial position and emotional attachment to our house of two complete strangers. We’d do just as well to go out onto the streets of Dubai and ask the first person we see how much they’d offer for our house.

So do we accept and then spend the next few weeks grumbling about how we wish we’d held out for more? Or do we thank them politely for their kind offer but explain very gently, that we just feel that it’s not high enough?

There are 2 further viewings already in the pipeline. Could they be the ones.

I just don’t know. It’s like playing poker without knowing what your own cards are, let alone anyone elses.

I say this every time, but this time I really mean it. Never again!