Ionia Guest House

Luxury accommodation in the Aegean countryside

Tag: moving

Container day 2: the return

We had an exciting milestone when our shipping container finally arrived the other day. It certainly took the long way around: from Southampton to Hamburg, and then to Port Said in Egypt, where it changed ships before sailing to Istanbul and then back down to Izmir. I hope it had a good time…

I was off with Molly at the vet clinic when the truck arrived, so Sirem had the frantic job of telling the removal guys which box goes where. I think we had more than 100 items total, so it was tough to keep track of everything. Stuff that was urgent (kitchen things for example) sat in the courtyard, while boxes we’re not going to open for a while (books, blankets) went into the barn.

Boxes stacked in the courtyard.

Boxes stacked in the courtyard.

Not sure what we would do without the barn for storage.

Not sure what we would do for storage without the barn.

Clay pot was the only breakage so far: not bad.

Clay pot was the only breakage so far: not bad.

It’s a strange feeling getting to see all your belongings after seven weeks without them. After all this time sitting on plastic patio chairs, we were very happy to sit in some comfy reclining chairs again. And the dishwasher and washing machine were opened and connected up with great urgency and enthusiasm.

The boxes people open first say a lot about what they've missed most...

The boxes you open first say a lot about what you’ve missed most…

We have a dishwasher and a washing machine! It's starting to feel like a real kitchen. (The sink is still outside though.)

We have a dishwasher and a washing machine! It’s starting to feel like a real kitchen. (The sink is still outside though.)

Şurup was very impressed with how comfortable cushions on a sofa can be.

Şurup was very impressed with how comfortable cushions on a sofa can be.

So the place is starting to feel less like camping and more like a home. A few more jobs to go: the kitchen cabinets, tiling the bedrooms, etc. But we’re getting there. And we’re conscious of all the real work waiting for us up in the orchard.

What else can I tell you? It’s late September now and the weather is just starting to turn. The daily high temperature is about 30 rather than 35 or 40. Much nicer for getting work done.

Also, I don’t want to give the impression that it is always sunny here. Only about 95% of the time. 🙂 In fact we had our second thunderstorm a couple of days ago: a short, intense burst of rain and thankfully no leaking roofs. And here’s a shot of a beautiful cloud-streaked sky at sunset.

It's not all sunny days: very occasionally we have clouds.

It’s not all sunny days: very occasionally we have clouds.

 

Container day

You know you’re really going when three men turn up to put everything you own into boxes or bubble-wrap, and then a huge truck parks outside your house. The guys from Robinsons were extremely professional, though, and packed every last plate and glass a lot better and a lot faster than we could have.

Boxes in the spare bedroom

Boxes in the spare bedroom

We had been told that our stuff would just about fit into a 20-foot (6.1 metres) container but we didn’t realize how close it would be. It’s lucky that we took so many loads to the recycling centre, as in the end we had to leave out an exercise bike, some flower pots, and an old office chair. The container was that full. Still, at least this means there’s no room for anything to slide around during transit!

Loading the container

Loading the container

So now it’s all gone and we are (briefly) living in a very empty and echoing house. Just some cleaning up to do today, and then we’re ready to fly on Friday.

If the ships sinks, this is the last we will see of it...

If the ship sinks, this is the last we will see of our belongings…

A farewell to Hampshire

Time flies.  There’s now less than a week to go before the removal company comes to take all our worldly goods away. So we’re frantically preparing by making an inventory for the insurance: how much does it cost to replace an ageing CD collection or a drawer full of mismatched socks? We’re recycling junk from the attic, based on the theory that a box you haven’t opened in seven years probably doesn’t have anything in it that you really needed.  And working our way down that long, tedious to-do list that all movers have to deal with: banks, phone, internet, gas, electricity, driving licence, etc.

We found out today that our shipping container will be travelling on the 366-metre-long Hamburg Express, direct from Southampton to İzmir.  Here’s hoping our box doesn’t fall off the side.

The ship that will take our furniture to Turkey.

The ship that will take our furniture to Turkey (credit to Herbert Sommer and MarineTraffic).

Before we go, we want to thank all of our friends, neighbours, and colleagues for the warm send-offs we’ve been given. You have all been incredibly thoughtful. We’re determined to get out to Turkey and to start this new chapter in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we won’t miss you.

And some days it seems as though even the British weather is trying to convince us to stay. I took this shot of a double rainbow from our back garden a few days ago. If Southampton always looked like this after rain, we might have had a tougher decision on our hands.

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Double rainbow from our garden in Southampton.

First shots of the farmhouse

Grape vines growing over the courtyard

Under the vines

Back in March we bought the orchard and the farmhouse. The previous owners moved out in April, and so the house has been empty for a while. We can’t wait to get out there ourselves, but in the meantime my mum and dad have very kindly travelled down from Istanbul to check things out for us. The garden has grown like crazy and there were a lot of leaves to sweep up, plus a bird seems to have made a nest in the kitchen, but apart from that no problems! There’s fruit growing all over the place: limes, pomegranates, pears, plums, and of course figs.

drive

Dad hosing down the driveway

Here are a couple of photos my parents sent us. We love the way the grape vines have grown to shade the courtyard: they were just bare vines when we saw them in March.

Why Turkey?

Right now we’re still in the UK, but our plans for the big move are firming up. Sirem has left her job and I am in the last few weeks of mine. All our furniture will be stuffed into a shipping container and sent by sea on the 15th of July. We should be completing the house sale on the 18th of July, and will fly out to Turkey on the same day. The cats will be going ahead of us, travelling overland across Europe with the help of the nice people at Paws Kennels and Cattery.

Once we’re out there, and once we get our internet connection sorted out, the blog will get a lot more practical. We’ve got some immediate jobs to do like modernizing the bathroom in the old farmhouse, digging drainage ditches up in the orchard, and harvesting our first batch of figs. All that should mean lots of progress photos, of course.

In the meantime, some friends have asked why we’ve chosen southwest Turkey for our big plan. I think the easiest way to answer that is with some photos from previous visits.

Restaurant in Kirazlı, about 20km from our place

Köy Sofrası restaurant in Kirazlı, about 20km from our place

Valley in the hills nearby

Valley in the hills nearby

Gület (yacht) moored in beautiful Aegean waters

Gület (yacht) moored in beautiful Aegean waters

View from a hilltop looking out towards the Greek islands

View from a hilltop looking out towards the Greek islands

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