2009 what a year… Bookmark and Share

Saturday, January 9, 2010

So I thought I’d just pop something on my blog to mark another year passing and the beginning of what I hope will be an exciting 2010!

Last year was a year of huge change. First of all I quit my job of 13 years! It’s quite well known that I’ve been wanting leave my job ever since about the second week of starting there. So, after 13 years, I finally did it. It was a job I fell into rather than planned, and I can honestly say that the subject matter bored the liver out of me (computer networks) so it was only the people and the money that kept me there so long. In the end I just had to get out of there for my own sanity. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours per day, wishing you were somewhere else, and having absolutely zero interest in the projects, or technology I was dealing with, was giving me a real headache. So, when the opportunity came to change my life, I handed in my notice.

Then came the purchase of the new house in Sweden. This was pretty stressful, because the house was well sort after, and we were in a bidding war with other people who also desperately wanted to buy it. After several weeks, and some very tense nail biting critical days, we finally managed to secure the house and get a deposit on it. I was now the proud home owner of two houses, one in England and one in Sweden. But I was also jobless, so it was vital that we acted fast and sold the house in England and moved over to Sweden to start earning money.

Selling the house I’d lived in for over 7 years, redeveloped, decorated, and got just how we wanted it, wasn’t too difficult really. I didn’t really have any strong emotional connections with the house, because I only ever bought it as a stop-gap. I purchased it at the start of the house price boom in the UK in early 2000. Having missed out on a previous larger home, I was desperate to grab a house, almost any house, so that I could move out of my temporary lodgings at my best friends mum’s house (long story). I should’ve only lodged there a month or so, but, because of the house price boom it turned into six months or more whilst I struggled to get somewhere suitable. I enjoyed it hugely, but I didn’t want to outstay my welcome and knew I had to buy my own house fast. So, I ended up buying a small square box, built in the late 80’s, with three tiny bedrooms, a tiny bathroom, and a lounge and kitchen. Looking back it was a great house for one person, but for two or family it was far too squashed. And it had ZERO character. So, whilst I managed to get it looking quite modern and open-plan, with the help of Dave, it was never really a house we could say we ‘loved’.

One thing that really went against us with all the planning for the move to Sweden, was that the UK was experiencing a huge economic downturn, and house prices plummeted just at the point I was preparing to sell. As such, I sold the house in England at the pit of a house price crash. Not ideal. But over the 7 years I owned it, I still got back twice what I had paid for it originally, so I couldn’t moan too much. I also had to be thankful that I managed to sell at all. Many of our friends told us stories of having their houses on the market for over a year! This would’ve been a complete disaster for us, trying to run two mortgages having already given up my job.

So late summer 2009, the house sold, to a first time buyer who could move in whenever we were ready to move out. It couldn’t have been more perfect. They purchased a few items from the house like the TV and some furniture, so we had less to transport over to Sweden, and they moved in on the afternoon as we moved out.

So October came and I emigrated to Sweden.

It was a very emotional time, with all the big life changes and saying goodbye to some life long friends and my family, but, I knew it was something that felt right and I remained positive about. After all, I hated my job and longed for a more relaxed life in the country… something that I couldn’t afford in the UK. Sweden could offer this lifestyle to us, and we already had some friends out there to help us settle in and not turn into hermits!!

I’ve now been here for 3 months. And apart from the odd stress and strain of moving into an old house in need of complete renovation (like the heating system packing up in the middle of one of the coldest winters in years and some cracks in the walls where the wind whistles through… etc), I’ve been really happy.

I’m now looking forward to Spring, where some of the outdoor jobs can be started and our new business can take off. Dave’s been working hard getting all the legal forms filled in to create the new business, whilst I’ve been working on the house and going to Swedish language school. Hopefully as the winter draws to an end here, we’ll be ready to start earning money! The plans for the business are quite big, and challenging, but it’s something I hope will be really pleasurable to work with – unlike my previous job!

Just now, I’m doing some side jobs to get a bit of extra money in (freelance website design), and I’m working on the design of our new business logo, website, etc. As soon as the weather picks up, it’ll be time to get the stables renovated and converted for the new business premises. Very exciting stuff!

And finally, hopefully, the exchange rate between the British Pound and the Swedish Krona, might improve… PLEEEEASE! So we can move over the bulk of our money from the house sale, and start to renovate the house here… starting firstly with a new kitchen and utility room, followed by a new bathroom hopefully. So everyone reading this, please cross your fingers… go on now… do it…. and hope and/or pray that the exchange rate improves for us. Our money is stuck in the UK until the rate improves because if we move it over now, we’ll loose thousands of pounds. Not something that we can afford to do just now!

Thanks for reading. I hope 2010 is just as exciting as 2009 was, but perhaps a little less stressful!

I also hope that friends and family are going to visit come spring / summer! Hint hint.

Happy New Year to you, and good luck in your adventures in 2010.

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Comments (1)


  1. Shaun Jayne & Alex Wallhead says:

    Fancy your heating breaking down and your friendly heating engineer miles away in the UK ! Happy New Years xxx

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