May 2016 – The Giant Jersey is closed

A Month of Sorting and Packing up all our belongings.

Hi from Gillian and Michael

Yesterday was our last day of trading for “The Giant Jersey” and the “Medieval Mosaic”. We are officially retired but it won’t feel like it until we board the plane. On our last day, we did a major stocktake so that our books could be finalised.

Barb and Steven came down today and we started on the house sorting things into three sections – keep, throw out and sell. Barb used Geraldine Buy, Sell and Swap and over the next few days we sold 2 double beds and the bunk beds, the piano, two desks, the fridge and the washing machine from the back house plus cubby holes from the shop and knitting tables.

We have hired a storage unit from Blairs in Pine St, Geraldine. It is 2.5m wide, 5m long and 3m high and by the end of three weeks it was filled to the gunnels. It was no 13. Initially, we thought it might not take too long but then we started on the shop and Mike had soooo much stuff all over the place there including wood piled in the roof spaces of the mezzanine. We had several garage sales from the shop and sold all sorts of things We sold a lot of our cubby holes and delivered many of them t their new homes. I was worried about having to go through all the books to sell them but in the end, Mike just put the cubby holes into the storage unit and filled them with books so we have kept them all.

Barb took two weeks of annual leave and Steven came down both weekends. We were so grateful as we would have never managed without them. On the second Saturday 7 May, Steven made 69 trips up and down the stairs bringing stuff down!! Yes, he was counting! Like father like son. That evening Steve and Jenny Deans had a pot luck tea for us – Mum, Peter, Dad, Jean, Barb, Steven, Rosa, Bruce, Geoff, Marthy, Pam, Des, Mike, Colette, Steve, Hachi, Rio and Zac all came.

In August 2015 we put our business on the markets as a going concern with P.G.G. There were no enquiries at all. In February we put our house, our rental house, the empty section and the shop on the market with Audre Ramsay at L.J. Hooker. We had four weeks of open homes and then an auction on 14 April. Not a single bid on anything! so we left them on the market but there was very little interest.

On Thursday 12 May, Barb went home to take a couple of days of her annual leave to herself.

Mike wanted my desk to put in the storage unit but I still had to finish the books for the accountant and that job always takes longer than I think it will, especially this time. We were still working everyday sorting and getting stuff into storage and selling stuff. On Tuesday 17 we finally cleared the house and went to Mum’s in Timaru to stay, going into the shop each day. Kane cleaned the carpets in both houses on the 19th.

On Sunday 22 Michael and I had an Apple tree planted at the Peel Forest School as part of the Orchard of Legends Peg Bilbury sponsored us. Sam Lees planted the tree and Nora Coulter one of our knitters and Nola Grundy, the sock lady came to watch the planting. Rosa and Bruce arrived late and the tree had been planted in the wrong place so they replanted it.

I finally finished the books on the 23rd and we got the rest of our belongings into the storage unit including the desk, the big ironing board and various weird shaped things like the vacuum cleaner.

On Tuesday we went to Mt Cook to say goodbye to one of our favourite places in the country.

On Wednesday 25 we loaded the Medieval Mosaic onto the trailer and took the keys around to Audre at the real estate agent. We talked to Lorraine from Mortons about renting the two houses out and took the two houses and the empty section off the market and headed directly to Christchurch.

We took the Medieval Mosaic straight to Menzies at the Christchurch airport for Rohlig Logistics to ship to the UK. We had removed all the glass from the mosaic as the glass added a lot of weight and the chances were that it would be broken in transit anyway. With the 6 boxes loaded onto the pallet, it weighed 429kg and after the customs inspection, it was wrapped in plastic as one shipment for shipping. We spent the rest of the week at Barb’s place.

The following day we returned to Rohlig Logistics to fill in all the paperwork then we went to Broker Web to sort out our insurance policies.

On Thursday 26 Mike and I went geocaching and found 46 caches including all the Horse series that I had completed the puzzles for, near Rangiora. We had lunch in Rangiora and managed to head back into Christchurch right on rush hour. There were road works everywhere but it was a lovely day and our first day off for ages! I think we worked harder in the last three weeks than usual. Roll on retirement!

On Friday we went out geocaching again this time to the West of Christchurch to finish the Smurf series and we found all but two of the Eclipse series. 64 finds in one day and a new record and an awesome day. I wanted to find as many of the puzzles that I had solved as possible as they might not be still available by the time we return to New Zealand. It was beautiful weather and we had lunch in Darfield.

On Saturday 28th it rained so we spent most of the day moving stuff onto the two hard drives that we were taking with us. We brought a new 4 TB hard drive for me. In the afternoon we took the car to Turners auctions to sell our car. It is 20 years old with 322,633 km on the clock. They gave us $200 despite the fact that the petrol tank was full and was worth nearly half that amount. Anyway, there wasn’t anything else we could do so we accepted the offer. Steven came over at 4 pm and we played games all evening particularly Dominion which we all like as every game is different from the last.

On Sunday 29th Steven came over at about 10 am and we all drove in his car to Ashburton where we met Mum, Peter, Dad and Jean at the Lake Hood Restaurant. We had a lovely meal and they gave us each a pounamu necklace which they all touched. We wore them a lot while we were away and they always reminded us of our family. Barb told us all about the wearing of pounamu and how it must always be given away, not purchased for oneself. She got quite teary. Poor Barb she is going to miss us a lot as we will her. After the meal, we drove around the lake doing four new geocaches. After we drove home we played more games, this time Carcasonne. Steven went home around 8 and we got our suitcases out and we packed, weighed and packed again then placed them by the front door ready to go. We continued to fill the new hard drive with talking books and a few series.