Evolving a Story

It started with my first Skyrim save.

I started playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim blind. The game had been recommended to me by several friends who were sure that I would love it, and they were quickly proven right. I was gripped by the ruthlessness in which I was thrust into this new world; a prisoner being taken to their execution. A dragon interrupted the proceedings and set in motion the most immersive “tutorial” I’ve ever played.

My story, working title Dragon Soul, started as the backstory of my character. My High Elf character, or Altmer as they are known, grew up with her mother and grandmother. They had fled the oppression of the Summerset Isles and practised healing magic in villages and hamlets. My character fell in love with a human and they were happy for a time. Until the influence of an Elven supremacist faction, the Thalmor, grew and they were discovered. My lover was killed under the pretence of heresy, and my family too for harbouring a fugitive. I escaped and was caught up in an ambush near the border.  This took me up to the start of Skyrim and the rest of the story I played out in-game.

Only, my story kept playing round and round in my head. It took on a life of my own and I started to write it down. It soon became its own story, coming free of the world of Skyrim and Tamriel. The mother and grandmother, previously just foils for my characters tragedy, developed lives and pasts of their own. At this point, my story stopped being my Skyrim backstory and started to become Dragon Soul.

I completed my handwritten draft of Dragon Soul, removing the human lover and instead focusing on the family relationships. Their world and story expanded as I wrote, and the ending changed. The story evolved again until the title Dragon Soul became obsolete and seemed derivative of the Dragonborn questline.  By now, I had not one short story but three stories spanning back multiple generations.  Each of my characters developed their own set of powers, strengths and arcs.  The political climate has shifted, away from Skyrim and it’s Thalmor problem.

It started off as a Skyrim story, but it has become so much more than that.

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‘Dead Ends’ by Tony Moyle. Book Three in ‘How to Survive the Afterlife’

Dead Ends is the third addition to the How to Survive the Afterlife series by Tony Moyle. Moyle continues to playfully explore the nature of life after death, in a thought-provoking and humorous way. There is plenty to reflect on without Dead Ends ever feeling heavy or overly moralistic. If you haven’t already, read my review on Moyle’s previous work and catch up on the series so far. I’ve been an avid reader of this series since book one, and this volume does not disappoint.
This book reacquaints readers with old favourites and some new characters, tying together the events of the first two books with an excellent conclusion. Dead Ends does not disappoint. Moyle continued to exhibit his characteristic creative flair with the introduction of Neutopia, populated by origami-based keepers who create an afterlife of paper-mache.

Moyle extends on his previous analogy of Hell being a slow and ineffective bureaucracy, extending this into Heaven and into Life. As the endgame approaches, humanity is paralysed by bureaucratic motions and international summits that is both amusing and relatable. The clock is ticking down to the final hour as the characters navigate through the diplomatic obstacles and a war of Godly proportions. Moyle builds suspense by contrasting the epic quest to save humanity with the mundane. This serves as a satirical mirror through which we can observe the world around us.

I highly recommend Dead Ends, giving it five out of five stars.

‘The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One of the Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R. Tolkien

I’ve been a fan of the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) films since I was a child, but I’ve never read the books before.  I thumbed through a copy of The Hobbit, but I didn’t enjoy it. Then Callum brought me a copy of The Silmarillion, the story of the origins of Middle Earth.  So, I’ve decided to read the trilogy for the first time. I did attempt to live-tweet my reactions, but they felt flat when I had limited internet access after moving house.  Besides, I don’t think anyone else would really want to read that!

I’ve finished Fellowship of the Ring now and I’m taking a break before picking up The Two Towers.  I found it an enjoyable read, even if the beginning was rather slow.  It seemed that Gandalf’s purpose in the opening chapters was to expedite exposition and that amounted to a lot of chatter from him. Still, it was interesting observee Frodo’s development as he left the comfort zone of all he knew, without Bilbo and Gandalf to guide him.

The early chapters of the Hobbits’ adventure seemed to consist mostly of ambling into danger and being saved by a well-meaning stranger and settling down with a large, sumptuous supper and a warm bed.  This contrasts with the conditions of the Hobbits’ face later, when the harsh realities of Frodo’s are driven home.  Over time, the Hobbits’ abandon their naivety and begin to see the dangers that lurk around them.

The Fellowship epitomises a sense of comradery in the face of adversity.  Rival races and tribes come to together to cast aside old rivalries to join the common goal of defeating the forces of evil.  On their journey, each character takes turns to shine and be the guiding figure.

I found that I related strongly to Galdriel’s speech when she was offered The Ring by Frodo.  Sometimes, I reflect on the world and the things that I consider wrong.  I suspect that if ever I, or indeed most of us, were offered absolute power that the power would corrupt us, and lead to yet more wrongs, even if our intentions were pure.  After all, there is both darkness and light in all of us, with no one person being truly “good” or “bad”.  My perception of The Lord of the Rings was deeply challenged; I had expected a story of good triumphing over evil and I was reading a tale of greater moral complexity, where the heroes could easily become the villains in a moment of weakness.

“In the place of a Dark Lord you will set up a Queen.  And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night!  Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain!  Dreadful as the Storm and Lightning!  Stronger than the foundations of the earth,  All shall love me and despair!”

The Mirror of Galadriel, The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R.Tolkien

The real emotional rollercoaster came during the scene whereby Gandalf engaged in battle with the Balrog.  Gandalf gallantly challenged the mighty beast that would have been certain to have killed his companions, at great cost to himself.  This was where Gandalf the Waffler became Gandalf the Grey for me, ironic really if you know anything at all about his later development in the Trilogy.  This scene was one of Tolkein’s crowning jewels in The Fellowship, with Gandalf channelling an awesome power rivalling the Balrog’s.  Tolkien showed his mastery in the execution of the emotional highs and lows, the awe and the fear, that he inspired in me. Tears well in my eyes as the Balrog’s whip wrapped around Galdalf and pulled him into the darkness.

The Balrog reached the bridge.  Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white.  His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow it about reached out like two vast wings.  It raised the whip, and the thongs whined and cracked.  Fire came from its nostrils.  But Gandalf stood firm.

“You cannot pass,” he said.  The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell.  “I am the servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor.  You cannot pass.  The dark fire will not avail you, Flame of Udun.  Go back to the shadow! You cannot pass.”

The Bridge of Khazad-Dum, The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R.Tolkien

After years of believing that I wouldn’t enjoy Tolkien’s writing style, even if I enjoyed the story of The Lord of the Rings, I was glad that I approached this book with an open mind.  I was pleasantly surprised and I look forward to reading the next instalment.

The Brine Shrimp Project – The Final Update

I have sad news about my little Brine Shrimp, as you may be able to tell from this blog title.  There were only three naupauli alive in my last post.  I strongly suspected that a bacteria had gotten in my tank and had caused the mass die off.

Another Sea Monkey enthusiast reached out to me through Instagram and reccommended that I change how I was aerating the tank.  At this point I had two Brine Shrimp remaining and felt like I had nothing to lose.  I changed from blowing bubbles through a syringe to tipping the water into a cup and back into the tank.  This disturbed the debris but did not seem to cause my remaining shrimps any immediate harm.  In fact, they seemed to perk up and began rooting in falling algae and debris at the bottom of the tank.  Perhaps there was hope afterall!

I went on YouTube and looked up DIY hatcherys, but they all seemed to focus more on raising large amounts for the purpose of feeding fish.  They didn’t seem to be a long-term home.  Other Sea Monkey or Aqua Dragon enthusiasts were setting up tanks to give their Shrimp long and healthy lives.  I considered going to my local pet shop and buying a small fish tank, complete with a filter and airstone to ensure that my two remaining would have adequate access to oxygen.  However, I would need to make sure the saline levels were right (aaah!) and buy some more eggs.  I couldn’t shake the suspicion that they were suffering from a bacterial infection.  In the end, my mind was made up when I couldn’t leave the house because I was sick.  Had I passed my illness onto the Sea Monkeys, as their primary carer?

The younger of the two remaining Brine Shrimp died shortly after starting the intensive aeration regime.  I was down to one.  My hopes of a breeding colony were offically over, short of adding in more eggs at some point.  Besides, I was almost sure that this survivor was infected somehow.  I watched as it became more sluggish over the next couple of days.  20180426_145340157_iOS

Finally, I woke up yesterday morning and aerated the tank.  I couldn’t see the Shrimp so I shone a light into the tank, this always excited the Shrimp into revealing themselves before.

 

Nothing.

I went to work, thinking that this might just be the end now.  I don’t want to buy a new kit or start a fish tank.  You see, I’ve done some research and found that Sea Monkeys as we know them were marketed by a toymaker with little consideration for their longievty.  Yes, there are some long-lived colonies on YouTube but it would be ego driving me forward to try again.  I’d be doing it to prove to myself that I could, and that’s not a good enough reason for me to try and breed another captive colony.  If I did this again, it would be under better conditions for them and I must confess that I don’t feel like making the committment to provide those right now.  Still, I would keep that tank going as long I knew that one Shrimp was alive.

 

I came home from work and found the dreaded cotton-wool bacteria in my tank.  Finally, I had my answer.  I sterlised the water and tipped it away.  The tank is in the recycling bin.  The cotton-wool bacteria is almost always fatal with SeaMedic and its appearance coincided with the disappearence of my final Shrimp.

My poor Shrimp never matured into their adult or even juenveille stages.  They remained in their baby, or naupiliar, stage and died young.

Have you tried to raise Sea Monkeys or Aqua Dragons? Let me know of your experiences in the comments below.

If you do want to see Sea Monkeys & Aqua Dragons maturing, then please follow SeaMonkeyHeaven on Insta.

 

 

The Brine Shrimp Project – The Obstacles of Shrimp Rearing

It’s time to catch up with the Brine Shrimp. I wrote the first two blog posts a few weeks after the Shrimp had hatched. This was mainly because Callum & I were still waiting

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our internet to go live. It also gave me an opportunity to know if this project was going to take place, as I was never certain that the old eggs would hatch! So, now I’m going to bring you up to date with the Shrimp in real time. First, I set up the tank and then I waited for hatchlings to appear; you can watch my video on setting up the tank here. So, what next?

There were only a few squiggles visible in the tank. I didn’t mind, I just happy that even a small number of them were growing. There was one squiggle, then three on the next morning and then eight when I got home from work that afternoon. By the next morning, I couldn’t count anymore! Every time I looked into the tank there was more, more, more!

img_1046There soon became a split between those that were further developed and those in that first visible stage after hatching. Before long, I had some of the more developed Shrimp swimming around the middle of the tank with a nursery younger ones at the bottom. I continued to give them bubbles three times a day (you can watch a video of this here) and gave them their first feed about two days after they first became visible.  You can watch my video of their first feed here.

One day, I removed the jar lid to aerate the tank and a beetle dropped into the water! My first reaction was to wonder if they would be able to eat it. Then, I remembered that the shrimp were at the bottom of the food chain, eating algae only. Besides, this invader would do more harm to them with the bacteria on it! I quickly scooped it out and sterilized my syringe. I kept an eye on the tank for a few days, but they didn’t seem to be suffering from any ill effects. I think it had crawled in the jar through the air-holes and dropped in when I unscrewed the lid. As far as I know, it’s alive somewhere. I scooted it on and went back to the tank.

I had another panic when I noticed a cotton-like fuzz on the bottom of the tank. I’d read about the deadly “cotton bacteria” that can wipe out the entire tank. The only solutions that I’d found involved changing all the water and losing all the eggs and babies. All I had were babies, I had no adults so such a solution would kill off my population anyway. I plunged the syringe in again and removed the offending cotton clump. I kept my eye on the tank for a few days after and, again, no ill effects. It seems like maybe some clothes fluff found its way into the tank and not the cotton bacteria.

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Overall, I’ve had the tank set up for 22 days.  However, today I have come to aerate the tank and I can only see about three shrimp alive.  I noticed a dying shrimp in the tank about 3 -4 days ago.  I’d read that some die-off was to be expected so I didn’t worry about this, as not all the hatched shrimp would grow to adulthood.  There were less shrimp in the tank yesterday and I became concerned, but unsure of what was going on.  I gave them a feed and bubbles.  The shrimp usually react enthusiastically to light so I shone a torch in the tank.  Unfortunately, their reaction was quite sluggish, even after they’d been aerated.  I’m unsure of what to do now, as I have no Sea Monkey medic and I’m not sure what has caused this die off.  It seems to have been triggered by their last feed, but it was already underway to some extent.

 

It’s disappointing, as I didn’t want a captive population that I would cause to suffer.  It could just be one of those things, but I’m not sure at the moment that I want to restart another tank.  If I did, I would make some modifications that would hopefully result in a healthier population.  It isn’t all over, there are at least three shrimp that I can see and they may carry on living for a while yet.

The Brine Shrimp Project – Let There Be Life

In my last post as part of the Brine Shrimp Project, I set up my tank in a jar and added the eggs after assessing which room in my house would be best.  At this point, I’d been talking about my baby Brine Shrimp to anyone who would listen and they were starting to get a little following of interested friends and family.  Only, there was nothing to show them!

I soon discovered that I had no more patience than the average child. My routine now consisted of aerating the water as many times as I could remember, a minimum of three times a day but often more at the start.  Then, I would stare into the water looking for any specks of movement.  I know, I know, that the first hatchlings are visible with a magnifying glass after 24 – 48 hours after the “instant life” has time to grow.  However, I didn’t have a magnifying glass and I was still determined to catch a glimpse.  I tried to use my prescription glasses against against the jar, but it didn’t help any.  I resigned myself to seeing them at 48 – 72 hours, after the Shrimp had grown to a size visible to the naked eye.  I was messaging Callum during the day to ask if he had seen any movement from the tank before he went to work.

72 hours later came and passed, and I had still not seen my hatchlings.  I came home from work and checked the tank again.  The bubbles disturbed the black dots, I assume the unhatched eggs, and it was difficult to see anything else in the tank.  I had read that the Shrimp would become more active if placed near a light source or after their tank is oxygenated, so I shone a torch into the tank.  Nothing.

I was dejected; the tank I had wanted to come to life appeared to be barren.  The packet of eggs were out of date, so it had always been a possibility that no brine shrimp would hatch.  Still, I had got attached to the potential of life and began to hope.  I found myself searching the internet for an answer; the best advice I could find urged me to persist and perhaps their hatching or growth had been delayed by the water temperature or light levels.   If all else failed, then I could evaporate the water and try again once the weather had warmed.

So I continued aerating the tank three times a day and checking for tiny specks that appeared to be moving against the current.  It’s important to ensure there is adequate oxygen in the water, especially when the shrimp are babies because they’re not strong enough to reach the surface for air.  I saw the first signs of life at approximately 96 hours (four days) after adding the egg packet.  There was some very, very small squiggles moving at the bottom of the tank.  I was over the moon!  My babies had hatched!

I couldn’t get any decent photos of them, they were far too small to be visible on my camera. Callum has A macro lens for a smartphone somewhere, but our spare room is still all boxed up. So, the best I have is this Brine Shrimp lifecycle. They looked like that first stage after hatching.

The Brine Shrimp Project – Making Babies

img_0954Welcome to the start of my The Brine Shrimp Project. Join me on my journey with my baby Brine Shrimp, otherwise known as Sea Monkeys or Aqua Dragons. As a child, I tried to raise a tank of these small creatures and I was upset when I felt like I’d killed them all prematurely.  I didn’t understand the length of their life cycle, but I may not have been the best Sea Monkey rearer.  I’ve come back to rearing these again, armed with a better knowledge and understanding of their needs so I hope to be more successful this time.

I’m using the Aqua Dragons brand of available Brine Shrimp “instant pet”. Essentially, you get the same outcome with either Sea Monkeys or Aqua Dragons and the only differences I can see are the number of stages during tank set-up. Aqua Dragons are open about mixing their eggs with their water purifiers and have a more simplified process. However, Sea Monkeys have a separate water purifier packet to their eggs which needs to be added first. Rumour has it that there ARE eggs in that first packet from Sea Monkeys, and that is why the “instant life” is visible immediately after adding the egg packet.  Either way, there is a wait for 24 -48 hours before you get your Brine Shrimp.

img_0955I don’t have the standard tank and gear that comes with the Aqua Dragons set. That is because I was talking with some friends about setting up this project and they happened to have the eggs and food sachets to hand. They’d lost the gear, but couldn’t bring themselves to throw out the eggs. Luckily for everyone, they found someone willing to give them a chance at life. So, I cleaned out a 330ml jar and drilled air holes in the lid. Then, I placed a thermometer probe inside and tested the temperatures across the house. Brine Shrimp can live in a range of 17 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius, however, optimal hatching temperature occurs at about 25 degrees. The living room seemed the coziest room, maintaining a stable temperature that was slightly higher than the rest of the house.

This experiment in finding the “perfect” spot led to me bringing lifeless tanko’water upstairs and setting it up on my bedside table. My theory was that the proximity to the radiator would keep my babies warm and toasty. However, Callum didn’t realize that the eggs hadn’t been added and thought I was becoming too attached to my little ones.  After all, he doesn’t set his kombucha fermenting on his bedside table.  I think it was a good thing for all of us that the best room for the Shrimps was the living room.

 

To hatch the eggs, I filled the jar with spring water and placed this in a larger bowl of hot water. I took the jar out when the thermometer showed me that the water was 25 degrees. I stirred in the Aqua Dragon Egg packet to make sure that the salts were dissolving.  It’s become clear on rereading the instructions that I should have added the eggs to room temperature water, but I really thought I was doing the best at getting them at that optimum temperature.  You’ll have to read on to see if I was right.

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The water turned a light shade of green and lots of little black dots floated to the surface. I used to grow lemon tree saplings and usually the seeds that float aren’t viable. I found myself wondering if that logic also applied to Aqua Dragons… It was quite concerning! Still, it was too soon to tell so I put the “tank” on my coffee table and prepared to wait. The instructions stated it would be about 48-72 hours before any hatchlings would be visible to the naked eye.  My advise? Invest in a magnifying glass and you might be able to see them around the 24 hour mark.

Days 27, 28, 29 & 30 – The End of 30 Days of Gratitude

Today marks the end of my 30 Days of Gratitude “challenge”. A lot can happen in 30 days, and it has been interesting to track my moods.  I’ve gone from feeling low and dejected at work to bouncing back with enthusiasm.  Life isn’t great all of the time, but I’m definitely starting to strengthen my resilience and maintain a more positive outlook.  There have been challenges, like difficulties getting my keys, but I’ve surprised myself with my ability to meet them. I would highly recommend keeping a gratitude journal if you are feeling down.

Here is a quick rundown of the final days of my 30 Days of Gratitude:

Day 27 – Bank Holiday Monday and another normal work day for me.  We only had one set of keys and Callum was working a half day as well.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to get another set cut over the weekend so Callum went before he went to work.  My parents both live a short walk from my new house so Callum left the keys with them on his way to work.  I was grateful for Callum sorting this out for us.  I was also grateful to my parents for helping us out, and for feeding me after I came back from work to pick them up.

Day 28 – It was great to get some peace and quiet on Tueday after a long weekend of hustle and bustle.  I was very tired and a little depleted, so I was thankful for an evening in to catch up on my Angel Season 3 boxset.  I cooked myself a lovely meal and sat down in front of the TV.  It was just what I needed.

Day 29 – Yesterday, I was working on a difficult query.  I was struggling to figure out the root cause of a system error at work and therefore it was hard to know how to implement a solution.  Luckily, I have some experienced and knowledgeable colleagues who I was able to go to for some insight.  I returned to my desk and looked at the problem with fresh eyes, and the answer seemed a lot more obvious.  It means a lot to me to have that back up from my team and to have the opportunity to learn from each other.  I often feel that it’s my colleagues that make a job special for me, and I’m thankful for my colleagues for helping me as I’ve developed into my new role.

I’m also grateful for Callum fixing one of our dressers.  It has been a bit wobbly for a while and the recent house move has only made it more precarious.  He took some time before work yesterday to get some supplies to strengthen it and get to work.  The dresser is a lot steadier now and it should last us until we buy a house together.  This should save us having to buy even more furniture, allowing us to focus our resources on other things.

Day 30 – My Mum, Dad and Niece came round this evening for a visit. It was lovely to have them visit and to have a chat.  Dad will be fitting our new cooker this weekend, so I am very thankful as it means I can stop using the camping stove for all our meals.  Mum and I mentioned about having a Curry Night after Dad fits the cooker, but tonight I mentioned to Mum that I only had two plates.  Mum pulled out a gift voucher and gave it to me, saying it was a housewarming present and to buy some more plates.  Needless to say, I’m very thankful for this gesture.

Thank-you to everyone who has been following this series of posts. Keep your eyes peeled for new series as I start new projects. I’m going to be starting ‘The Brine Shrimp Project’ as I attempt to raise some “shrimp babies”, aka Sea Monkeys or Aqua Dragons. I’m not raising this as fish food, but rather as pets.

All the Best,

Faye x

Day 23, 24, 25 & 26 – 30 Days of Gratitude

I’m going to keep this update brief, as I’m playing catch up for quite a few days of missed blogging. Callum & I are in our new home, we collected the keys on Thursday. Mum & I cleaned the house, ready for our move on Friday. Callum and I have had a busy weekend unpacking and getting used to our new home.

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Day 23 – Callum came with me on Thursday morning to address the issue of when we would be able to collect our keys. Luckily, our tenancy coming in the night before gave us form ground to argue that they had entered into a contract for our tenancy to start as agreed. It was frustrating, but I surprised Callum with my resolution and firmness with the Letting Agency. Mum & I went to the new house whilst Callum went to work to clean. We ended up feeling pretty dejected, the shine having been taken off what we expected to be an exciting day. Still, it all came through in the end. I’m grateful for my Mum and Callum for helping me through the stressful day, and for Mum helping me get the house ready.

 

Day 24 – I picked Callum up in the morning and we went to our new home together. Mum & Dad fetched the van and helped us to move in. They ran an efficient operation so all our belongings were in by 14:00, with the van having been returned. Mum & Dad have been a massive help throughout the process, and I’m really thankful for their support.

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Day 25 – Saturday was another busy day, with Callum & I visiting my friend to pick up some furniture. My sister and her family came round in the afternoon to visit, then we finished setting up the living room. The room really came together with the sofa suite Mum & Dad found for us online, the decorations from Mum’s friend and the coffee table from my friend. Both of my sisters have us some lovely flowers, which bring life to the room. We were both very grateful for the generosity of others.

Day 26 – Sunday is a day of rest, however, I’ve not been very restful since moving house. I set to putting the kitchen cupboards in order and then to organising my clothes. Soon, I was going through my cables and electronics, binning that I no longer use. However, I was tiring myself out and needed a rest before returning to work tomorrow. Callum helped me to see that I needed to take an afternoon off from unpacking and pottering around. I feel tired, but refreshed. I’m grateful to Callum for helping to see my own limits and encouraging me to enjoy my Sunday afternoon.

Day 21 & 22 – 30 Days of Gratitude

The impending move is getting stressful, and we’re due to collect the keys tomorrow but there is still outstanding paperwork before we get our confirmed completion appointment. A van has been paid for, Callum has moved out of his rental and the Progression Team aren’t responding to our calls. It’s times like these that I don’t really feel grateful, I feel powerless. I guess that it is exactly times like this when I need to look for something to be grateful for. What was supposed to be an exciting time feels like it’s been well, well, I have some less than pleasant ways of describing it. Luckily, I have tomorrow booked off as annual leave to go and sit in the letting agents until they resolve the situation.

So, here I am looking for something to feel grateful for. Yesterday, my colleagues gave me a lovely housewarming card and have been very supportive. Advice has been forthcoming and I’m glad that I’ve had people to vent with about all of this. Colleagues, friends and my family. My parents are very supportive, having packed up the furniture in my room whilst I’ve been dog-sitting for at my sister’s house.

Today, I’m thankful for the inner strength that I’m calling on now. There were times in my life when I would have felt helpless and cried, but I refuse to be helpless. Instead, I’ve left voicemails when the phone isn’t being answered and proactively emailed all of our documents to ensure that the agency have everything they need. I’ve called for legal advice, as the agents haven’t confirmed our date in writing but have done verbally. I’m also extremely thankful for Callum, for being by my side throughout all of this and picking this up with the Sales Team whilst I’ve been at work.

Hopefully, this will be sorted soon. We’ve just the DocuSign Tenancy Agreement come through, and we’re going in branch (appointment or not) to pick up our keys tomorrow.