It’s always exciting moving into a new house isn’t it? Even more exciting when you have no idea what the house you will be living in is like inside, no I have not gone bonkers let me explain what I mean.
Once your partner knows where their next job is they can then apply for a Quarter. Is it like looking to rent on Right Move I hear you ask? Pa ha ha ha if only!
So, lets take our move here as an example of the workings of the system, let’s call the system Mil-Move. Braai Boy submitted the application for our Quarter on Mil-Move whilst he was deployed, just what he needed on top of all his deployment stuff was to have little old me on Whats App nagging; when will we have a house? Where will it be? I need dates, dates husband I need dates and a postcode so I can sort out a school and nursery!?!
Guess what? Mil-Move showed no Quarters were available, nil, nada, nothing. At this point we were 3 months out from moving and I was starting to get itchy feet, I needed to get on and do The Move research, very important things like, nearest McDonalds, 24hour garage and swimming lessons.
With me at the end of Whats App being nothing short of a total pain in the ar*e Braai Boy checked Mil-Move daily to see if any Quarters had come up. A week went by and nothing, then another week still nothing and the day before our application was due to expire up popped a Quarter. We had to act fast, if this was also offered to someone else we could lose it. There was a flurry of Whats Apps between Braai Boy and I, he was trying to do his day job and I was in the middle of Tescos. I didn’t ask for any details and told him to accept it, which he duly did. Yeeeeees we had a Quarter! Happy as a pig in the proverbial because I could get on with researching our new neighbourhood I skipped round Tesco completing the weekly food shop.
And then he sent the photo (a screen shot from his computer), one single fuzzy photo of our new family home. Forget white picket fence and flower beds full of roses. The photo showed a house behind a wire mesh fence with a front garden that resembled an urban jungle and to top it all off part of the house had scaffolding on it. My heart sank, was this his idea of a joke? Nope, it was the image that was on Mil-Move, the only image on Mil-Move. The descriptions are not much use either unless you’re interested in the thickness of the loft insulation or date the house was built, our was given a 20year window (houses used to take a long time to build back then don’t you know?).
So, with limited information like many other military families I would rely on the power of Social Media. If you are lucky you can find someone who has lived in a similar Quarter and they may send you photos and if you are really very lucky floorplans. In some cases your future neighbours may offer to take photos through the windows of the Quarter, once you see past the reflection of their phones in the windows these can be helpful. In the past I’ve even had a woman knock on the door and ask (very politely and a bit embarrassed) if she could have a look round our Quarter and take some measurements for furniture as she was moving in to a similar Quarter down the street. You’ve got to love the military community.
Anyway, back to this Quarter. I distractedly packed the food shopping into bags whilst my mind when into overdrive I had images of my kids swinging monkey stylie on the scaffolding, getting lost in the front ‘jungle’ garden and scaling the wire mesh fences. But surely the Quarter would not be on the Mil-Move if it was in disrepair? Or would it? I hurriedly paid the cashier who must have thought I was bonkers as I had been muttering away to myself as I packed the shopping. Once I got home I would get on Social Media, in the meantime there was only one thing I could do, phone Sazzle. Sazzle is that friend who is always the voice of reason, the friend who has common sense in abundance and knows me better than I know myself. Ten minutes later she had calmed me down and told me she would do a recce of the Quarter and area the next day. You will be pleased to hear that the Quarter was scaffolding free, there was no sign of the wire mesh and Sazzle did not get arrested for loitering on MOD property.
And there we have it, Mil-Move at its best. Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without the military community, good friends and social media. We moved into our Quarter and it was absolutely fine, well apart from the blocked drains, blocked guttering and dodgy manhole covers, but apart from that all was good. That’s enough from me, I’m off to chase some repair jobs with the contractor, wish me luck!