It's been over a month now since we moved and my blogging has fallen well behind as we've struggled to combine two houses into one. The move from No 7 began at one o'clock on Friday 26th October. We knew from our solicitor that we would be first off the blocks that morning but didn't expect to get the call until after lunch. As it happened, it all worked like clockwork and the estate agent rang at about 11 o'clock to say that the money had changed hands and that we could collect the key.
The first thing that I did was to move the cat. Getting him into his cat basket is usually no mean feat. However, he was very obliging, followed a trail of tuna and he was in. I prepared the lobby at the back of the Old Rectory for him to settle in for the day, covering the floor with strips of the two foot wide sellotape roll that I'd got to save the newly cleaned carpets from the removal men's boots, then covering that with tarpaulin. With the cat safely moved, the rest could follow.
I'd had quotes from two removal companies that were practically the same as the quotes for the removal from Staverton, which is a round trip of three hours. And this was a move of fifty yards. So I decided to do it myself. Well, at least with the help of the builder's apprentice and three of his chums. Then, of course, I had to buy boxes. I had begun packing on about Tuesday but had run out of boxes and the plan was to empty them, then refill them on the day. The removal boys had the builder's van but decided that it was easier to just walk things over the road instead of loading, driving and unloading.
I joined in and we worked until about five o'clock when we were all completely exhausted. They'd moved the piano and some really heavy pots from the garden. The kitchen was yet to be done but I decided to call it a day and finish that off myself. The idea of repacking the boxes had obviously completely failed. I was far too busy moving stuff and trying to direct the boys to the right rooms. Of course, finding the rooms was no mean feat and it took some time for them to get their bearings.
I can't complain about those boys as they worked their socks off but I have now remembered why, when I left my last house, I swore that I would never move myself again. Must remember that next time. It took about ten trips in a packed car along with numerous walks across the road with boxes to finally clear the house and I was still moving stuff out on the Tuesday. And, for anyone else about to move and thinking of doing it in this way, just paying some people to help out, it is a real false economy. If I had paid up, it would have been done in a day and I would have had a cleared house.
Of course, with his usual immaculate timing, S arrived when it was just about over. He had to be at work that day. (Sorry, do I sound cynical? Not intentionally, obviously.) We then spent time sorting out my mum's sitting room and getting her settled. Then making her bedroom comfortable.
Then it was fish and chips all round before bed, reflecting that we had indeed just passed a point of no return. One house moved and one to go before then turning our attention to moving S's mum.
(Except, of course, one house hadn't been moved at all and, by the time it had been, I was too exhausted to clean it myself and ended up paying an extortionate amount to have it cleaned to a standard that wasn't anywhere near what I would have achieved. And, despite all that moving of stuff, the cleaners still found a kitchen cupboard that had not been emptied. On top of which, I am still trying to find certain key belongings, not least the library book that has been recalled but is sitting somewhere in a box that is yet to be found. See note above about the benefits of paying for a professional removal company.)