Friday, July 20, 2007

Carry on moving

Right. The move. It was grim. They usually are. We did at least have a removal company this time rather than three mates and a horsebox. I almost wished we had stuck to the horsebox. There was some mix up in communications. I said to my husband: "Are they sending a pantechnicon?" I am not sure what a pantechnicon is, but it sounds big. He told me they were sending three vans. It sounded odd at the time, but I thought OK. They did not send three vans, they sent one van and two men. Two unhappy men who took one look and did not like what they saw. They immediately started talking about their tachograph. I do not know what a tachograph is either, but it sounded a lot less helpful than a pantechnicon. They had only just arrived and were already grumbling about getting back in time and needing four men instead of two. Not even bacon, egg and mushroom sandwiches from the village bakery quietened them. And they are particularly good sandwiches.

My only consolation was that I could not entirely make out what the gaffer was saying. He had a very thick Scottish accent.(For the record, I like Scottish accents and my husband is partly Scottish. I think it must be his lower half as he wore a kilt at the wedding. I do, indeed, find the Scottish accent a thing of beauty; two of my best friends are Scottish; I have also holidayed in Scotland and would recommend it heartily. Umm. I am not kept awake at night by the West Lothian question, am a great fan of Edinburgh, and like porridge.) Still. He would hold out a box and say something like: "Eurrrgh rrrrrrrhhhing khhhheeeargh?" Occasionally, he would say: "Eurrgh rrrrrrrhhing tachograph." When he said something like that, I did not want to understand him.

I could not even make the point they had been sent an inventory and it was their decision to send the one van and two men because we were so very much in the wrong for not putting every last fork in a large cardboard box of its own. I had to accept responsibility for that one. For some reason, I was so depressed the day before the move, I had to bail out for an hour, go lie on my own on a friend's wooden bench and look at the world's most beautiful castle and the lighthouse and the sea for a while. I could not tell you whether I was low because of the grinding boredom of moving again or because I was thinking: "OK, this is it then. I really have moved to Northumberland. No more coxing and boxing and renting. I have a proper home. It is time to start feeling like I belong." But by midnight, with some way to go on packing, I had entirely lost the will to live. I went to bed. I decided the children's toys could stay in their own unlidded plastic boxes. I asked myself: "Why unpack drawers when you can put a piece of paper over them?" I told myself it was entirely reasonable for my husband to unhook the computers and pack away his office paperwork in black binbags and suitcases while the removers were shipping stuff out of the house. I admit this did not work well. It certainly does not make me a pin-up as client of the year back at the removal company depot.

I was totally in the wrong. Apparently, everything needs to go in a box. I am the only person the world who does not realise you break the social contract with your removal company when you fail to put your plastic boxes and carrier bags in their cardboard boxes. It is something to do with stacking them one on top of the other and squaring them off. I thought the boxes were optional extra like those small bottles of shampoo you get in hotel rooms. You are not actually obliged to use them to wash your hair. My builder has moved 17 times in 16 years. He has an infinitely more patient wife than me. I said: "When you move, do you put everything. I mean everything. In cardboard boxes?" He said: "Yes. My wife is very organised." The upshot was they did two runs between the rented house and the cottage but did not quite finish the job. My husband said I am not allowed to go back to the rented house and see how much has been left behind. I think I will sneak in like Bluebeard's wife when he is busy elsewhere. It is possible the village might hear my scream.

23 comments:

I Beatrice said...

I'm sure the new cottage is absolutely gorgeous, for all that.....?

(Isn't it?)

mutleythedog said...

If I were you I would immediately announce that you have decided to redecorate as this will drive everyone you know completely mad. I trust the "house warming present" arrived safely and that they fit? If not I cannot take them back if you have tried them on, for hygiene reasons, so please pass them onto a bigger friend.

Mopsa said...

Were they real removal men? What did they expect? It's enough to get the slapping hand VERY itchy. Moving down to Devon with pantechnicon and low loader (for tractor and other agricultural necessities) I took the opportunity to remove the batteries from the radio. It had blared at me for two days of removal man packing and I couldn't bear that it would shatter the peace of my new home. They took a long time to believe me that there are no shops in walking distance and that the quicker they unpacked, the quicker they could get back in the pantechnicon and let their ears bleed.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Well I hope you will be very happy in your new abode. Imagine the excitement of unpacking all those boxes and finding things you forgot you had. And probably didn't want anyway.

laurie said...

and now....[drumroll]...the unpacking!

sunshine said...

Whoops!!?? It's awfully quiet in here --which box did we put the children in?

Mageen said...

Early days in our marriage we moved a lot, so much so that my graduate studies were interrupted for 17 years. Had I persisted with my classes I would have come home one day to find the house empty. Finally, we have been in one place for many, many years but are presently anticipating one final move when all repairs are made and the real estate market takes an up-tick. Then we will be off to a spot hundreds of miles away for a much less polluted atmosphere and relaxed life style. I really do feel for you! I highly recommend tea. Hot. Aromatic. A side of Dundee cake. No, make that all you can gobble. Feet up. Now.

And don't unbox the children too soon!

Cheers!

mountainear said...

Wish you well to live in it......

Poetess said...

I hope you will be very happy in your new home.

Poetessxxxxxx

Gena said...

So glad I found your blog! how wonderful! moving house, indeed is The most stressful thing,but hopefully the worst part is over. Best wishes from a fellow Northerner.

debio said...

Should have arranged for the removers to do the packing for you - when we moved here, they swept in, ordered me out into the stables only to return to provide tea and cakes and, efficiently, they left the kettle til last!

Do they offer a different 'service' up there?

Mugatu said...
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Mugatu said...
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Iota said...

When we moved from south to north, we had two Glaswegian removal men, whom we couldn't understand at all. One of them pointed into the garden and asked a question that ended with the sound "sht". It took several repetitions before I worked out that he wanted to know if we were taking the child's slide ("chute", as the Scots call it).

People said to me "you'll feel better when you're in your own home", and I didn't believe them. But I do. I hope you do too, WITN. There's nothing like being at home for feeling at home.

@themill said...

Wishing you a happy home.

And hope you got the pink out of the carpet!

Mike said...

oh best of luck in your new home, i hope you'll be really happy. And don't be in any rush to unpack; get sitting on that windowsill, drinking cappucinos by day and chablis by night, and congratulate yourself for surviving thus far! We all toast you too!

ade said...

You are definetley more organised than the builder's wife. Why move 17 times in 16 years if she was that organised.

3/4 moves in a life time is the norm, anything over that depicts the mind of an unorganised individual.

What does 'pantochiometer' means though? Too early in the morning to be checking my dictionary or even to rechcek the word from the blog?

knifepainter said...

Good luck in the new dwelling !

Isobel said...

Wish you all things good in your new home.

The thinker said...

Welcome to you 'new' home. Good Luck. May you have many very happy and contented years there. x

occasional northerner said...

I'm glad you got moved this week. I hope you'll all be really happy in your new house. I am very jealous.

Lord Straf-Bollinger said...

There's no pleasing some people, is there? Removal men are the same the world over.

seanhgv said...

Moving is one the the most stressfall activities one can undertake