Finally, I am back in the Land of the Bloggers. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I am actually sitting at my desk writing a proper blog and I can’t tell you how good it feels.
One reason that it feels so good is that it is a physical demonstration that the house is becoming sufficiently ‘home-like’ that I’m not fretting 24 hours a day about how many boxes are still waiting to be unpacked. I admit that there are still three boxes whose contents await redistribution but when one considers that I have taken my Escort to the recycling centre four times now, absolutely loaded to the gunnels with flattened cardboard, the remaining three are there merely for me to toy with. “Shall I open you? Shall I not? You want your tape off? I’m not taking your tape off. I know what’s inside and I might open you today, but there again I might not. I’m fickle that way, you little cardboard minx”.
As my longstanding readers will know, moving house has become something of a regular habit in the last few years. This is my fourth move in five years, not through choice, and I am well and truly sick of it. My friends are sick of it, as are my family, as they are the ones who have consistently been asked to do the moving and, as I may have mentioned before, I have a lot of stuff and more books than my mother’s local library.
As you are an interesting bunch of people, I’m sure you will understand that, if one is interested in lots of things, one automatically acquires the accoutrements of those interests and even if, like me, you put those things into carefully labelled boxes that potentially stack neatly in corners and cupboards, they nonetheless stack up and the only way to get rid of them is to relinquish the interest. Which is out of the question.
So, once again, my team swung into action and moved my stuff – this time from Great Bowden to Desborough. The Aged Parent came up the week before the move and I set her to work packing up my glass, silver and china – all fiddly stuff which she did absolutely brilliantly as I discovered when I came to unpack it and found not a single breakage in the carefully labelled boxes.
On the Friday I got the keys, my friend Jo and her son arrived and between her Mini and my Escort we shifted more books than any humans should be obliged to do. Sister the Second and her husband Byron reported for duty on Saturday , along with The Father of My Children in a van, Mrs Grable (my sister in law), Mr & Mrs Medbourne (her son and daughter in law) and their son Dylan.
There has never been such a jolly bunch. They managed to move a phenomenal amount of stuff in an efficient and good humoured way and teamwork doesn’t even begin to describe it. I had hired a big van (which I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed driving) and they worked away filling it and TFOMC’s Transit over and over again. Even when we discovered that we’d have to take the sitting room window out to get the sofa in, the spirits never lowered and no-one smacked anyone.
The following afternoon, TFOMY and I crept along to Mr Medbourne’s house, cap in hand, and begged him to come back for a bit longer to move The White Goods. The poor bloke had only just finished his Sunday lunch, but he put on a happy face and clambered once more into the breach.
I do still have some stuff stored in a barn behind my last house, but other than that, the old hovel was empty and as clean as it was ever likely to be. However, it didn’t stop my bastard of a landlord taking fifty quid off me for a small stain on an already disgustingly stained carpet and for absolutely refusing to believe that the bathroom was so damp in the winter that it had completely disintegrated the fittings on the lavatory seat. I weighed it up; if I challenged him I wouldn’t get the deposit back for months or I could accept it and cut my losses. I cut my losses and may I take this moment to wish a plague of biting things to fall upon his house in perpetuity and that he gets septicaemia from the bites.
Desborough would not have been my first choice of location. I have been utterly spoiled since coming to The East Midlands nearly fifteen years ago, in that I have lived in beautiful rural spots and mostly far from the madding crowd. But Desborough is cheap, has real shops within walking distance and is that bit nearer to Boy the Elder’s new school. It is also incredibly friendly, my new neighbours seem very pleasant and almost everyone who passes the house says good morning or smiles in greeting.
The house itself, a red brick Victorian terrace, is a good size and in nice condition and even has a kitchen big enough to put a small table in, at which I and my shining faced boys can eat breakfast and converse pleasantly at some abominable hour in the morning come term time. Best of all, it has a cellar that is equipped with carpets and electricity and in which I have made my office. Outa Spaceman has already dubbed this ‘The Bunker’ and that is how it shall continue to be known. And from The Bunker shall come forth great things.
And yes, Peter, there is a gas mask hanging by the kitchen door.