Thursday 28 June 2007

Packing Asbo (or Jack-in-a-box)

I’m freaking out big time here. All around me I can hear the rustle of paper, the rip of tape, the thump as another box joins the pile. When the first lorry came lumbering up the drive I had a total wobble and found tears in my eyes. It’s been so long coming that I had got to the point where I thought it was never going to happen. Of course the sun had to shine today and the dew had to twinkle on the grass and the rainbows had to dance across our bedroom and remind me of our old cat, Bear, who used to race around hurling herself at the walls, trying to catch them.
That’s the thing, isn’t it, about moving. You leave behind so many layers of memory. Adrian, being Welsh and so (he maintains) genetically inclined to gloom, laments that we will have to leave behind Monty and Bear (our ex-pets) and did actually ponder exhuming them to bring them with us. I didn’t tell the removal men this as I made the first cup of tea of the day.
They are horrified enough already – at the never-ending miles of books and general detritus. I had fully intended to clean out each and every drawer and cupboard BEFORE moving but somehow time has caught up with me and I had the humiliating experience of watching a drawer-full of elastic bands, old bottle tops, fuzz and dust being carefully placed in a box. The shame. Fortunately a friend had reminded me that it is always a Good Thing to pack one’s underwear and any other potentially embarrassing items oneself – so this was achieved last night.
The movers are a jolly bunch. They’re leaving the TV until last so they can watch Tim Henman (why?) but otherwise are dismantling our home with indecent haste. I’ve already had to rescue the coffee pot and poor Asbo’s lunch from a box.

‘Why on earth do you want to move from here? It’s gorgeous.’ One of them said. Not helpful.
‘Bet this was snapped up in a minute,’ said another. At which Adrian and I looked at each other and burst into laughter.
‘Only nearly three years,’ said Adrian.
They couldn’t believe it.

There are four removal men. There is the tall good-looking one who Acts Professional and is clearly In Charge. There is the aged gap-toothed retainer who (bless) put a hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Are you alright my love’ in that soft impenetrable Bridgwater accent (came out roughly as ‘yralrighmylurrrve’). There is the weaselish dodgy-looking one (who is loitering upstairs – I am SO glad I packed my own knickers) and the depressed downtrodden one who is doing the kitchen.
‘I always get to do the kitchen. It’s not fair.’
After three hours I can sort of see his point.
‘All the flipping glasses and crockery. I hate glasses and crockery.’
Who wouldn’t, given his job?
Not helped by the fact that whenever any of the others find anything remotely glass or crockery-ish they merrily trot it along to the kitchen to add to his pile.
‘You always do this. It’s not fair.’ The poor man will be packing china until midnight.

I should be working. I’ve got the changes through on the book and ought to crack on. But I really can’t concentrate. I’m all mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up. So I thought, what the heck, until they take away the table, I’ll do a blog. Adrian has just gone off to Tiverton to watch James play cricket. Finally, FINALLY, the boy has been picked to play for the team (someone was ill). He was so excited that the school let him call up to tell us as he wanted one of us to watch. Maybe our collective luck is changing…..

Thank you for all your comments and kind wishes. Yes, indeed, should I change the name of my blog? Am I no longer a ‘desperate’ woman? I’d like to think so. Adrian says that, when we move (and how often have I used that particular phrase) we will be calmer, more collected, more easygoing and jolly. We will laugh more, smile more, adapt a more laissez-faire attitude to the vicissitudes of life. Hmm. Can you really see that happening? So, what should it be? Diary of a ????? Woman? Or something different altogether? Answers below please.

PS - relax Camilla, the title is a joke....dear Asbo will come with us (I shall rue the day).....


Milla said...

blimey, Jane, can hardly believe it myself! It's odd that, that it suddenly happens quickly. And the house gets all echoey and marred by the scars left behind by moved pictures and furniture. OUr clothes were moved still in their drawers and I laid towels over the knicker drawers which stopped that little unpleasantness. Off to get hair cut now. Cannot imagine how you can work with all that going on. I was madly cleaning as they emptied rooms since the last morning, gulp, tomorrow (!) leaves you no time at all once you've done the school run and so on. Enjoy your last few hours. This time tomorrow you live in Dulverton! You Desperate Renovating Woman you.

Anonymous said...

now how did i find you? i'm trying to retrace my steps. it must have been a comment on someone else's blog, i think - cos i looked on your profile first and i thought ... 'ello? then i looked at your webpage, and it all fell into place. how brill to find you! moving, eh? keep track of the gin bottle.

Elizabethd said...

Oh...moving! It's awful, you have my total sympathy. It's not just the mess, the packing , the people, it is also the emotions that come into play.

Exmoorjane said...

Of all the blogs in all the world -can't believe it!! But lovely to find you - very long time no speak. Fear not, the gin bottle is strapped firmly to my thigh. Adrian doesn't even trust the movers to shift his collection of aged beers and has stashed them in the car.....

Iota said...

Well, no-one has come up with a suggestion for a new blog title, but I'm going to be brave and suggest "Diary of a Moved Exmoor Woman".

Bon courage, as they say in France.

Un Peu Loufoque said...

bonne chance et bon courage!!

Unknown said...

Oh i know all about moving home! The house I'm living in now is my 20th! You have my sympathy - but also my best wishes for a very happy future in your new home!!

Inthemud said...

Well, it's really happening then, at last, no wonder you're tearful, hard to comprehend it is actually about to happen, now you do want to move don't you!!

I've moved numerous times but never had removal men, we've always done it ourselves, what a farce that can be!! Last time thouugh we did it over 2 weeks a van load at a time!, then 3 years later when we sold the house we'd been renting out took another 4 weeks to empty the garages and sheds and loft space!

All good wishes, very excited for you . Hope Asbo behaves!

Anonymous said...

Gosh, memories; memories! You will have so many and you will take them all with you. A new life ahead, new challenges, new bills! I must admit I wouldn't like to move now from here as apart from missing the place dreadfully, it would take an army of removal men to load up the hoard which has been collected over the past oooh, about a hundred and fifty years. Yes, really.

Is that an AGA, or a Rayburn? Whatever it's gorgeous. I have an AGA but at the moment it's a dirty cream colour desperately in need of being sprayed. That red is just the colour I would like.

Lots of luck, best wishes & new findings in your new home.
Crystal xx

Suffolkmum said...

I have a red Aga too. Am I right in thinking you're not taking it? A sad farewell then. Loved the downtrodden depressed removal man. Pinch yourself, it's really happening .... hope you have a great 'last night'.


Good luck with it all, Jane! And try not to get too stressed. Whatever you manage to do or don't manage to do, it will happen, everything will somehow get to your new house and you'll be fine. (Don't envy you, though - find moving really stressful and have done it twice during the last two years - never again! Mind you, I said that last time...)

Loved your descriptions of the removal men. We had Del, who had more tattoos than teeth, and my abiding memory is of him hefting our old Bechstein piano - almost single-handedly onto a van - saying in his broadest cockney, "Let's 'ave the old Joanna, then".
Thinking of you. LBD xxx

Faith said...

Didn't have all this awful hassle when I moved in with Hub3 cos left Hub2 back at old house with all the stuff!

Wish you all the best Jane - it's good to move on, even if it's hard sometimes.

Can't think of a new name - Diary of a newly published exmoor woman perhaps!

PS Have a red aga too, but mine's not bright red, it's a deeper colour.

Woozle1967 said...

Oh good luck, Jane. A new chapter in more ways than one. xx

Holy Way said...

What about Diary of a Laughing Woman?

I really hope you will smile and laugh more and be totally blissfully happy in your new home with your loved ones.

CAMILLA said...

Best of luck with the move Dear Jane. Asbo Jack - hope they dont forget to pack the little darling's bed, they get so attached to them. I remember a friend once said to me about her JRT, she had decided to wash the dogs blanket from it's bed. JRT was not having any of it, grhgrh, all the time, even when it went into the washing machine, dog sat and watched it being washed. When it was placed on the line in garden, dog sat and watched it until it was brought in again, terribly amusing. Great news about James being picked for the cricket team. Not sure about a new name Jane, what about - Diary of a Designer Woman. You have designed the book, you will be designing Interiors for your new home, and those shoes are definately designer ones! Thank you for your kind comments Jane.My daughter is moving tomorrow also.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Diary of an intermittently desperate exmoor woman? once a dew always a dew in my view. always remembering that desperate can be good. you sure know you are alive.

DevonLife said...

Good luck, gosh don't envy you moving. Trying tohide away the clutter. Good luck Jane, have a drink for me when you finally unpack the corkscrew.

PS email me your new address,have something for you... ahh the suspense!

Eden said...

Gosh, finally happening. How exciting and terrible. Moving is such an upheaval, always takes me months to settle in a new place. But I look forward to new tales from the new house.
Poor kitchen packer.I do so know what you mean about the shame of watching elastic bands being carefully packed. With me its empty jam jars.


There's a postcard just gone up in our village shop saying someone's selling an Aga, if you're interested... (cream, though - you'd probably have to have it re-enamelled...)

Pipany said...

Hello Jane. You must be in by now (always behind here!) and feeling odd. It always seems strange being somewhere new, especially if you are someone who allows their home to keep a little of their heart. The memories will be great and forever special, and now you will start building more precious ones in your new home too xxx

CAMILLA said...

Hello Dear Jane,
Just to say I hope the "move" went well, hope you get time to chill out with a glass of bubbly amongst all those packing-boxes.

Frances said...

Hello to you Jane, in your new home.
Unpacking is much more pleasant than the departure pack-up. It can have its own pace.
The New York version of the movers always needs to include the one-who-has-to-stay-with-the-truck-on-the-street. Sometimes he is a relative of the "leader of the pack" but sometimes just seems to be an old guy who is more than happy not to have to do any heavy lifting!
No way that anyone is gonna re-name you. Ease into your own persona. I'd think that your entire daily schedule will evolve. Hope that you will share some of that process with us, but what an opportunity to energize your observations.
Just finding out what sounds your new neighborhood makes at night would be enough to write about for pages! And then, there is the fun of walking about and finding places that have that special sense.
Any young boys about James' age live nearby? Scared to ask, but any young dogs live nearby?
Sorry to be nosy. Must learn to be more patient.
All best wishes to all your family.

Pondside said...

Hi Jane - now in your new house, no doubt! How does it feel? I used to love the excitement of a new place - like the first days of a romance - the rooms all look so much more interesting at the new house!
I look forward to hearing all about your move, your neighbours, the village etc etc

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Well the silence is deafening from the new I hope everything is OK and the move went well. Hope your new home is everything you have wished for. Still a bit worried....its sooooo I sense a lull before a storm?

Grouse said...

It has to be 'Diary of an Ex- desperate Exmoor Woman'.....
Or will it be Diary of a desperate decorator?

Any way put the paintbrush and the gin bottle down and get on with your task...........If you are VERY busy with the paint, I'll let you have large gins and decorating as 1&2......

countrymousie said...

I think "Words from Woodcote" would be nice - having read the name on the gate in the picture above.
An Aga - if you havent got one where you are headed you better get one girl!
We cant have an agaless blogger now can we - love mousie

Anonymous said...

hope you are settled and wish you all well and happiness xx jep