Today I have done no work whatsoever.  At least, not of the web design kind anyway.  Today has been almost entirely devoted to moving house, which has proven to be an exciting yet tiring experience (I’m not the only one moving, it seems – Phill and Phil recently finalised their contract and have a shiny new house to move into, but they’ve done it the scary way and got a mortgage).  First thing this morning I was up and ready to collect a van I’d hired for the day.  Not a huge enormous thing, just a short wheel base Transit van, but it was plenty for our needs.  It was very different to driving a Mini though, as you’d expect – it was higher, longer, wider, slower.  I was surprised how quickly I got used to it though, using the diesel engine slightly differently and even managing to successfully reverse into a drive using only my mirrors!

Having collected the van the first job was to go to Ellie’s and load up with all of her stuff, most of which had been packed up already.  Loading the van was fairly straightforward, with the larger items of furniture going in first and everything else being stuffed carefully in the gaps.  We made good use of the floor space, even if we didn’t use much of the height of the van – most things were in boxes or loose so piling things high wasn’t really a wise option, especially without rope to tie things down!  Carefully negotiating the narrow Wivenhoe roads we drove to our new house and unloaded everything into the lounge.  There was little point in moving it anywhere else at this stage, as it all needs unpacking and sorting first, and we’re still waiting on various significant pieces of furniture.

Once the van was empty again I dropped Ellie back at her house so that she could finish off packing, and meanwhile I drove over to Paul’s house to collect some wardrobes, picking Tim up on the way (Tim and Beth were claiming a wardrobe too).  When we pulled up outside Paul’s house I realised that it was going to be easiest to load up if I had the back doors facing the garage, which meant reversing in – something I hadn’t yet done but something I had secretly been looking forward to!  I have always taken pride in my driving, and that manoeuvre was a perfect example, which was very encouraging given that I had only had the vehicle for a matter of hours!  Loading the three wardrobes into the van was something of a challenge, due to their size and weight, but we managed it in the end.  We did put down a sheet on the floor to stop the sides getting scratched, but didn’t think to put one between the wardrobes, so they ended up getting scratched after all!  Never mind, they were free so we can’t complain.

So, with a full load again we drove back to Tim’s flat where we unloaded their wardrobe, and then I went back to Wivenhoe to unload ours, picking up Ellie en route.  Here came the realisation that getting our two wardrobes upstairs into the bedroom was going to prove difficult, and not something either of us was looking forward to!  They are big double wardrobes, with plenty of hanging space, but not easy to lift or manoeuvre up a spiral staircase.  In the end we left them in the lounge, to be dealt with at a later date.

Next up was my stuff, and once again we filled the van quickly with all my junk – it’s scary how much one can accumulate over just a few years!  I had already taken apart the main part of my big desk, which made packing and transporting it much easier, but the matching cupboard proved significantly more troublesome – at one point I did try taking the top off to make it easier to carry, only to realise that the back was tacked on to it, so the top had to stay on after all.  We managed to get it from the van into the new house, via the back garden, but getting it upstairs was a nightmare.  It was only just narrow enough when put on its side to go up the spiral stairs, and took a great deal of huffing and puffing and heaving and pushing and lifting to get it to the landing, at which point Ellie and I took a very long sigh of relief!  We won’t be doing that again in a hurry!!  At least, not until we have to get the wardrobes up…

We picked up the remainder of Ellie’s possessions, minus whatever she needed for the next few days, and filled the remaining space in the van with yet more of my belongings – just when we thought that was everything I managed to find something else that could go in!  Even now I still have my bicycle that needs to be moved, but there just wasn’t room in the van for everything.  I still have odds and ends here that I’ll need over the next 5 weeks (yes, only 5 weeks left until the wedding!), but they can be transported in Neddy without too much difficulty.

And that was pretty much it.  I topped up the fuel in the van, so as to avoid being charged for it by the rental company, but that only came to £2.10!  Then we dropped the van off at the depot, found Neddy again and came back home.  Getting into a Mini after driving a Transit van was hilarious though – it felt small, nimble, light, very low to the ground, a little less sophisticated, but infinitely more fun to drive!  It would almost be worth hiring a van on a regular basis, just for that moment of glee as I get back into a Mini…

However, the day has taken its toll.  I am pooped.  I have a headache, my hands ache, my arms ache, my neck aches, my back aches, my legs ache, and I have far less energy than I feel comfortable operating with.  No doubt I’ll still be feeling it tomorrow.  Still, it’s been worth it, and we’ve got a house full of stuff now.  Our bedframe will be arriving tomorrow afternoon, so I shall probably spend a fair amount of the day at the house, sifting through the multitude of boxes and bags, building our bed, generally trying to make sense of the mess that has taken over our lounge!  It will probably take a while to get fully sorted, but hopefully everything will have been assigned a home by the time we actually move in after the honeymoon.

So, my thanks to the rental company, SixT, for providing the van; to Paul and Michelle for the generous donation of the two wardrobes; to various people at church for the donations of four sets of curtains (we’re not sure if we’ll use them yet, we haven’t measured them); and of course a big big thank you to Ellie for helping move stuff around and for feeding me regularly with chocolate at key intervals!  Love you!!

Right, tired.  Cup of tea.  Sleep.  Food.  Not necessarily in that order.

Categories: Life


Phill · 10 July 2007 at 7:27 pm

So what are your living arrangements before the wedding? Are you going to stay in your respective houses, or go back and stay with parents, or what?

Moving is tough work, much respect for doing it on your own! We’ve chickened out and hired a removal firm.

Anyway, hope everything goes well for you over the next few weeks!

Matthew · 11 July 2007 at 9:52 am

Well I’m staying at my current house for the time being, as my contract doesn’t run out until the middle of September (which is a considerable overlap). Ellie is still in her current house for most of this week, then she’ll be sleeping on my lounge floor for a few days before going home to Gloucester.

And, as I expected, I’m still aching all over this morning. Won’t be doing much lifting today I reckon…

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