The Great Migration

D is for Down South

Well, here I am in sunny Somerset, sitting on the sofa in our new home! Right now I have no internet, so I’m writing this offline and will upload later. It’s quiet, light, homely, and generally makes me smile. We’re back in the countryside! Yay!

This week has been pretty exhausting, preparing for and accomplishing the enormous upheaval of moving across the country. Monday was spent packing. Since Ellie isn’t able to do any heavy lifting at the moment that left me to pick up the slack, which meant I was off to the recycling centre mid-morning with a car chock full of odds and ends that no longer worked and needed chucking out. So it was goodbye to my old bass amp, which hasn’t been working for years (and to be honest it wasn’t a great amp at the best of times), farewell to two CRT monitors (which was a little sad because both of them worked, I just couldn’t find anyone who wanted them), my first Mac went out too (dead motherboard, too old to do anything with anyway), plus a dead printer and a dead microwave. It was heavy work, carting each item to its appropriate recycling container, but in some ways it was quite therapeutic, getting rid of a whole load of ‘stuff’ that had been cluttering the house.

The rest of the day was spent packing everything else into boxes and bags, ready for the move on Tuesday. We bubble-wrapped and papered all sorts of things, carefully stacked items in tall boxes, wedged and rearranged things to get a better fit, and all the while tried to keep in mind that the removal men still had to be able to lift the boxes once they were sealed up! It was so tiring, and I reached my limit and had to lie down for a bit later in the evening.

Tuesday morning was the big day, and the removals men came at 6am. That meant a 5am start for us, so that we’d be ready in time for them. Not everything was going in their van, as I’d insisted that I would be taking the musical instruments – not because I don’t trust them, but because I’d prefer to have them with me, so I’d know they’d definitely be safe and not get crushed. I was amazed at how those removals men could lift such heavy furniture without really thinking about it! I know it’s their job, but they just didn’t seem to have any limits. All our bedroom furniture was carried out of the house and into the van complete with all our clothes still inside them! They must have weighed a tonne! But they had insisted that that was the way they preferred to do it, as it kept the furniture stable in the van, so we didn’t complain.

In the end they only just got everything in the van. In fact, there were actually a few items left that they forgot, some of which we managed to squeeze into our car and some of which we’ve had to leave in a friend’s garage until we can collect them. Once the van had left we swept, mopped and cleaned the house, dropped the keys in at the estate agent’s, and finally left for Somerset about an hour and a half behind the van.

And what a glorious day! The sunshine was strong and hot all the way down, unblemished by cloud. We were grateful of the air conditioning in our car actually – it’s a luxury we’d not really had cause to use before, but that day it was on pretty much all the time. Thankfully the roads were pretty clear, aside from a little traffic on the M25 and some roadworks here and there, that meant that the fuel efficiency was kept reasonably high, offsetting the aircon. I was pleased with how the car coped with travelling so heavily laden, and even managed to overtake up a steep hill on the A303.

When we arrived the van had already arrived, and the men were nowhere in sight. Apparently they had arrived about an hour before us, and they were living it up in the local pub, which was probably a good idea given the strength of the sun. I certainly didn’t envy them carrying all our furniture into the house in that heat, but they didn’t complain – we provided them with cold drinks every now and then and showed them where we wanted everything, and they just got on with it. Ellie and I just sort of sat around and pondered intellectually where was the best place for everything. By the time they left it was mid-afternoon, and we were hungry – having been up since before the crack of dawn (pretty much) our eating pattern had been shifted out of kilter, and we were very much ready for a good meal by 4pm. Unfortunately the local pub didn’t serve food until 6pm, so we wandered into town to find a McD’s. We were surprised to find very little in the town centre, and eventually had to settle for a takeaway pizza and chips. We’ll have to investigate further at some point to see if there’s a whole other part of town that we had missed.

So that pretty much bring us up to now. We’ve unpacked some of the kitchen, but that’s about it. Today I expect will be taken up with unpacking more boxes, moving odd bits of furniture that we decide would be better placed somewhere else, and generally trying to keep out of the sun – yes, it’s hot again today. And at some point today we should be receiving a fridge, freezer and washing machine, but we don’t know exactly when yet. Hopefully it won’t be too long before the house starts to look sensible, and I’ll need to set up broadband before too long so I can start work again. But we’re in, we’ve moved into our new home, we’ve got several “welcome to your new home” cards already, and I’ve had a cup of tea or two. Home. Nearly.

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