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Everything I own…

Everything I own…

So, phase #1 of the great move has been completed. Albeit with a huge number of comedy errors that make the Keystone Cops look like they should be engaged in the war on terror.

After seeming to spend the last two weeks throwing, packing and dumping – culminating in a climatic weekend with Miss R and I packing, and dragging five crates of magazines, one crate of glass bottles and 14 bags to the recycling dump – the time came to start the move on a sunny Sunday morning. On quite possibly the hottest day of the year. I was sweating in 10 mins.

So it started – but after an hour of moving stuff from the top floor to the van, the van was only quarter-full – and we still had half a room full of stuff. Miss R unfortunately had to disappear at lunchtime, so for the next two hours, I just lugged boxes from the top floor to the bottom floor.

I then begged Anni for some help in watching the van while I loaded it. And bless her, she took time out from a relaxing Sunday afternoon to sweat, move and generally be indispensable. My mate Dylan also came over to help move a bloody huge TV set – and they both navigated my inept driving of the transit van out of the cul-de-sac, and then onwards to the self-storage depot.

So we got in past the security, the keycodes, lugged three carts of belongings to the first floor, whereupon I suddenly realised that I’d left the keys to the self-storage place back at the flat. So I had to go back and get them while leaving Dylan and Anni – who’d never met before – in what seems to be a nuclear bunker with shopping mall muzak for half an hour. When they could have been relaxing in the garden on a Sunday afternoon. Gawd bless them.

Still, the last time I forgot my keys in moving house, I was moving from London to Cardiff – and didn’t realise till I was at Reading, about 30 mins in. So I had to drive all the way back, go back up to my London flat, and still couldn’t find my keys. Except when I returned to the van and found them in a bag beside me.

Everything i own...Eventually I got back, we lugged up more stuff and squeezed it into the storage space – it was like playing a giant version of Tetris. By the time I released Dylan and Anni from their voluntary duties, it was 7pm and the weather was a lot cooler.

But it wasn’t over. Now I had to move my “essentials” over to where I’m staying for the next month. Calling on the services of Rhys and Scott, this took another couple of hours before I tried to drive the van away while still leaving the side van door open – and then navigate it down a narrow side street. At this point, we were trying to unload the van in the dark, while the odd annoyed motorist buzzed at us to get out of the way – necessitating a drive round the corner to unblock the road.

The van was finally unloaded at 10.30pm – but the fun wasn’t over. I had to go back to the original flat and spend the next couple of hours, cleaning the place, and making a note of the electricity and gas meters. Except in my haste to get out, I left the notebook with the essential details behind. Doh.

So I didn’t get back to my new room till midnight – then it was time for a shower. Then I couldn’t sleep because I was so exhausted. But sleep I managed – until I had to get up early in the morning to return the hire van.

Goodbye... As I left my original flat (which I’d been in for four and a half years) for the last time, this charming sight greeted me.

So many many thanks to Miss R, Dylan and Anni, and Rhys and Scott. Couldn’t have done it without you!

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