Bee moved house today. The plan was that she’d phone me in time for her to pick up the keys and get to the new place just as I and the removal people fetched up. What could possibly go wrong?
She hadn’t allowed for her old neighbours, of course. One by one, they drifted across, to say goodbye, or to offer a drink or a snack, or in one case to indulge a small child who just wanted to wander round an empty house. You can’t say no, can you?
I missed all that, I’m glad to say, because I was parked outside the new place waiting for progress updates. The removers were supposed to wait for a call, but they arrived before that. I welcomed them and explained the situation. This was a mega bluffing exercise, as at that moment I had no idea what the situation was. It didn’t matter: “We got bored hanging around,” said the team leader, “so we thought we might as well come on up.” I had no argument with that.
Once they got going, they were phenomenal. Neither of us has moved house for many years, and we’d forgotten how strong and strenuous and motivated these guys are. Everything had been carefully labelled, of course. (She’s very organised, despite her denials.) I had to prevent the work experience lad from putting the microwave into the attic, but apart from that, all that’s left to do is empty about twenty-five boxes of whatever the hell they might contain. We’ll do that on Sunday. The volume of stuff in boxes seems to exceed the volume of furniture by a factor of about seven; but most of it is wrapping paper, and air.
After they’d gone, we sat down and had a cup of tea, followed up by a gin and tonic. She looked around. “I’m going to like it here,” she said.
One of my few guiding precepts in life is ‘Don’t move away from things, move towards them.”