Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Big Move

It's almost a week ago when we moved here in the West Midlands. Despite all the physical hardships and stress, it was all worth it. Afterall it's a different feeling having a house of your own no matter how small it is.

In our move, we actually did it in 2 plus some more. I got hold of the new house by Friday 18th August and stayed there waiting for the movers to come the day after next (Sunday). Problem was that when the movers came to our Sutton home to load our things, the packing was not finished yet! So the hoard I received Sunday morning is only about 2/3 of all of our belongings. The husband and kids came that same night and we slept on mattresses and sleeping bags for 2 days. Good thing our nephew, Dennis, offered to take the kids for a week to their place in Bolton to free us up in the rest of the move.

We then hired a rickety, old-banger of a white Ford transit van for 2 days. It's about 12 years old and had seen better days. Dirty inside, rusty outside, it had no heating, no radio, no hazard indicator, and worse when it rained it rained inside as well ! Why did we hire it? Because it's cheap. The one advantage of it is, every car and pedestrians keeps clear when they see us coming down the road. And I noticed that there's this kinda 'kindred-spirit' thing that all van drivers share. Why, a lot of other vans (old and new alike) were giving way for us. That I tell you is rare for van drivers to do.

Okay, we had our van and drove back to Sutton to pack everything and clean up once and for all. Problem was, most of our time was consumed trying to get rid of our old bigger furnitures thru friends or via local rubbish dumps. In the end Tony had to drive to 3 different dumps but was turned away. The final one he went to in Croydon allowed him to tip the things in but had to pay £40 ! Oh well ...

Then we realised that despite our dumping loads of furnitures and knick-knacks, our things wouldn't all fit in the van! So we had to hire a storage space in our local Shurgard. Are you exhausted yet? In the midst of all these, a number of friends helped us dispose of things and clean up the house. Imagine that on Thursday 24th Aug 5PM, we were still frantically cleaning up the house and loading the final bits in the van - and we're supposed to hand in the keys to the estate agents right at that moment!

At around 6:30PM, after we said our goodbyes to friends and dropped off the house keys, we eventually drove up the motorway to our new home. Inspite of our exhaustion, we were extremely relieved that that part of the move is over and we're starting a new home life in the West Midlands.

The saga did not end there mind you. We arrived in our new house at around 11PM. So we decided to sleep our aching bodies off and just unload early tomorrow. Next day, we reluctantly got up around 6:30AM to begin our unloading because the van has to be returned at 8AM ! I think this did us in, from the drive to the front door is quite an upward haul of about 15 steps (about 10 feet higher in elevation). Imagine us frantically doing the haul up that flight of stairs in record time. We were so exhausted afterwards that at 10AM we were sleeping again and couldn't bring ourselves up until early afternoon.

But now it's done, finished, moved in completely. What lies ahead is the unpacking ... whether we can do it in 1 week or 1 month or 1 year - is the big question.