Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Moving Day

Last night I slept the sleep of the just, for about the first time in two weeks. No awakenings at 5am, running through a 'to do' list in my mind. No children climbing into the bed in the early hours - they, also exhausted, slept until nearly 8am.

The reason? We have finally completed the mammoth task of moving out of the house.

As I've mentioned before, we've been there ten years, and the amount of stuff we've collected has been phenomenal. It probably would have been easier to ship it all to America, but that would have been expensive and half the things useless there anyway. So we went for a complex three way option - take some stuff, leave some stuff for tenants, take the rest away to be stored. In theory this was a great idea - in practice, it was akin to organising a military campaign....

To add to this, two other fairly crucial pieces of the Moving Jigsaw also happened to fall into place on Moving Day; finding a tenant and receiving our visas.

Last Friday our house had yet to be let; on Saturday we had two offers. We had the luxury, therefore, of choice; the group of Sloaney, giggly girls, versus the group of young, earnest blokes from Up North. We went for the girls, purely because they could move in earlier and provide their own beds. I would have rather had a family, but sadly no families saw fit to view our house (the lure of Clapham's bars and restaurants being rather more attractive to so-called 'professional sharers'). So yesterday, as well as packing up, I was frantically emailing paperwork to the agent.....

Meanwhile the non-appearance of the visas had begun to stress us out massively. They hadn't arrived, as promised, within five working days, and were still M.I.A on the morning of Moving Day. This would have meant changing the delivery address for the courier (which, if anything like the rest of our dealings with the embassy, would have been like negotiating Middle East peace), plus, The Doctor needed his passport back to fly to Austria this weekend for a conference. However, just as we were really panicking, the courier turned up at 10am on Moving Day, causing me to whoop with relief (to the great surprise of the removal men).

Littleboy 2 did his best to make Moving Day even more delightful, adding such activities as stuffing two rolls of paper down the loo and blocking it, and throwing Christmas decorations down the stairs and smashing them. Littleboy 1 meanwhile was fascinated by the whole thing, wanting to help the removal men and actually helping the decorator to repaint the dining room.

What else? Oh, one of my oldest friends had her much longed-for baby last week, so in the midst of all the pre-moving chaos of Monday, I simply had to find time to race down to Docklands and pay her a visit. After all, if I don't, her daughter might be three by the time I get to see her. I am sure The Doctor secretly thinks this is Female Logic, but he magnaminously offered to drive me part of the way.....

Finally we realised that despite driving a huge vanload of stuff away from our house last week, there was no way the remaining belongings would fit in the car for the final journey to the family cottage where we are spending the next seven days. This necessitated the Littleboys and I taking the train, which, luckily, was from Paddington, enabling me to distract them by looking for bears etc. at the station. Meanwhile, The Doctor filled the car to the brim. It STILL didn't all fit, but luckily my father in law can bring the rest before we leave.

By the end of yesterday, I felt as if I'd aged about a million years. But today is a different story; we are all well-rested, calmer, feeling really quite excited about finally reaching New York next week. And after all, it all came together in the end. And there are celebratory gin and tonics to be had, plus the remains of the cava from our leaving do to be 'finished'....

That is, until remembering Littleboy 2's behaviour on our two taxi journeys yesterday, I start thinking about the plane journey....

11 comments:

Nicola said...

Best of luck with the plane journey - and the move. So exciting! I am coming home to the UK for 3 weeks this summer with the 2 boys and am DREADING the flights (particularly the overnight one because neither of them sleep on planes...urgh). And I always have a constant internal narrative in my head "it will all be over and done with soon...it's just a day...by tomorrow the nightmare you are currently living in will be a distant memory...etc etc" I'm sure your kids will be great - but if not remember, "it's just a day / it will be over soon blah blah blah"

Nota Bene said...

Well done on your mamoth achievement. And best of luck on your journey westward...

Potty Mummy said...

Congratulations on your feat of organisation - I will be in touch for notes and schedule some time soon if things continue as they are doing!

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Oh this all sounds so very, very familiar. We had a 4 way split of stuff, Our house (cellar AND loft), Abroad, Parents, in-Laws. Trouble is wheneever we come home we go from one place to the next rumaging thru belongings looking for things. We didn't leave enough time between packers taking stuff to ship & us leaving, so we had friends hoovering our floors,our tenant stuffing stuff up in the loft for us (he was a friend...) We tok 18 bags to the airport becasue we hadn't managed to pack it in time for the shippers.Oh dea r it wa schaos. We wanted a family to rent too. got one for 2 yrs. Now it's singles. From Feb it's been all lads. I'm dreading goign back to the property in the summer.... It wa svery emotional by the way, leaving our house. did you feel that??

Maternal Tales said...

Ooh I just love it when a plan comes together...of course, I'm sure it was all to do with fantastic organisational skills. Good luck with the next few weeks x

Wife in Hong Kong said...

The sleep of the dead when you've finally achieved it all is so welcome, isn't it? You've done it, well done! This sounds so much like our departure last summer. I am sad we'll miss each other in London too, there would be so much to talk about!

Iota said...

Well done! Huge achievement! And you still found time to write a blog post in the midst of it all.

Mud in the City said...

Well done! You've achieved a huge amount - I hope the Littleboys allow you some rest and relaxation before the final move. And just think - you'll be sipping cosmos in Manhattan by next week!

Expat mum said...

Don't worry about the flight at all. There's nothing you can do about it anyway - except perhaps read my piece about long haul travel with kids on the Expat Women web site. Just buy a new toy each (novelty factor) and don't forget to confirm the kids' meals. If they happen to change the plane you're flying on, (which they do a lot), the menu orders don't always get transferred over. I have been caught a few times with very spicey chicken for toddlers.
Good luck and well done.

Dumdad said...

Phew, I'm exhausted just reading about all the things you have to do/have done! It is said moving is up there in stress levels with death and divorce.

Bon courage!

nappy valley girl said...

Nicola - thanks, and you are right, it's just a day. At least it's only 7 hours - when my parents first went to Hong Kong it was a 22 hour flight, with me as a toddler and my sister as a six week old baby.....

NB - thanks, and hope maybe you'll make a trip westward in the next 3 years?

PM - sounds exciting, is Russia becoming a reality then?

PLIT - I felt very emotional about it last week, but on the actual moment of leaving, not at all, as it was utter chaos and I had two littleboys to bundle into a taxi..

MT - of course it was....!

Wife in HK - and good luck with your move, too...

Iota - well, that was afterwards. Now we're in a kind of post-move limbo.....

Mud - oh yes, I shall be hanging out with SJP and the rest before we know it!

Expat Mum - will take your advice (have already ordered child meals but will confirm); Littleboy 1 will be fine, but his brother is very, very restless....

Dumdad - after the births of my children, it is probably the most tired I have ever felt in my life....