Saturday, 2 May 2009

Visas, vivas, weddings and Wallace & Gromit

One of the most irritating things about moving is that people keep asking me how the packing is going. This began in about February, and would be accompanied by looks of incredulity whenever I replied in the negative.

Now, finally, we are getting to the stage where you might reasonably think that we should be spending our entire time packing up the house. But it has been a bit of a crazy week, since The Doctor finished work last Friday......

Let me explain:

Saturday: leave house at 7.45 am, leaving Littleboys in care of babysitter. Race up to Lake District (a 6 hour drive) in brother in law's Mini to attend wedding of The Doctor's second cousin. Despite arriving in violent rainstorm, emerge from church in brilliant sunshine at 5pm, followed by idyllic boat ride across Lake to reception. Weather, amazingly, holds out as we drink champagne on headland overlooking lake. Eat, drink, dance and chat into the early hours before bride and groom depart, by boat, to fireworks.

Sunday: Set off at 11am in the Mini (once a hung-over brother in law has been roused) to London. Arrive 5pm and relieve babysitter of Littleboys. Feel exhausted before week has even started....

Monday: Shop at supermarket and shoe shop for Littleboys (surprisingly painless) . Spend entire afternoon filling out visa applications (surprisingly painful).

Tuesday: Go to my on-off workplace for last time. Boss very kindly takes me out for delicious lunch and buys champagne. Meanwhile The Doctor has his final PhD viva exam all afternoon - the culmination of more than four years' work. He passes without corrections. We celebrate with steak and more wine.

Wednesday: Feeling slightly jaded, hotfoot it to US Embassy with our five million forms. Do not take any electronic devices, mobile phones or car keys. Do not take Littleboys (thank God). Do not pass go until we have queued at three separate counters, given two sets of fingerprints and spent two and a half hours in waiting room. However, feel relieved that 'consular interview' is actually quite friendly. (Had been expecting Jack Bauer style interrogation out of '24').

Thursday: With boys at nursery, pack car and furiously drive down M4 with carload of furniture to be stored at family cottage. Unpack car. Go to lunch at posh seafood restaurant we have never dared enter due to Littleboys. Have delicious lobster salad, fish and wine. Drive back to London, collect boys. The Doctor goes out with workmates for farewell meal. Meanwhile I have farewell supper and gossip with friend who I will really, really miss, then stay up far too late watching recording of Mad Men.

Friday: Take Littleboys to Wallace and Gromit exhibition at Science Museum to celebrate Littleboy 1's imminent birthday. Have great time rushing around, singing Karaoke and eating cake. The Littleboys have a great time, too. Come back and have more friends over for birthday tea. Spend several hours cleaning up after gang of marauding small boys.

So, as you can see, it's been a rather fun week, featuring top notch food and drink, a lively social calendar and, well, quite a bit of driving. Oh, and I've usefully started compiling a playlist of 'New York' themed songs for our leaving party. All very important stuff. Just not much packing.......

12 comments:

Nota Bene said...

Have you finished packing yet?
Are you nearly done yet?

Bush Mummy said...

Blimey! You'll have to go on holiday when you arrive after all that!! What a lovely week.. the wedding in the Lake District sounds idyllic.

BM x

Potty Mummy said...

Sounds perfectly organised to me... (Obviously, should I need it, will be using your schedule as a template)

Iota said...

It sounds all rather fun. Are you in denial or something?

Kit said...

It's a far better strategy to do it your way. Pack everything at the last minute rather than stress about it for four solid weeks before departure and then find that you have packed things you really need and can't remember if you packed somethign else essential and unpack everything again to make sure.

As far as I remember we packed for our move to South Africa in one day - I then drove to my parents with all that we were taking on the plane and the two toddlers, leaving my husband to supervise the removal company and clean up the house. It was actually not too much hassle - except 7 years later we still have some junk in boxes upstairs that we should have thrown out back in London...

Wife in Hong Kong said...

Since we learned we're going home we have been meticulous about not wasting a day and have had some fabulous and precious times. I wonder if ones sensitivity and appreciation is heightened just as you're about to give something up. Won't the packers pack anyway?

nappy valley girl said...

NB - nah, it's all done...

BM - it was idyllic. There's nothing like a good wedding.

PM - I will write you a 'how to' guide if it ever comes to it....

Iota - yes, I think I probably am.....

Kit - yes, there will definitely be junk going into storage boxes - my rationale is that we'll sort it out when we get back....

Wife in HK - yes, you suddenly feel you've got to make the most everything you are going to miss. And yes, the packers will be doing some, but we are moving lots of stuff into storage ourselves, hence the need for packing. Just not yet.

Mud in the City said...

Wow - whirlwind! Anything you forget you can buy; anything essential can always be sent out. And NYC is v easy to visit from London.

Is it a mammoth task - but it will be so exciting as well!

mothership said...

I think you're doing it the right way. And you know, you can ALWAYS take a plane back and get what you need out of storage or get someone else to get it for you if it's THAT important. Just enjoy your time.
My 2cents.
BTW, just packed up our most essential things in less than an hour due to evacuation warning - amazing what isn't really that important.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

We were the same. Had the grandparents take the boys for a weekend so we could do some serious packing and were last seen at 5am weaving our way back along the river singing silly songs having been out since 6... very little packing done the next morning. It all gets done eventually. Until you get the case of THE FEAR when you know you don't have enough time to do everything then you need to enjoy yourselves with some good friends and have some fun. You've still got 4 weeks left after all... (but good luck with that four weeks)

Mom/Mum said...

hello!
Good luck!
I soo remember those visits at the Embassy...and the packing. It all comes together one way and another, in the end...
Justthink in a few weeks a simple sandwich order will be a thingof your past.
Remember pack as many UK goodies and groceries as you can fit in. They'll bring comfort as you search the US aisles for something resembling Calpol and Revels..
x

"Moaning Mum" said...

Life is too short to pack. Continue eating, drinking and being merry until the 11th hour - at which point consume an entire strip of ProPlus, give your children to the babysitter and whilst listening to a hopelessly outdated but nonetheless brilliant old playlist of your favourite music you made AGES ago - spend 24 hours straight guzzling strong coffee, and get the whole lot done in one go.
(fyi it works - I did it myself once)
x