Day number 6 of my self-set writing challenge, a blog a day for thirty days from a list of thirty random topics I came across. Yesterday was Door, today it is:
I guess moving house is never easy although I have done it several times in my life. In December of the year 2000 we moved from Oldham to Uphill in Somerset. We went from a large two bedroom bungalow to a smaller two bedroom bungalow which was already furnished and fully equipped with my dad’s things. He had died five years previously but we had kept his place partly in the hope that we would be able to move into it at some point, but also to have somewhere to stay and have my disabled sister home when we visited every fortnight. I got a new job which meant we could move, my old teaching job finished Friday 22nd December, the new one started two hundred miles away after New Year in the first week of January. In between we had to move house, have Christmas, and New Year and get the children ready for their new school.
As soon as I knew I had the job we began to do two things, pack up our possessions in Oldham and clear the decks in Dad’s house for us to move in and live there until we could find a bigger place to move into. The children were just eight and six; they already knew Uphill because of course we had visited there every couple of weeks since they were born. The plan was that husband and children would set off early Saturday 23rd December morning and drive down to the bungalow and do the last minute things before the removal van arrived with our belongings. The removals men had most things paced on that Friday, the last few things on the Saturday. I would stay until they had packed those remaining bits and pieces, then I would clean round one last time, check nothing was left, and set off in the hire car, heading south.
All went well with the leaving; I hugged our dear old neighbour and said goodbye to other neighbours then off I went, leaving our lovely and happy home for the last time. Only I had a mobile phone in those days, and I had no idea how everything was going with the family. I thought I would arrive in time to see the last things unloaded and to begin to get the house as clear as we could – the reason we had to hurry was that it was December 23rd; on December 24th my aunty, uncle and mother-in-law would arrive for Christmas, and I would go over to my sister’s care home to pick her up as well. I arrived to absolute chaos!
The removals men were the speediest house movers ever; although they left well after husband and children, they had arrived only an hour after them. Our car was full of stuff which husband was unloading when the van pulled up. Husband couldn’t keep up with them unloading so all our planning went out of the window as the house, garage and roofed car space became absolutely crammed with a random jumble of boxes, crates and furniture. It was a surreal nightmare! Aunty and uncle and mother-in-law were staying in the small hotel across the road, so that was no problem, but disabled sister and us were hoping to sleep in our own beds that night – ok, so the children would be in sleeping bags on the floor, but the place had to be ready for feeding everyone, and then Christmas Dinner on the Monday – to which our dear friends from the village were also invited!
Suddenly, the same dear friends arrived. They would kidnap the children, the children would sleep over with them that Saturday night, and then on Monday, Christmas Day, dinner would be at their house, not our bungalow!! This was indeed a splendid idea! Children vanished, excited to be having a sleepover, and we set to trying to make sense of our piles of stuff. With the pub, the dear old Dolphin being next door, we were able to refresh our weary selves late in the evening, before heading back to our new home for a sleep before an early start on Christmas Eve.
I wonder now how on earth we did it! But we did it, and Father Christmas managed to find us on Christmas Eve, a tree was up in the sitting room with gifts beneath it, and then round to the other side of the village for Christmas dinner! It was indeed a moving story!