"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Moving Times

A Hopefully Humourous Account of Moving From A to B

When Other Half and I first got together around the time of the Summer of Love we believed with Proudhon that Property was indeed Theft*, but this was 100 years after Proudhon's death and back in that day rented property in this neck of the woods was very hard and expensive to come by. So we comforted ourselves that we were actually undermining the Capitalist Society by buying into the mortgage system when we didn't believe in it and using it to our own benefit. Or pragmatism as it is known...

Many, many years later when my parents had died I found that my part of their legacy resulted in a small property in Somerset. We had been travelling back and forth to Somerset with our growing family for over 30 years, firstly staying with friends or family and then as as the families [ours and theirs!] grew too big to share spare rooms we bought firstly a touring cravan and latterly a 'static' caravan sited on a piece of land overlooking the sea so that we could come and go at will. So it made sense to keep the small property and again pragmatism allowed us to say we weren't really second home owners as we had family and friend links within the county and anyway we were probably going to retire to Somerset so this was a 'property foothold'. At least one Child was talking about moving to the W.Country so again it seemed sensible to keep a place 'open' for him too. And we could have good comfortable holidays there, indeed spend part of the year there!

Fast forward to a couple of years ago. Plans change as plans do - Child wasn't now going to move to W.Country and moved elsewhere, other Children also seemed settled not in the W.Country. Our retirement plans were changing due to pension problems so selling the property seemed a necessity. But in the intervening years property prices had dropped and it seemed not to make economic sense to sell in a falling market. Another pragmatic decision seemed necessary so an awful Capitalistic seeming
plan was put into operation was put into action - we would rent out the cottage. Strains of Dylan's Dear Landlord kept playing through my ear. I had to be very pragmatic to come to terms with myself but managed as the bills mounted up.

So that is why we were in Somerset this weekend trying to complete the 'big move'- taking out personal possessions as we have a tenant coming in next Saturday. The plan was to store them all in the caravan and take a few things home and then when the weather is better sort things out into what we really need to keep and what is really sentimental stuff we have no room for! We both had really got this planned out well - me with a system of bags with labels on and Other Half with a really good check list.

All went well, car loaded up to the roof lining with the FIRST load and Saturday lunchtime off we tootled to the caravan BUT:

1. Road to caravan closed for repairs with a fence across and usual Somerset thing of no diversion signs. Still we pride ourselves on being locals so worked out a diversion route but thought that might also be blocked. After 15 worrying minutes found it was open so got to the caravan safely
2. Key would not turn in caravan door lock. Slight tantrums by both of us. Called a friend who is a handyman who said we would have to get the caravan makers out as something had definitely gone wrong with the lock
3. Caravan makers not answering 'phone
4. Another friend gave up a spare room for all our stuff [which was lucky as there was a real danger it could have been thrown over the cliff by this point] and all my careful planning ended up with the last car load being thrown in and the door shut - to be moved when the caravan can be opened.. However not everything fitted into the room so decided the remainder would have to travel home the 220 miles with us
5. Returned to cottage to find that the caravan makers we had been ringing were the wrong ones and the right ones were really helpful. But we would be back home by the time they fix the problem - hopefully sometime today IF they can find the 'detour' to the caravan site!

This was just on Saturday afternoon and of course there were more goings on than this over the weekend! The fact that we were selling a couple of larger items and waiting for the buyers to ring to say they were coming to get them. And waiting. And waiting. And wondering where the strange noise was coming from. And waiting. And waiting. And wondering where the strange noise was coming from. And waiting. And gradually realising that the 'phone was off the hook and the strange noise was actually that noise it makes when 'they' are trying to tell you that you have accidentally knocked the 'phone off the hook. Doh...... But luckily the buyers were persistant in the face of our ineptitude! And packing the tin opener when I only had tinned food left to eat for Sunday dinner could be seen as an error if anyone wants to get picky.

However we did to get to see our friends [who very kindly fed us!] and see the lovely Somerset countryside so we have had a bit of a break [albeit on a slightly surreal scale...]

The car journey home was fine except that the car was rather full. Also I had made a few packing mistakes in the panic engendered by the change of plans. Clothes had ended up in strange places so that those items of clothing left for me to wear on the return journey were, to put it lightly, not co-ordinated. My dress sense has been described as eccentric but this was just plain weird. When we stopped at the services for a 'comfort break' I said to Other Half 'At least I won't see anyone we know' but he needn't have added 'Or will want to know you'. Personally I didn't think mauve and orange were that startling although I wouldn't normally have chosen to wear them together but there were a few very surprised looks.

The photo above [courtesy of Wikipedia] is of Marie Lloyd who famously sang the moving song My Old man Said Follow the Van although in our case we could not get into the van...

*Pierre-Joseph Proudhon 1809-1865 Tomorrow I will return to the kind of blogging of which I hope he would approve!

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