We moved house. Relocated. Countless times I have thought, ‘I need to write about this or that,’ but relocating is more time consuming that I thought, and I can’t bear cardboard boxes in my line of sight. So blogging, it seems doesn’t go hand-in-hand with relocating.
We packed up our Notting Hill flat in early March, before lockdown. Notice had been served two months previously, so there was no way of backing out and delaying things because the C-word was making the purchase of our new home painfully slow.
On the whole, the process of packing up our flat ran smoothly. Of course there were mishaps. I lost my wallet, for example. I lost it; it wasn’t stolen. I know this because:
a) I lose most things and…
b) anyone who stole my wallet would return it. On sympathetic grounds. I also found Yet more troubling was the realisation that I had, inadvertently, booked two removals companies.
The thing was, I bartered, played both off against each other, and booked the latter team. The small print read that to confirm, I needed to pay a deposit and respond to the email in writing. I did neither. Only it turned out that my polite ‘hmmms’ on the phone emmitted sufficiently positive vibes as to constitute confirmation for the other party. They were less than impressed when I realised my mistake, and it took quite some persuasion to convince them that turning up on our door at the same time as the other company would end badly. Very badly.
We made the right choice. Our fellas were cracking.
Rhys should have been in Hong Kong the week previous, so it was arranged that Mum would help me with the packing and removals processes. As it happened, he couldn’t fly anywhere for reasons I probably need not spell out, but Mum came anyway. Once done, we – Mum and I – went straight home to Pembrokeshire. Obviously. If you know the original boomerang-kid, send them my number, I’m pretty sure they’re my doppelganger in more ways than one. So anyway, I went home, and a week later, I insisted that Rhys follow before the virus made the journey ill-advised and irresponsible.
He set up an office in the front room and adapted with admirable ease to his new working life. Ron, the cat, quickly became his PA, and barely a morning passed when he wasn’t to be found somewhere close by, offering a comforting claw and soporific purrs at inconvenient moments.
There were teething problems. Of course there were. The Wifi is woefully slow at Coxlake. And I mean, woefully. Really, tragically woeful. So slow, that he took to running his laptop off his phone, which lead to an awkward conversation with the finance team as they pointed out that his phone bill had also become woeful. Woefully high. Alarmingly so. So to avoid any future £800 phone bills, he had to stick to dial-up-speeds and suck up the time spent watching the loading wheel turn or the egg timer spill its virtual grains one at a time.
Lunches also posed difficulties. I think the first time he had beef bubble-‘n’-squeak supplemented with tinned tuna he may have balked. But again, he adapted commendably and ceased to so much as bat an eyelid whenever tinned pineapple or mackerel was served up in culinary combinations he hadn’t previously imagined possible. At least, not in all seriousness since tasked with concocting a new recipe for the witches’ cauldron half-way through studying Macbeth in Year 8.
The weeks flew with surprising ease. I carried on pretty much as usual. If anything, I was busier than usual, using the time without shows to take on extra work. Maggie and I revelled in the sunshine.
Of course we were aware that the removals bill was slowly accumulating. But I don’t think we were aware by quite how much until we asked for an interim storage invoice. The government had newly announced that house moves would be permitted, and the invoice suggested it should be done promptly.
We moved 10 days later.Moving in lockdown is something I’ll get onto at another point. It’s not been without challenges.
Easy or not, we are now Monmouthshire residents. And now that we are Monmouthshire residents without cardboard boxes cluttering every corner and with a new laptop, I’m back online.