Well finally on Saturday moving day came around, and we are now in our new house as of Saturday night.
The weather forecast was as predicted for once - rain all day! Just the day that you really don’t want it to rain, it does! Thursday, Friday and even Sunday were nice, but no, Saturday had to be wet didn’t it!
We got up early, grabbed a bite to eat, then set about dismantling the bed. That’s when we hit snag number one, as several bolts would not undo, so we couldn’t take the bed apart. Debbie suggested to wait for her daughter’s husband, who was helping us move, as he had assembled and dis-assembled the bed before several times.
So, we sorted out everything else that we could, and at 9am went to pick up the truck that we had rented to do the move. I have to admit that this was the biggest truck I have ever driven, which was a bit intimidating, especially as I was going to have to drive it down some of the narrowest roads that I have ever driven down as well. But I managed ok, and got the truck to the house, and started to load some of the smaller items while Debbie went to pick up her son-in-law. She turned up about 30 minutes later with her son as well, which was handy, as another set of hands made moving a lot easier. Only 3 days before, she had to take her son to the hospital as he was really sick, and diagnosed with swine flu, but once they managed to hydrate him enough, he bounced back, and seemed right as rain on Saturday, and insisted on helping us move.
We pretty soon finished taking the bed apart, loaded up the van, which unfortunately wouldn’t hold everything, meaning that we would have to make a second trip, and set off for the new house.
The drive is only about a mile, but the last stage involves a very tight 90 degree turn into a narrow service road, a sharp right turn into our road, which goes steeply up a hill, then at the top a right turn at a t-junction, and driving in reverse the 200 yards or so to get as close as you can to the front of the house, which itself is about 50 yards beyond the end of the road. Fortunately there are only cars parked on one side of the road, so I was able to reverse up without any problems, other than getting a stiff neck and slight diziness from having to look behind me while driving.
Everything got unloaded ok, but we had to then make a second trip, as not everything would fit into the van the first time around. So we set off back to our old house to find two large vans parked on opposite sides of our road as you turn to start going down the steep hill. Taking it very slowly around the sharp turn, I managed to clear the vans with about 2 inches each side. I don’t think I want to take up truck driving for a living!
Back to the house, we loaded up the last of the things, back to the house, where we took a quick break, then Debbie and I took the truck hack, while the guys put the bed together. We got back as Debbie’s daughter arrived with the new grandson, and took a well needed break while she made some bacon sandwiches, which really hit the spot. I ought to add that all the while we were loading and unloading the truck, both trips, the rain just came down heavier, but fortunately the worst we had was heavy drizzle, not monsoon rain, and no wind either, because then everything would have been horribly soaked through. As it was, we were just dripping wet, but it probably helped cool us down a bit too.
We had a bit of a drama trying to put the wardrobe back together, as these things are really only meant to be put together once and once only, and the connectors are not as solid as they once were, plus some fo the wooden dowel plugs were broken. However, realising that the reason that the unit was not solid, and was swaying from side to side was that we needed to put the backing on it, we proceeded to use my new toy, a staple gun, and quickly fixed that in place. It still seems amazing to me though, that the only reason the wardrobe is standing upright is that there is a thin piece of hardboard stapled to the back of it. It makes me want to be rather careful when I get things in and out of it, but so far, touch wood |(or should that be chipboard?) it’s holding together ok.
Having eaten and rested for a bit, and sorted out a few more things, the others headed back home, while Debbie and I started to sort things out, making the bed, putting things away etc.
The previous tenant (or tenants) did things a very strange way, since none of the curtain poles were screwed in properly for a start. Brackets were not fixed tightly to the wall, and the poles were not fixed into place on the brackets, so that every time you opened or closed the curtains, the pole moved. Well that was one of the first tasks I was assigned, and pretty easy to fix fortunately.
Next came the towel rail in the bathroom, which was loose and actually fell off. Neither of the brackets were screwed into the wall tightly either, and when I tried to fix it, there were 3 types of screw used for 4 holes, 3 of these were horribly bent and the 4th had a stripped head. They were bent because they would not go deep enough into the wall, which was not drilled properly, and there were no plugs either. Rather than try and fix this over the weekend, I thought that we might look around for a better rail, since it would be good to have one that tolds more than one towel, and we also need a toilet roll holder on the same section of wall. That will be a job for one evening this week I am sure.
There was a doorbell button on the outside of the door, which didn’t work, and we couldn’t see a bell anywhere. So I tool the front off the bell push to find that a rather corroded battery fell out, and there was no clip to hold it in place in any case. I pulled that off the door frame, and we went and got a new doorbell, just a cheap one that works remotely, no need to wire it into place, and of course it didn’t include any sticky pads, so that task will have to wait until we buy some. The nice thing is that you don’t need to fit the bell anywhere, you could in fact attach it to your belt, nice if you were out the back doing work in the garden I suppose.
We managed to get the Freeview box for the television working on Saturday, so we could watch television until the Sky engineer came to fit the satellite dish, but he came this morning (Monday) promptly at 8am and we now have full satellite service back again.
The telephone and internet are going to be a bigger problem, but with luck we will have that sorted out by next weekend. When the BT (British Telecom) engineer came last week to check the phone line, since there hadn’t been a landline with them in the house for a few years, all he did was to check the line quality, and to fit a new socket in the hallway. Unfortunately, the phone socket is in a gap between the kitchen and bathroom, and at least six feet from the nearest power point. It’s not only one of the worst locations that you could think of for putting a phone, without running power to a phone you can only use a basic old phone, not a cordless one, let alone a router etc for the broadband service. I managed to rig up an extension lead from the nearest socket, which is right next to the front door, with the cable going under the carpet protectors that are down right now, and at least we are able to plug in our cordless phone and the wireless router, but it’s far from convenient. At the weekend I am hoping that Debbie’s son, who is a pc technician will help me to relocate the phone cable from where it now comes into the house, to the third bedroom upstairs, which is where we want our office to be. There is a socket already there in the wall, in the perfect place, and a cable running to the outside. It should just be a matter of pulling the old telephone cable away from the wall on the outside of the house and getting it into the office. “Should be” is the operative phrase however, as knowing my luck something always either goes wrong, or turns out more complicated than it ought to be. In this case, I think the difficulty might be in pulling the cable away from the wall. We do need to get a stepladder to be able to reach the cable, however if we need to run a new cable instead, that will require a ladder instead. Wish us luck.
My worldy posessions that I had shipped from Florida were due to be delivered this afternoon, but Pickfords called me mid morning to see how early they could deliver. The good news is that everything arrived by midday and is now in the spare bedroom. The bad news is that there was far more there than Debbie imagined, and I am sure it will take us months to go through some of it. Of course not having seen the boxes since mid July when I shipped them, I now don’t remember exactly what I packed where, so it’s more than likely that things I want to find more quickly will elude me and probably only turn up when we finally get round to opening everything.
The next thing for us is the delivery of the new cooker on Wednesday, and then to try and get the attic floored over, so we can store things up there. That is going to cost a bit of money, so it might have to wait a couple of months before we do that unfortunately. Stay tuned for the next installment of our ongoing saga, and don’t forget to subscribe to Off The Record to get notified of new posts by email.