Wednesday, July 22, 2009

These are what we call quality problems

So we are just about to move, as in quite literally just about to move. Today the chaps came and packed up most of the house, tomorrow they'll finish, and Friday we move into our new home. It's an all man crew, and I think the 20-something-year-old chap who is sporting some impressive sleeves (that's tattoo speak for both arms covered from wrist to shoulder in ink) will be packing up my underwear drawer tomorrow. I have mixed feeling about this (him being a man that is, not the tats) but then rationalise rather him than me.

Naturally ahead of the guys arriving today, we had to have the requisite porn sweep. This is my term for pretty much anything you want to put into a box yourself rather than have the aforementioned 20-year-old stranger come across, I mean, discover. You know the sort of thing - creams and lotions for embarrassing body ailments, dodgy stuff your girlfriends gave you at your hen night (as yet unwrapped fyi), your copy of Debretts, etc.

Anyway, so most of the house is packed up. The guys left Julia's bedroom as is until tomorrow, "So the little un don't get upset." And they have a point. She's already quite disconcerted to see her home for a year pretty much in boxes. Walls bare apart from a few menacing-looking exposed nails here and there, furniture gone, and everything topsy turvy. She's been walking around from room to room saying, "Is empty."

This is only the second time we've had people pack up our place for us, and while it's a god-send and I highly recommend it, it's also a tricky business. If you do it yourself you are in a position to dig something out if you still need it. Whereas with someone else doing it stuff is packed and sealed and loaded on a van as much as two days before you actually leave your old house. As a result, for e.g., I have peppercorns all over the kitchen floor and no dustpan to deal with them. Oh yes, and I kind of sort of forgot to keep bibs back. And dish clothes, and dishwasher tablets. You're getting the idea right? Fortunately I managed to rescue the bottle opener just in time. What with those cold beers for tonight in the fridge and all.

I've gone through varying emotions about our move. I think anyone that knows me knows how much I love our current house. Built in the 30's it's my idea of the perfect family home; Light, airy, classic architecture but with a modern interior, roomy but still cosy feeling, and a great garden. Unfortunately the landlord doesn't want to sell nor did he want to reduce rent to an amount that was in line with the changed market. Almost everyone we know that rents has managed to get a reduction this year, except us. Indeed not only are we paying too much, but we were contractually obliged to meet a rent increase this coming year. So yes, it was time to move.

The new place is very different to where we live now. Very very modern, which means Roberto loves it. I'm looking forward to the benefits of the integrated family design its based on, which is really just fancy speak for a place that is big enough so a family don't drive each other nuts, but also structured in a way so that you feel connected with one another. Also it's in the heart of the village which means I can pop out to Tesco's in my pj's if need be. Naturally this will never ever happen, but I like the sound of it. It makes me feel like I'm living on the edge.

In and amongst all of this I am phoning around getting Julia's name down for nursery schools next year. One of the places has on its online enquiry form: 'Date of birth/due date:' Yes, that is for parents who want to register their unborn child. I kid you not. And what's worse is as ludicrous as I find this, I still catch myself getting swept up in it all, phoning around like a maniac and saying things like, "No no, but you don't understand. It's vitally important to us that there is some continuity between nursery and reception year. So she has to be on the list!" And breathe out.

I didn't even go to nursery school. I don't think my parents could afford it, and in those days it wasn't really considered a necessity. I think my mum prided herself on the fact that she didn't have to send me to nursery because she was a stay at home mum, like it was something parents only did because they had to work. She recently told me that as a baby she'd entertain me/keep me busy while she did chores, by parking my buggy in front of the operating washing machine. Yes, I imagine an analyst, were I to have one, would have a field day with that. Not to mention the more sarcastic among my friends.

Anyway I did find that the first year of reception or Grade 1 as we called it, was a bit more of a challenge for me than other kids, and this probably had a lot to do with not having gone to nursery. Some of these kids already knew their ABC's, and basic counting, and that it wasn't OK to bend someones finger back until it nearly broke. So clearly there was a lot more to this nursery business than just expensive child care.

Tonight we are having takeout sushi (me love sushi is pretty damn good btw) on our remaining sofa, making sure we have a change of undies and enough clothes and toys for Julia for the next 48 hours (which means a lot), and then it's all stations go. More once we've landed... .



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