Good morning! How the devil are you?
It’s been – crikey, a whole week! Whoops – since I last wrote a blog post. Sorry about that. I moved house this week, which has taken up a fair amount of time. The upshot is that I am writing to you now from the kitchen of my lovely new flat. Isn’t the garden pretty? Ignore the boxes of books and saucepans. I’ll finish unpacking later.
Moving house is incredibly stressful, but it also has a lot of perks. Here are a few that I’ve experienced over the past few days:
- Rediscovery – Ash and I packed up our possessions and vacated Bag End almost a month ago. Getting my stuff back out of storage was quite good fun, because I’d half-forgotten about some of the nice things we have, including an owl cushion called Archimedes:
Hands down the most important thing I’ve unpacked so far.
- Wonderland – I’ve spent quite a bit of time in this area of London before, but now that I live here I am finding out all sorts of things about what the area has to offer. My favourite pub in the entire city is a ten minute walk away, the coffee shops look amazing and there are charity book shops all over the place. It’s opposite a massive park AND an indoor climbing centre. Bring on the adventures.
- Team Work – my lovely, kind and wonderful friends are a very helpful bunch, and moving house has been a lot easier because of them. It has also been a lot funnier because of them. Spending time putting furniture together has given us the chance to reminisce, with some surprising stories – “Have I not told you this story before?!” – and a lot of nostalgia.
- Bizarre Rules – my friends and I have also decided that the first time someone visits my new house, they have to sit in the bathtub (not filled, obviously) and have their photo taken. That sound weird, doesn’t it? I know. I have no defence, except that the bathtub is weirdly small and we all found it hilarious. I’m not explaining this very well…
- Bear Grylls Complex – when you’ve only had time to unpack a fraction of your possessions, you have to sort of make do with whatever comes to hand. It might just be me, but the whole experience makes me feel like a scavenger living on the fringes of society. For example, when we left Bag End Ash and I threw the kettle away, because it was a bit old and scummy. I forgot about this when I moved in to the new flat. I assumed the kettle was hiding in a box somewhere. I have coffee, sugar, milk and teabags, but no kettle. If you’ve ever met me, you will know that this is a Very Bad Situation. We dispatched someone to buy a kettle yesterday afternoon, with no success. This morning’s coffee has therefore come from water boiled in a saucepan. I feel so primitive. I feel like I’ve EARNED my coffee.
- Building Blocks – last but not least, a new house means a new start. Distributing your books and belongings around a new space is a very exciting thing to do, and it’s how we build somewhere up from being a house/flat into a home/hobbit hole. There is, as Dorothy Gale would tell you if she weren’t fictional, no place like home.
Have a glorious Monday. I’m going to go and buy a kettle.
Hello, dear reader! How are things?
Just in case I haven’t complained about this loudly or frequently enough yet, I absolutely loathe and detest moving house, mainly because of the packing. Packing for a holiday is great, and even packing for the Edinburgh Fringe is ok (as long as someone remembers the props), but packing up an entire house is just ridiculous. Here are some modern moving woes which I think we can all relate to (and some nice bits as well):
- “Whose is this?”
It doesn’t matter whether you only live with one other person, or you put your name in all of your books, or you have an excellent memory: there is always at least one household item which has disputed ownership. For example, I cannot remember for the life of me who owns the cheese grater, and that’s a very serious concern in our house.
- “No, seriously, whose is this?”
Ash and I reconciled ourselves a long time ago to the fact that our friends see us as an elderly married couple, despite (or potentially because of) our best efforts to behave like normal girls in their mid twenties. However, it has resulted in the other ownership issue that arises when you move house: what do you do with presents that were given to you jointly? Is it fair to call dibs on something that you both have an attachment to? Ash has already said that I can have the beautiful cheese board our friend gave us for Christmas, so that’s ok. And yes, everything in this household really does come down to cheese. It would be sort-of funny if it weren’t so very true.
- Furniture Tetris
During the last twelve months, Ash and I have both tried to move the furniture in our bedrooms. I say “tried”, because one of us got stuck between a wardrobe and a bed, and the other got halfway through before realising that it was past midnight and the neighbours might complain. Trying to move furniture around and have somewhere to keep your clothes, books etc. and clean as you go is like playing four different levels of Tetris at the same flipping time. I’m genuinely worried about how we’re going to get all of our furniture out of the front door and into the van.
- Boxing Days
You can never have enough boxes. Every time we’ve left the house in the past week, we’ve stopped at our local Asda to ask the lovely produce staff for cardboard boxes that used to house melons and cabbages. We now have approximately seven crates of books each and no floor space to move around in. My main regret about this is that we didn’t even make a fort before we filled them.
- Sweet Charity
Moving house is a great time to have a bit of a clear out, whether you swap possessions or do a massive charity shop run. This aspect of moving is characterised by questions like “Do you want these shoes?” “This belt doesn’t fit me, do you want to take it?” and even “Do you know you look like one of the seven dwarves with that bin bag over your shoulder?” (Answer: yes. Yes I do. And I’m ok with it. Cue singing “Hi ho” all the way down to the Cancer Research shop.)
- Hostesses with the Mostest
By the time we have our house cooling party tomorrow night, the flat will basically be empty apart from emergency coffee-making equipment and the magic internet box (which I think proper grown-ups refer to as a modem). This is going to make hosting a party a bit of a challenge, but with a bit of luck and a lot of plastic cups, I think we’ll be ok.
Right. I’m going to go and tackle the kitchen. Wish me luck, and have an exceedingly joyful Tuesday.