53. When they got to Owl’s old house…

… they found everybody there except Eeyore.  Christopher Robin was telling them what to do, and Rabbit was telling them again directly afterwards, in case they hadn’t heard, and then they were all doing it.  They had got a rope and were pulling Owl’s chairs and pictures and things out of his old house so as to be ready to put them into his new one.  Kanga was down below tying the things on, and calling out to Owl, “You won’t want this dirty dish-cloth any more, will you, and what about this carpet, it’s all in holes,” and Owl was calling back indignantly, “Of course I do! It’s just a question of arranging the furniture properly, and it isn’t a dishcloth, it’s my shawl.”

“Sorry,” I croak, between coughs, “I’ll sleep in the spare room.”

“No, you won’t,” mumbles ActorLaddie.

For a micro-second, I’m touched by his solicitude and then I remember.

“Though if you can find the sofa bed, feel free,” he adds.

He has a point.  I prop myself up further, review my lozenge situation and do my best to let him sleep.  After all, he has a loft to clear on the morrow.

Whereas, there’s no chance of me teaching.  Unless I’m propped in the corner of my room  like Jabba the Hutt while the children work independently bringing a continual supply of ice-lollies to hold the pain in my tonsils at bay.  It could be that this is allowed for in Mr Gove’s new curriculum.  I would check but we have no internet!

It turns out that when BT said that definitely and for sure they would send someone to connect the broadband on Wednesday, between 8 am and 1pm; yes, definitely and for sure, didn’t we say so already; look, we’ve told you twice already, please stop checking up on us – it turns out that what they meant was; they wouldn’t.  Don’t know who told you that, sir.  Not on our system.  Can’t fit it in now till middle of next week.  Anything else I can do for you?

There are no shortage of moving horror stories out there.  Mr SiteManager moved recently; all ready to go by eight in a hired van with hefty mates.  Call comes from his lawyer to say that the buyer  – let’s call him Bernard – had taken out his windows in order to get a three piece suite out of the house.  So his buyer was refusing to release the money until the windows were put back. Bernard then arrives with his van wanting to remove our Mr SiteManager’s windows while they are all waiting.  That takes a brave man.  Or one that hasn’t quite got the measure of Mr SiteManager.  It was late afternoon before the whole chain finally clunked into place.

Pa has his own story.  Their current hidey-hole was previously owned by a family – let’s call them the Bernards –  whose mother owned the hidey-hole next door.  So they were selling both hidey-holes to bundle in together.  Pa hires the Co-op removers who, despite the fact that they were being paid by the hour, make a jolly good job of getting everything swiftly into the van.  They troll off to the new house to find the Bernards still blithely at breakfast, not a thing packed in either house, not even the tortoises.  And Pa paying by the hour.

I heard the Mother of all Moving Stories on the wireless last Spring. Chap buys empty house from other chap – let’s call him Bernard.  Completes and everything. Starts doing it up. Gets a letter addressed to The Occupier.  Opens it. Eviction notice for previous owners.  Mortgage defaultees. Turns out Bernard didn’t own house at all; had, in fact, no connection to house. Complete fraudster. And Bernard’s solicitors – who received all our chap’s money from his solicitors – were a sham set-up having cloned details from real solicitors. Our chap now has no house, no money and is having to employ new group of solicitors to sue his previous solicitors for negligence.

Our move on Tuesday, however, went like clockwork, apart from the tincey-wincey little detail that on Saturday some tonsilly-glandy-larynxy-eary thing knocked me for six.  It’s entirely my own fault as only last week I mentioned to ActorLaddie that I’d not had a day off sick for a year.  It was meant as a comment on the benefits of exercise but guess I provoked my inner Bernards.

So Friends-and-Relations turned up and packed and cleaned and mowed grass.  On the day, the sun shone. The removal men came when they said they would. The money went through fine.  Ma had provided a lovely picnic lunch for those who could swallow. And once the van was unloaded, ActorLaddie made up the bed and I crashed out.

When I came-to, the bookcases were in place with books in them. The brown formica cupboards were bursting with ActorLaddie’s soup making equipment, while our new fridge-freezer gleamed against the orange-and-brown tiles. The remains of our wordly goods where stacked around the sofa bed in the study.  An assortment of family were in the garden eating Chinese.  It was just like the barn-building scene in Witness but with less Harrison Ford and more Chow Mein.

Thanks so much, Friends-and-Relations for pitching-in when in-pitching was needed and for all your love and encouragement. You’ve made one Jellywoman very happy.

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