Category Archives: Housemoving

52. List, list, oh list

Friday 5th July

8 stone 13, alcohol units last night 1 (excellent), cigarettes nil (excellent), calorie intake last night lots (poor), strong coffees so far 2 (and counting)

9 am. Serious packing calls for serious measures.  Moving to a house half the size of this one.  ActorLaddie says we need to be calm, purposeful and proactive. Agree.

Downloaded time-management book for Kindle which suggests making of list of essential tasks, prioritising and working through in order.  Essential defined as only tasks related to job in hand.  Job in hand being getting everything prepared for removal men who arrive at 8 am in three days time.  Need a list. Must on no account get distracted by writing blog.

Will go and make list.  Coffee first.

9.30 am. Things to be done today:
Make list
Clear garage: box up pots etc, dump rubbish
Dismantle greenhouse and take to bungalow
Go through clothes, pack, excess to Oxfam
Go through stuff brought out of loft, box, dispose of excess
I will not get distracted by doing blog
Meet with electrician
Empty and sort cupboard under stairs
Post excess furniture on Freegle
Pack up books, and books, and books
Take unwanted books to Red Cross bookshop
Do not read them
Tell all re change of address
Go to dump
Take repeat prescription to chemist
Do not post blog until have done all above.
Do not get distracted by copy of Bridget Jones’s Diary

Oh bugger.

49. Under Starter’s Orders

Dear Mr Dickens,

I think it was most unfair of you to claim that the ‘one great aim of English Law is to make business for itself.’ (Apologies if that’s not quite right.  A Levels were some time ago and the neurology waiting room inexplicably fails to have a copy of Bleak House to hand.)

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39. Be it ever so humble

The old chap on the doorstep is called Roger and he’s holding an estate agents’ brochure of our house.  We don’t recognise the name of the company but the photo of the front is definitely our street.006

“I see you’ve sold,” he says, nodding at the board in the garden.  “I’ve come all the way from Dorset hoping to see inside.”

After a bit of a chat, we invite him in and give him the tour.  “It says in the brochure that the hall has oak panelled walls,” remarks Roger.


“It did.  But we found them a bit gloomy and painted the hall white.  We’ve still got the platter-rack though.”

“But no platters?”

“Afraid not.  We did for some time have our overspill of paperback books on them but whenever GrannieBorders bashed into the skirting boards, they fell on her head.  After she was nearly concussed by a Dorothy L Sayers, we just bought another bookcase.” Continue reading →

34. Turn and face the strain

When YoungLochinvar were nought but a nipper, our fridge stopped working.  We ordered a replacement but the infant YL was distraught.  “I liked the old fridge,” he wailed.  In vain we explained that we also liked the old fridge in every respect apart from its inability to keep things cold.  YL reproached us for our failure to keep faith with the white goods.  He always did have an advanced vocabulary.  Thus started Old Fridge Syndrome.  More than a quarter of a century later it would be, of course, inappropriate and embarrassing of us to remind YoungLochinvar of O.F.S. every time he faces a major life change.  So, naturally, we do.  What else are parents for? Continue reading →

31. With two cats in the yard; life used to be so hard…

“When people look round your house,” says LittleSis, “they are actually considering whether they want to buy your life-style.”  She’s a regular Kirsty-and-Phil, is my sister.

So, the people who haven’t made an offer on our house are actually rejecting our life-style: rejecting us, in fact.  This bemuses me.  Granted, the house does have the look of a library about it but then who wouldn’t want to live in a library?

Don’t answer – I’m feeling a bit raw about all this.

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25. Passnotes no. 3, 200 Kerb Appeal

Age: Since Wilma stuffed a large pot of winter flowering pansies by the cave entrance in an attempt to hide the recycling bins.

Huh? I said, kerb appeal.  Or, if you are my American reader, curb appeal.  Hi there.  How’s the snow?

Is it because the lines of people queuing to buy your house are annoying the neighbours? Like all those nannies in Mary Poppins.  Explain?

That you are trying to curb the appeal of your house.   Would that it were, my fair friend, would that it were.  Alas, since our house hit the market last weekend we have had but one viewing and that was a very elderly couple who struggled to get up the stairs.  It does beg the question as to why they were looking around a four bedroom house but I guess that’s their business.

Not brewing enough coffee?  Lack of bread smells?  Jellywoman is working on the basis that the house is still lacking in kerb appeal.  She is spending the weekend trying to increase the likelihood of enticing passers-by to come and buy.

But you’re at the end of a cul-de-sac.  You have no passers-by. Jellywoman is also considering getting InfantPhenomenon to don a sandwich board pointing out the proximity of our house to an Outstanding school and pace up and down outside less Outstanding schools at clocking out time.

So how is this kerb appeal thing going to work? Jellywoman has already borrowed an ace pressure washer from LittleBruv and tackled the paving stones in the front garden.  Some of them are red!  Who knew?

Is that it? Egad, no.  Jellywoman now plans to steal many garden pots from the aged p’s and hit the nursery in the hope of finding something that actually looks good in this weather.

And ActorLaddie? Been charged with sprucing up the paintwork on the rail which stops GrannieBorders plunging over the side of the ramp.

Talking of GrannieBorders… Best not, at the moment.  But Ma’s operation went well this week and she’s back home.

Why are you telling us about this kerb appeal thing? To explain why I haven’t had time to write a blog this weekend.

Do say: Best get up and started then.

Don’t say: Does this mean that if you haven’t sold your house by next weekend, we’ll be spared future blogs too?


24. Not even for ready money…

“So where is this market then?”

Pa’s enthusiasm for souvenir shopping has never been a patch on that of the girls –  even less so under the blazing Spanish sun.  I wasn’t actually there, you understand – this was all reported to me later, but I’m imagining an attractive little town:  flamenco dancers on the corner, castanet players frolicking on the lawn, El Nombre and his mates having a kick-about; that sort of thing.  The bus had left them in what might have passed for a market square had it not been worryingly uncluttered by markets.

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22. Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!

“How’d it go? Any tips?”

“Complete nightmare!  They even opened my desk drawers!”

Not the news I’d hoped for when quizzing Miss Honey on her Ofsted inspection.  Something along the lines of ‘a complete breeze’ would have been more reassuring.

So it was that the day before my first Ofsted, I was Dymo-taping labels for the tobacco tins in which I kept my stationery in the fear of a report saying “Yes, all the class can read but by ‘eck, you can’t lay your hands on a treasury tag for love nor money.”

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21. In the middle of our street, our house…

LittleSis and Bro-in-law had just moved into their new house when the phone went.

“I know you’re in,” said Ma.  “I can see you moving.”

In case you’re thinking that I’m from a long line of mystics (I knew you were), perhaps I should explain that LittleSis’s new house backed onto Ma and Pa’s place.  Ma could walk down her garden, across the alley, into LittleSis’s garden straight to the back door.  She often did, in fact. As Bro-in-law said, having seen the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding “That is so my life.”  We’re not actually Greek.  But we do Family.

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