It’s been six days – at least when I started writing this post – since I/we moved from Casa Beaufoy to Hasiera Heyford (Hasiera is Basque for home btw) and I think I’m over the traumas of the experience.  Time for a record for posterity.

Move day was Wednesday 21 February.  The packing crates arrived on the Monday and once they arrived, so began the chaos.  I think it’s fair to say that neither of us had done much sorting out of items to move the weekend before – with the exception of the clothes.  So as I was filling my crates, I also took random breaks to wrap a birthday gift for Karl, updating my scrapbook before I lost various loose items, putting photos in an album – that kind of thing.  On Monday afternoon as I was putting the books away, I felt a pain in my lower back becoming sharper…yeah, perfect timing.  From this point onwards, movement became an issue and slowed me right down.  Moving full crates out of the way was a chore.  A very painful, inconvenient chore.

But we soldiered on, dropping off a load of rubbish at the charity shop (clothes, books, DVDs) and getting ourselves inexorably ready.  As we were moving less than 100m away, we also took the time to make several advance trips armed with items to drop off at the new flat (which cut down on the number of crates we needed) and items such as glassware and crockery could be immediately put away rather than messing around later.  That evening, I went to go sit in a spa whirlpool to see if it could do anything for the pain.  It helped a little.

Tuesday was more of the same except I panicked and bought a pack of five cardboard moving boxes from Argos thinking there wouldn’t be enough crates and not enough possible trips to the new flat.  Although in hindsight, it was a very sensible move as the boxes can go into the attic with various odds and sods.  I filled two of those crates with just wine and spirits – to say nothing of my imported beers.  Dr Do(o)m remarked at the weekend that if the flat ever caught fire, we’re so screwed…

I managed to finish my packing by Tuesday evening (apart from a couple of final insignificant items) despite the lousy back and so went to the Griffin quiz.  Fortunately we didn’t win the beer.  Packed away my Xbone, went to bed.  I felt very hot under the duvet.  Very, very hot.  Very, very familiarly hot.  I was starting to run a fever.  The Catherine virus had been running around the office and had knocked out several colleagues over the last few weeks (so named after the first member of the team to succumb).  I had a horrible sensation that owing to the stresses of the move, my back etc, the obscene amount of dust and garbage flying around, it was taking advantage.

Wednesday: woke up at 4am, body overwhelmed with viruses.  Cursed my luck and lay awake for the next four hours before I made myself get up to get ready for the movers.  Tried to get ready with crates and boxes but the only way I was going to shift them was sheer force of will/bloody-mindedness which sapped what little energy I did have.  Opened the flat’s front door, looked at the lift which had a little sign saying “lift out of order”.

I swore.  Profusely.

Fortunately an hour later, it was back online.  By 11, I collapsed on the bed and lay there for an hour.  Shortly before 1, the movers arrived to assess the situation.  Think we put the fear of god into them.  Had I been fit, I could have helped but I was less than useless.  Dr Do(o)m and I did our best to spur things along but when they suggested more people (and higher prices), I immediately said yes.  It was around 3pm when the van was full so we were in overtime.  I slunk off to the park café for a late lunch – needed to get away from the dust and boxes for a bit.  By the time I got back to the new flat, the latest drama was that the bookcases wouldn’t go through the front door of the flat, they were a hair too big.  So everything was hauled up into the flat whilst the book cases lay downstairs inconveniencing our neighbours.

As my mood was steadily declining (along with my will to live), I ended up giving my remaining Star Wars toys & items to one of the removal men (he’s a huge fan and collector), I left behind the countertop freezer and decided to recycle my SNES and Megadrive.  I regret nothing.

We made a vain attempt at unpacking but there wasn’t much we could do, not without the bookcases in place as half the crate contents depended on them being in position.  After trying to get the cases through the doors ourselves, I gave up and dismantled the book cases myself, causing significant cosmetic damage to one of them in the process through my impatience and lousy mood.  We got two in the flat and assembled before quitting for the night.

Thursday: woke up feeling worse than the day before.  Sneezing like all hell (Dust? Virus?), felt like head was full of rocks and cement.  I managed to fill two shelves of one bookcase with things before returning to bed for a snooze.  Then the interweb engineer showed up so I let him in before retreating to the duvet.  Got up an hour later, did two more shelves, too tired, went back to bed.  Woke up by Amazon Prime delivery man dropping off a few odds and sods c/o the new landlords and again at 1pm by the crate hire firm who’d come to collect the crates.  I had it in my head they were coming on the Friday (and the lack of email confirmation despite chasing didn’t help) so I gave them what we had emptied (1/3 of the boxes) before going back to bed.

Around 6, I had enough energy to resume unpacking and Paul and Darren came over at 9 to help us with the other two bookcases.  Darren was in his element, Paul explained and so I let them get on with it.  Once they were in place, we could empty out most of the other crates (comic books) which helped significantly.

Friday: better than Thursday though not by much.  Nothing noteworthy happened on Friday except we’d cleared enough of the lounge to have dinner on the dining table c/o Happy Family.

Saturday: finished the kitchen and got the lounge into shape.  Fired up the tv and xbone, watched Labyrinth.

Sunday: finished my room (with the exception of the final charity shop items).  I ventured out of the flat after lunch, mainly to go shopping and to perk myself up a bit.  After a week of ordeal, it was time to get some form of reward.  I went to good old FP first; no intention to buy anything but did pick up the new expansion to Eldritch Horror (Masks of Nyarlathotep) and the Andre the Giant TPB which was on sale.  It’s fine – I’ve already done the one in-one out process.  Then onto Scribbler for early March birthday cards.  Picked up a novelty cushion which is blue, has a rainbow and some clouds and in the rainbow, it says “Get Lost”.  Says it all, really.

Bought a few comic book boxes to tidy up my collection,  shouted at two people – one a black cab driver for failing to stop at a junction when I wanted to cross (he ignored the give way sign).  And another was a woman who blocked the street by randomly stopping in it.  Really narrow Soho street so those behind were forced to stop too.  Dummy.and then headed home.  Didn’t realise it was 6 when I came back (time just flew by yesterday) so settled in for a quiet evening at the flat and cooked my first meal.

Monday evening, we emptied out the final crate (just some power extensions and other miscellaneous tat) and relocated a few boxes & items into the attic.  The remaining crates get picked up Tuesday afternoon.  And I think that then, Hasiera Heyford is open for business.  Bring on the games.  We’re definitely doing a house warming event this time.  Not least as there’s enough liquor in the house to fill a barrel.

A difficult week to get through, on a personal level that is.  Glass half full: I can rejoin my life, so much has been deferred until this point.  And I can make an attempt at saving again now monthly expenses are down.  I just wish I felt more positive overall.

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