Can you hear that clumphing and scuffling noise? That's me, falling to the floor and picking myself up again after finding out how much it's going to get a removal firm to move us up to Shropshire. Good grief! Of course,there is no option but to get a removal firm in - there's no way we are hiring a van and doing it ourselves. Andy toyed (very briefly) with the idea. He seemed (very briefly) to forget we have two cars to get up there as well. And that we have already allocated ourselves cat 'n' hen removal duties; he is taken Primrose and Camilla and the pod, and I am chauffeuring Phoebe and Flora B.Mybug in their baskets liberally dosed with Feliway and lined with something absorbent 'just in case.'
And our cars, livestock aside, are going to be packed to the hilt because we are going to be moving over two days because of the whole logistics of leaving at completion at our end and travelling up our new end for completion there means we likely shan't be picking up the keys until the 11th hour and there will be issues with 'overtime' and 'HGV driving regulations.'
Basically, then, we and the cats and the hens will be arriving to an empty house and the removal lorry will be parking up overnight and not off-loading until the following morning! This will be a mini-adventure in itself because now we have to factor in packing our respective cars with overnight essentials - some sort of bedding, a dinner time and breakfast kit, cat food, chicken food and cat litter. Loo roll. Washing stuff. It'll be like camping! Only inside a house! With freaked out cats!!
Actually, I don't think Phoebe will be freaked out because she has moved house several times before. And she sleeps most of the day now because she is a VERY elderly lady. She will take it all in her wobbly arthritic stride. My only fear is that she will immediately perform her customary enormous pee within 10 minutes of us setting off. Hence the need for absorbent basket lining. Flora will be another matter but I am hoping she will eventually nap, too. On previous and brief car journeys she has taken to singing. And when I say 'singing' I really mean 'yowling.'
Anyway, today I have continued with the downsizing of our worldy possessions and Andy has hied himself hither to Birmingham for 4 days for the annual BSAVA veterinary conference. This means sitting in numerous lecture halls and falling asleep, making full use of his daily food allowance, enjoying hotel breakfasts, and parading around exhibition centres engaging with a myriad of vet-type companies and collecting biros, bags, soft toys and other promotional tat. And entering competitions to win what I believe to be non-existent i-pads and holidays in Santa Lucia.
I have banned Andy from returning with his usual stash of tat. We still haven't exhausted the supply of biros from 3 years ago.
'We are decluttering,' I said. 'DO NOT bring back more clutter.'
So at about 5.30 this afternoon, the phone rang. It was Andy.
'Guess where I am!' he shouted. He was on his mobile. It sounded windy in the background.
'In Birmingham?' I hazarded. 'Stuck in the Bull Ring with no means of escape?'
(For those of you who are not au fait with Birmingham, the Bull Ring is the centre of the city and is basically a massive shopping centre in the middle of a massive ring road with approximately 300 approach roads all made up of at least 5 lanes of cars travelling at high speed with scant regard for the Highway Code. Once you are in the vicinity of the Bullring, escape is futile. I ventured into the Bull Ring once, several years ago. Scared the bejeezus out of me. Never been the same since. I can probably pinpoint the start of my agoraphobia back to that time. I digress...)
'No!' shouted Andy. 'I am looking at our new house! It's got a 'Sold' board outside!!'
And then he sent me this photograph. Apparently, our house is in the middle of it. I can't see it for all the trees and grassy hills and fields.
Which is FAB!