Here we are, in the middle of nowhere, installed with all the rubbish we couldn’t get rid of before the removal men came, and the three friends who weren’t consulted about whether the move was all right by them.
Needless to say, the last few days were horrendous, the move was horrendous, and the next day, when the stuff arrived, was also horrendous. As usually happens (to us anyway) we hadn’t finished packing when the men arrived. Things left out until the last minute, were thrown in unmarked boxes and may well never be found again. They were naturally the most important things, important documents, gadgets, indispensable kitchen equipment, and remember the dog nail clippers? Of all the things I never thought I’d need…
We had emptied one room entirely so we could lock the animals in it out of the way, and to stop the cats jumping ship. They didn’t like it at all, and by twelve, things were degenerating badly, so I decided to take Finbar out for a walk. I should have stayed at home. While we were saying goodbye to a group of friends we met, Finbar was set upon by a fighting dog, kindly liberated by its acid head owner to get in a bit of practice. Luckily the vet could deal with him straight away. He really needed stitches for the teeth holes in his back leg, but there was no time, so he was stapled back together instead and dosed up with antibiotics.
He had bled all over the carpet on the landing, but that was really the least of my worries. We had just discovered that our stuff was being delivered the next day, not following us to the house as we had assumed. We ransacked the boxes not yet embarked and retrieved some bed linen, but our clothes has all been loaded, the medical and bathroom stuff, and the food. Even the cat food. Especially the cat food. The cats were not best pleased. Our first night in our new home was not what we had been expecting.
The following morning, the removal men, local boys, turned up as promised, and all was going well until we realised they were expecting to be fed and watered at lunchtime. We hadn’t been fed and watered ourselves, but if we wanted our stuff unloading intact, we didn’t have much choice. Our wine cellar was unearthed and I set to making a meal with the bits and pieces of edibles that gradually came to light. It was a very odd experience as you might imagine. The chef was a wiry middle-aged man with very few teeth, extreme opinions and not afraid to air them. The second in command also middle-aged was tall and gangly and looked very like the cartoon character, Lucky Luke, and about as talkative. The youngest, barely out of school, a man mountain of a lad with the hairiest wrists I’ve ever seen, didn’t drink anything. Not even water. He said he only ever drank milk, and that only occasionally.
After lunch, and a lot of wine down the hatch, they went like a dream, putting the wardrobes back together, reassembling beds and making lavish presents of cardboard wardrobes for the attic, and a long strap ‘to tie that bloody dog up with’. The chef was afraid of dogs.
Attached as we were getting to our friends, we were still glad to see the back of them and begin the monumental task of unpacking. We’re still surrounded by boxes, but we’ve opened enough to find the essentials like clothes and cat food, so there’s no rush. All the utilities are functioning and the weather is glorious. The cats love it, especially the barn and the attic. Finbar finished his antibiotics yesterday and had already pulled out the staples all by himself saving us the trouble of finding a vet to do it, then he promptly went and had another accident.
Last night he went out for a pee rather later than usual and ran into a couple of foxes just outside the door. He went after one of them and disappeared for ages. I was frantic. We went out with flashlights, calling for him but there was nothing to be seen, and no sound. Utter silence and darkness. Eventually he came trotting back up the road, his legs and face bleeding. A fox was barking, with uncontrollable laughter I expect, in the copse at the top of the neighbour’s field. He’s out of action today, limping, with his pads ripped to shreds and a hole in his muzzle.
The children are coming over on Sunday to help us settle in and drink a bit more champagne. I hope the weather holds. We haven’t got any heating sorted yet. We’re on a very steep learning curve, but we’ll get there. I might even remember how to drive. Eventually.