The Whole Packing Experience!

Trip Start Aug 20, 2009
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Trip End Ongoing


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Friday, August 7, 2009

Sunday was spent frantically trying to sort through our stuff, as well as take Lucy and Dan swimming and also do a spot of last minute shopping to go in the container!

Lucy and Dan had their last swimming lessons with Lisa, and they had a lovely surprise......Mrs Bailey came along to watch.  The children were so proud to show her what they had learnt.  We then had more goodbyes to do and swopping of pressies.  Thank you so much Lisa for all of the sweets, they will keep Lucy and Dan going for quite a while.

After swimming, we raced around a few more shops as well as taking all of our change from Bruno to Sainsbury's to get it changed into notes.  It is really surprising just how much cash you can accumulate in loose change!  Lucy and Daniel are rubbing their hands as they get the cash to spend on holiday!

We finally got home to find that Jeff had had a really good night out and that we were so late back that Dave had gone.  The rest of the day was spent sorting.......................

Monday morning, we both woke up with a sickening feeling in our stomachs, not knowing quite what to expect.  Around 10am the packers arrived in a rather large orange removal van full of packing materials, two men rather than the four we had been promised.  I found this part of the whole experience the most emotional as it has hit that it is really happening.  It is the first time that I have really sobbed.

Lucy and Daniel spent the day at Fiona's playing with Emily and Charlotte so we could get on.  When I got back from dropping them off Steve (one of the packers) had started packing up the playroom, the only room that I had done nothing in!  Poor Steve was swiftly removed and politely asked to start somewhere else.  I suggested that perhaps they should ask me what things were going.  I then promptly came unstuck as I gave the green light for Alan to pack Jeff's university files, just prior to Jeff asking Alan why he was packing them, because they were not going!  Those poor guys, must have thought they had come to a house of chaos, but after those minor problems the rest of the move went really well.

Monday to Thursday were spent sorting and cleaning whilst the men packed absolutely everything in box after box after box.  Cooking very quickly went out of the window, as chairs, tables, then plates, cups etc were packed.  We ended up having Eddie and Jackie's house key so that we could borrow their crockery and television! 

Jeff spent many hours sorting the garage, packing into boxes, filling Les' trailer and giving stuff to the neighbours whilst I cleaned Dan's outdoor toys with Jeyes fluid and a toothbrush!  I had no idea how painful Jeyes fluid could be until I got splashes of it on my ear and toe - serves me right for trying to clean stuff whilst wearing flip flops!

Everyone has been so kind.  Fiona and Ross cooked us tea on Monday after having Lucy and Dan all day.  Lisa and Nikki entertained them on Tuesday by enduring G-Force at the cinema in 3D!  Grandma came down on Wednesday to look after Lucy and Dan whilst Jenny kindly made a stew for us for Wednesday night before most of the neighbours descended on us later on in the night to say goodbye.  It was so lovely to see them, as we had no idea that they were going to turn up, just a good job they arrived after we had finished the cleaning, otherwise I would have involved them too!  Jeff had found old fireworks in the garage, so we watched them in the garden whilst sipping more wine and spirits.   Once again there were a few sore heads in the morning, we slept in and only woke up a couple of minutes before the packers arrived.  Not the best, opening the door to the packers in my pjs!

The container was due at 1pm so Thursday morning was spent packing up the washing machine, fridge etc and sorting out the paperwork, including getting the shipping instructions to Anglo Pacific as quickly as possible. 

Lucy and Daniel with Grandma, on the other hand, spent a really sunny day at Trentham enjoying the barefoot walk once rabbit had been located.  Daniel had put him 'safe' on the worktop and he had been packed!!  Luckily for us, only two boxes had been done that morning by that point.............THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT!

I can honestly say I had no idea how nervous I was going to feel waiting for the container to arrive.  It was like waiting to take a really important exam, that squirming feeling as though you have a belly full of snakes.  The container arriving caused quite a stir, trying to reverse a 40ft artic lorry up the Grove, whilst trying to miss a telgraph pole.  It was really tight and the traffic on the main road had to be stopped for a while, whilst he carefully got into position to reverse up.  I couldn't get over the size of the lorry, it was massive!

Just to add complications, Thursday is bin day too!!  Thankfully everything went to plan and once again the neighbours were brilliant, pulling all of the bins in front of the lorry, and the bin lorry arrived after the container!  The lane was then blocked for several hours whilst Steve, Alan and Jeff loaded the container with all of our belongings.  It was a good job that Jeff was able to help as it was too big a job for two men.  All three of them worked so hard to get it filled as quickly as possible.

Grandpapa also came down to support and provide a means of transporting our stuff back to Rotherham.

It was a very strange feeling, once the container was full and after a few photographs, we watched the seal being put on the door to keep our belongings safe.  Lots of cars then had to be removed from the lane (including poor Jenny having to move her car right in the middle of having her hair done!) before the container left.  Jeff and I stood at the end of the road and watched the container head off towards Liverpool to catch the first ship.

I expected there to be tears, but there were none, just a very numb feeling................

We then spent a little time wandering around a nearly empty house, before starting the cleaning process.  We also had to carry out a military operation to get Thelma and Louise in cages prior to thier journey to Rotherham.  Lou as always wasn't a problem, however suspicious Thelma was another thing altogether.  We eventually got both cats and Emma into the playroom, so we left them in their whilst we popped to the White Lion for dinner.

Bar Grandma and Papa, we all looked like waifs and strays.  Lucy and Daniel were particularly dirty after being up to their knees in mud!  I have never seen their legs, feet, hands and nails so black!  Hopefully no one noticed!!

After a lovely meal we headed back to the house to pack up Grandma's car with Emma, Thelma and Louise and then Papa's car with our backpacks for the journey to NZ.  They then headed off to Rotherham, whilst we popped in to see Eddie and Jackie before heading to Hawkstone Park Hotel, about 20 minutes away.  It was a beautiful traditional hotel and we had a spacious suite room with a veranda opening up onto the golf course.  It was just what the doctor ordered and a restful night was had by all.

This morning we had a full English breakfast before heading back to the house for a final clear around before handing over the keys.  At 1pm monies had transfered and we handed over the keys to Ian.  After goodbyes to Phillip and Les and a quick coffee at Eddie and Jackie's we headed off for Rotherham.

We called in to visit Mr Man to give him some pictures that Lucy and Dan had drawn for him and a bottle of whisky.  Mr Man is a man that we have seen virtually every morning on the way to work for the last three years.  We have no idea, even now, as to what his name is, but every morning we have wave to him as he has walked his dog.  We have watched his dog get older as the time has passed and have enjoyed his happy waves.  He made our day every morning, as I think we made his.  We wanted to say goodbye before leaving.

He was over the moon with the bottle and pictures and it made us feel good.  We left as he was telling his neighbour all about what had just happened!  We definately made his day today.

We then drove to Rotherham for a well deserved rest and a bottle of bubbly!



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Comments

hazelwestern
hazelwestern on

Moving half way across the world
Hey Jeff and Jo, just read your entry about packing the house up. All the emotion of packing your life (or having other people pack it for you) into hundreds of boxes came flooding back to me. It was overwhelming when the packers arrived at our house. I thought I was quite well organised but the speed the packers worked at overtook my sorting and, well, I sobbed too.
Two months later when our belongings were delivered in Australia, we found some interesting items in the boxes which really shouldn't have been packed - like stray bottles of booze!!
And then when you unpack, you wonder why you brought certain things with you at all.....
Anyway - it's all a massive adventure. Good luck and stay in touch!
Love Hazel, Mark, anna and Luke x

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