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Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Chaos Theory and New Friends

Above is the smaller, and easily more adaptable of our two cats. On the day this was taken, the other cat was sulking as only cats can sulk. Yes, moving day has come and gone, and we are finally ensconced in Large Villas.

It would be exagerating to say that the move went smoothly, in fact, such a statement would be on a par with a statement that went something like :

"There has been a blip in World Financial Markets recently..."

In the week proceeding the move, Nel packed like a good-un, neatly organising items into categories and logically packing them into boxes which she neatly arranged in an ever growing pile. It was sometime on Wednesday that the sheer amount of rubbish we had brought over from Canada became obvious. As I am still in denial about my hoarding propensities, a modicum of tension resulted:

"What's this? " she asked, holding up a red and white plasticised fabric object.

I glanced at the item, irritated. At this point it is worth my making a bold statement, to whit : anyone who does not get profoundly irritated by the process of moving, packing and unpacking is a zombie, and this is I believe based on the fact that hauling round Neolithic brains, as we do, it is only when packing and unpacking houses that we realize that our distant antecedents would have only had to roll up their animal skin, pick up their spear and flints, and be instantly ready for the off. The realization of how complicated we have made our own lives by hoarding all sorts of junk, makes us irritable. Some of us though, are more guilty of this than others.

Back glancing at the object I realize that Red is holding up, with some disgust, one of my most cherished items.

"That's my Canadian Flag Kite! I just need to repair the tail and it'll fly".

And so it goes. The broken electric clock from our former house in Nova Scotia, the Ontario licence plates, the large format camera with the missing lens, the light
sabre, all are exposed to scrutiny. Although not eager to expose myself to further ridicule, other sundry items have made it on our odessey, including a cheap game of Chinese chequers, badly painted toy soldiers from my childhood, a 1936 copy of the Youth Hostel's Association Yearbook, 3 non-working drills, diaries filled with the pain and anguish of youth,scrawled pieces of paper with snatches of lyrical masterworks ("The sordid side of cities, the hollow howl of hate"). All this junk has made it from Liverpool Location 1 to Liverpool LOcation 2 to Leicester to Halifax to London(Ont) to Hull Location 1 to Hull Location 2, a round trip of about 8000 miles, and a complete waste of fossil fuels. A resolution is made, namely to rid myself of all this baggage, all this clutter. After the move.

Moving day itself comes and at our apartment, we are in as good shape as could be expected. At the new house we are also in good shape, depending on how you define "good shape". The building itself is more or less watertight and three rooms are habitable - the upper hall, the middle hallway and one bedroom. Elsewhere, a few little tasks need completing before the place could be called "done" - tasks such as putting in a working toilet, shower, kitchen sink, oven, appliances, starting to renovate the living room, laying the floor throughout the downstairs areas and finishing installing the kitchen cabinets. Despite this, movers are scheduled.

I have attempted to write, on several occasions, the story of the move itself, but every time I do, the attempt fails, mostly because the movers let us down, and what happened afterwards stretched my definitions of humour. In a nutshell, they were three and a half hours late, incompetent and careless, AND walked off the job after delivering just one load, leaving us with a hallway full of furniture in the old apartment and no way to move it (it was eight pm by this time). Add to that, the fact that the new tenant was moving in as we were moving out, it would be no exagerration to describe stress levels as 'raised'.

Fortunately, there was a happy ending. The new tenant, Lee, is a true gentleman, and came to our aide, driving the van he had rented for his own move through the night like a night in shining armour. The next day he came back and helped us some more, moving a few odds and ends that we had had to leave. In adversity, a new friend has been made.

The end of this tale is near to where it began. As we unpack this week, I am in the process of trawling through all the stuff we have just, once again moved, preparing to throw most of it out.

Below is the crew of friends who helped over the weekend after the move. Left to right is JJ, Mazzer, Skarr and Lee, the new tenant.

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