Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How not to move house

Note: There will be more than the usual amount of swearing in this post. If you are an innocent little child, then look away, get off the net, get a haircut, and get yourself a job. If you're easily offended... then what the hell are you doing here??

We've moved house. Same street, nice and easy, right next to the station (instead of 10 minutes away, at the end of our incredibly long cul-de-sac), but a nice 2 bed house instead of a tiny 1 bed flat. More importantly, we'll be leaving behind our absolutely fucking horrendous scumbag neighbours. No more dog barking non stop from 8am every day. No more screeching from her while performing her embarrassingly fake orgasms. No more of their stupid, bellowing laughter at 1am, just when you're about to fall asleep. No more of them getting back late and partying with their retard friends until 5am. No more banging and crashing all the doors as they arrive home, when everybody else is capable of entering the building without it sounding like the world's ending. No more combined stench of dog and cigarettes forcing its way into our flat when our and their windows are open at the same time (making for an extremely unpleasant summer). No more loud, obnoxious twats stomping around every night so loudly it sounds like they're actually in the flat with us.

It all happened so fast, there was hardly any time to pack. Saw the place online on the 20th November, viewed it that day, decided that night. Phoned them the next day, said we wanted it, and moved in yesterday, 17th December. Yeah, the week before Christmas, which is obviously the best time to move, what with it being so quiet... But we've both been so unbelievably busy lately, we didn't really have time to start packing properly until last Friday. Yes, 3 days before. But not to worry, I said at the time to Jo, packing's easy. We've got all the boxes we need, all we have to do is put stuff into them. You'll be surprised how quick and easy it is. *Un*packing is the hard part. Those words, you will be completely unsurprised to hear, soon came back to haunt me. Oh, they haunted the shit out of me.

We had some small boxes packed, then got some stuff done Friday, but then we were both out all day Saturday, till quite late. So we only really got stuck in on Sunday at 1pm. Thankfully we'd ordered some proper, strong removal boxes from - if we hadn't had those, it would have been even worse. Check out the size of the bubble wrap, with a copy of 300 on top to compare sizes:


We packed all day Sunday, and when we got to midnight, realised that we were going to have to just keep going, all night. We got some coffee going, had a biscuit or twelve, and got back into it.

1am. We're having lots of fun, packing away, and making lots of noise to keep the scumbag neighbours awake. The packing tape is great for that, because it's one of those ones that screeches like a dying harpie when you pull off a big length. Screeeeech! Take that, annoying neighbours! Oh, what fun we're having! We'll be finished in no time at all! No time at all! No time at all!

(insert wibbly wobbly timey wimey dissolve effect here)

5am. It is no longer fun. We both have that awful feeling where it's like someone has rubbed sand, acid, and ground-up dead babies into your eyes. Jo gets about 45 minutes sleep while I carry on for a bit, then when she wakes up, I get my 45 minutes while she packs.

7am. Realise I've had the song "I'll be seeing you" stuck in my head, for some reason, for about an hour. The Liberace version. Try to get rid of it, then stop, realising that it's probably the only thing keeping me going, keeping my brain working. I'll... be seeing youuuu... in all the old familiar places..." Couldn't find the Liberace version online, so the above link is as close as I can get. Consider it an early Christmas present.

9am. At midnight, when we decided to stay up all night, I felt good because it meant we had loads of time. Now, I realise that we still don't have enough time for everything. So. Much. Stuff.

10am. The black, black despair sets in. Will this ever end? Will we ever escape? We haven't put the kitchen knives away yet, should we just kill ourselves with them, and take the pain away? The only thing that saves us is being physically unable to perform any action that isn't putting stuff into boxes.

1pm. We've been packing for 24 hours straight, with occasional breaks for food and coffee. And it's still. Not. Finished.

4pm. The removal van turns up. 27 hours in, and we're almost finished. They start loading the stuff, Jo goes to the new place to let them in. I stay to supervise, and try to finish packing the kitchen stuff, because WE'VE ONLY JUST GOT TO IT. 27 HOURS LATER. JESUS CHRISTING CHRIST AL-CHRISTING-MIGHTY.

The removal blokes look at the Pile of Insanity:

It's bigger than it seems, spilling off the sides of the pic, and going right to the back of the room. Somewhere in there, the Ark of the Covenant is lost, forever. One of the removal men shrugs, and says something like "okay, so no sofa or fridge, it's mainly the bed, shelves, then a few boxes." I laugh the laugh of the damned. It takes them over two hours to get everything in the van, while I frantically stuff kitchen things into boxes, bags, pockets, anything. In the end, I have to leave most of the food, and some kitchen implements. We'll come back in a day or so. I don't care anymore. Let the pigeons eat it.

Another hour later, the men are gone, and everything is piled into our lovely new house. We stare at it. Dazed. Feeling myself finally losing the last shred of sanity, I think "well, now it's time to unpack..." But we don't. We unpack the bare minimum of stuff so that we can sleep on something soft. Before that, we need food. Order a Chinese takeaway, and get the Diet Coke out - but which box has the glasses? Can't find them. All we can find are the silly champagne glasses. So that's what we have:

That was Monday. Tuesday, the Sky man arrived to connect us to the wonderful world of Television, and BT's assurance that "yeah, we just switch off the broadband at your old place, and switch it on at the new one" turned out to be a pack of evil lies. We either have a line fault, or an account fault, or a stupid fucking telecommunications company fault. They fixed it this afternoon, after I threatened to destroy them all with my mind-force. Side note: delivery men, installation men, or repairmen always take one sugar with their tea or coffee, and always have milk ("white and one, cheers"). I do not know why.

Once everything's sorted, then I'll finally be able to have a desk and chair in the spare room. Which means I can write without doing my back in. Jo can have her piano and music stuff in the same place. And our new, L-shaped sofa arrives on Friday. So if blogging is even more sporadic than usual, or I fail to reply to an email or just go "buhhhhh, duhhhhh" when I answer the phone, that's why. Normal service will resume shortly. Thank you. And good night.


Oli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oli said...

All one bed flats come with the same compliment of fucknut neighbours. I recognise all of the above, and raise you having the telly on loud enough to keep us awake, whilst being asleep themselves. They're sleeping. How are they sleeping? I can hear the motherfuckers SNORING!

Sorry, I was having a flashback. I too have escaped to two bed land now. Well done on pulling off a mammoth task in a ludicrously short amount of time.

Lina said...

You need a disclaimer on this blog. Warning: Do not attempt to consume food or drink while reading this blog. Your computer will be covered in post-chew spray and you just may choke to death.

I nearly painted my monitor with mountain dew (do they have that in the UK? it's a soda) hearing about the screaming faux orgasms. Thanks for that. Congrats on the new place. Sorry the move was made of pain. I wish you a good nights sleep and some form of nice quality alcohol.

Lee said...

I moved in January and still have boxes that I have not unpacked. I haven't even opened them; can't remember what's in them. Could be the cat.

Congrats on the new pad, and new sofa. Now make sure you get that PS3 back under the telly stat.

Lucy said...

It could have been so much worse: you could have had the packing insanity and three cats and two kids and 125 miles to move instead of down the road. I couldn't find any of my underwear for TWO WEEKS when I moved back in August, I ended up having to buy a whole load more... Only to discover that my husband had put a box in the understairs cupboard of the new place with it all in. A filthy plan to ensure I spend all my time with no pants on? I think so.

Katie said...

sitting here waiting for boxes to be delivered (a hundred book boxes)...those of us about to pack salute you! Congratulations on the move, and may you sleep deeply, without a single dog bark, or a random box of kitchen implements under the mattress.

Dozeymagz said...

On the subject of unpacking, a good tip we discovered three years ago, is to dig a quick cellar and just pile it all in there! Take out what you need or buy lots of lovely new stuff instead.
You could always stick the former neighbours in there too and delight in their screams for release until they eventually eat each other.

Amanda said...

I spy with my leeeetle eye, something beginning with PS3. Aha, so it did arrive then? I presume it's the 60gig because what fool buys a 40gig when it's not backwards compatible?! That's just insanity.

Dom Carver said...

Having moved in October I can safely say there are still several boxes left unpacked. It'll take a year or so for me to finally unpack the buggers and they'll sit in the corner of the living room haunting me until I do. The bastards!!!!!

PS3? Oh no, dear Sir, you should have an Xbox 360, Halo 3 being the game of choice.

Anonymous said...

congrats on the new place atleast!

James Moran said...

Oli: I feel your pain. Sometimes he'd drop her off at the station, because she was too lazy to walk TO THE END OF THE ROAD, so the dog would bark at 8am to wake us up - then he'd get back ten minutes later, and get back in bed. So we'd be awake then.

Lina: I have tasted Mountain Dew, it's lethal stuff. Love it for the caffeine and plutonium buzz... Cheers, settling in now, with some Jack Daniels.

Lee: Oh, please - the TV and stuff were the *first* things to get connected up, the same day we moved in...

Lucy: I have no sympathy - you should have moved the 125 miles in half mile stages, once a month, over the course of 250 months. That would have been much easier.

Katie: Oh Gawwwd, I've seen your house before, you've got ten million squillion books and things, you are insane. Yet well-read. Hope your deliveries go okay.

Magz: If I could just vaporise loads of stuff, I'd do just that. Beam it into space, or unleash a Klingon disruptor on it all.

Amanda: Couple of weeks ago! Had to get the 40, as the 60 has been discontinued, and I couldn't find one bloody anywhere, the swines. So we're keeping the PS2 to play the old games on. That'll teach em.

Dom: You should know by now that I will not and cannot have any of that Microsoft shite in my house. It is the work of the devil. It is filthy. It is unclean. It taints my soul with its foul stench. If I wanted to look at blue screens of death and listen to the whine of dodgy fans all day, I'd buy a shitty cheap PC. But I do not, sir! I DO NOT!

Faldor: Cheers guv! Once everything is unpacked and put away, we can start enjoying it. My desk and chair are already here, in boxes - more boxes! Help me! - so the dream is closer than ever...

Rosby said...

Urgh, that sounds awful. Still, I hope you enjoy at the new place, and that there are no crying babies in the immediate vicinity.


*unnattractive snort*

By the way, read the press release on your Torchwood episode. It sounds fantastic! Looking forward to it!

Rosby said...

P.S. Also, BBC America have a Torchwood series 2 trailer, and OHDEARLORDITLOOKSBRILLIANT.


joolsnotjames said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm......buuuuuuuuble wraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap........

Melissa said...

Big News--Your Torchwood episode press release is out. So much goodness. Will you be appearing in the Declassified right after the episode?

*PS Congrats on the new place.

Peter Pan said...

I sympathise. It took us six months to fuck about with legal shit before we coudl even move, and then I nearly killed Dan & his mate by letting them to do teh lifting while I flounced around making tea. Mind you, we had one box truck just for our dvd collection .. it was combining our two, 2 bed houses into one 4 bed house .... I am not moving ever again unless its in a coffin....

erika said...

Did your old neighbors play "No Woman No Cry". . . a lot? Like all the time? If so, I think they might have lived above me while I was in college. If not them, definitely their Stateside twins. Boy can I feel your old pain. Good luck with the neighbors at the new place!

God speed getting settled!

Sal said...

rule is, if you haven't unpacked the box in three months' time, you don't need the contents and can give the box to Oxfam.

As for neighbours, we had one lot who used to slam their doors so hard they made our windows shake. One time, unable to bear their screaming and shouting any more, I rang them to ask them to shut up - next thing I heard was "stop fucking screaming, next door has rung to say they can hear"

James Moran said...

Rosby: Cheers! Saw them both, can't wait.

Jools: You can't have my bubble wrap. It's all mine.

Melissa: I certainly will, see the blog post above - I did a massive interview for it, talking about every aspect of it, so they should have plenty of stuff to use. Others have seen a rough cut, and say there's quite a bit of me, so that's exciting/terrifying.

Peter: Oh, I had removal men guilt - I mean, we're paying them to move the stuff, but I still felt bad for not carrying anything...

Erika: I wish ours had that good taste in music. They always blared some rubbish that I couldn't even identify.

Sal: Yep, we're being ruthless, and anything we unpack which makes us say "oh yeah, that thing" goes out the back ready to be binned/given away. Ours did the slamming door thing, the entire building rattled when they went in or out. He even woke us up putting his bloody keys in the door, cause he had a bunch of about 500 and could never find the right one, scraping the whole lot around...

ascorbic said...

Hah! I LAUGH IN THE FACE of your 27 hours. Try 36 hours of packing, interrupted only to go and TAKE A FUCKING EXAM. The deadline: a 6am train to catch to STANSTED. Moving-in day had been moved, so it was on the same day that I had a flight booked.

Hm, this random emphasis is making this read a little like a Sun leader.

Keith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.