Situation: run out of bedrooms?
Answer: bunk beds – just stack your kids all the way up to the rafters!
Situation: want to move to a posher area, where you do not battle street rubbish and graffiti?
Answer: sit tight and revel in the cosmopolitan nature of your postcode!
Instead, spend your leisure time, hanging out in the cafés where you would rather live and sip your beverage with the same enjoyment as the local at the next table.
Situation: moving in with someone?
Answer: use stealth. Pretend to yourself that you are not moving at all. Just quietly transfer your things, bit by bit, week by week, month by month, until one day, you realise that there is no longer any reason to return home. Then deal with it, when it is no longer emotional.
Still need to move? Can't avoid it? Well, you truly do have my heartfelt sympathy - what a blooming awful, stressful experience.
While there has been some laughter and fun over the past three weeks, there has also been an unrelenting DIY task list and an immoveable deadline. As a result, there have been moments of real stress, frustration, tears, a lot of teeth gnashing and much exhaustion – it has been a real test.
Despite the Fella arriving to help on the 20th September and the removal company placing my furniture into storage on the 22nd September, we did not limp out of my house until 9:15pm on Friday 3rd October, the night before we travelled to Vancouver.
This is my house layout (image borrowed from my letting agent, I hope that they do not mind). There was work to do in every single room, including repainting all of the walls.
It did not help that I did not finish at work until the 29th September - thank goodness for the Fella and the help that we got from one of my brothers, Anthony, and also, from one of my sisters, Amy.
As we left, I reflected that my house was the most nicely finished, painted, clean and sparkly that it has been in 10 years - it was a bit heartbreaking, actually. So I really hope that my tenants treat it with care and respect...gulp.
This is more than I could say for us though - we were a hideous sight. We were exhausted, had been wearing the same clothes for between 7-10 days, had not showered for 72 hours (we had been painting the bathroom), we were at least 2 hours late for a family meal and I hadn't managed to brush my hair that morning (couldn't find the hairbrush).
Goodness knows what my family thought when we traipsed in, covered in paint and smelling to high heaven. It is probably best that I do not ask – my family can be a bit blunt!
Putting the DIY on one side though, the most difficult thing for me about leaving London (even if it is only for 6 months) was saying goodbye to my family, friends and colleagues. My mother and stepfather even made a 6 hour round trip to have dinner with us, one evening before we left.
Everyone has been extremely generous with their good wishes. In fact, I have been in Vancouver for a week and I am still reading through my cards and fondling my going away gifts! Thank you all very much indeed.
PS: now that I am over my jetlag, normal (knitting) service and communication will resume shortly. Just as soon as I have sorted out some essential admin that I did not manage to do before I left the UK!