Most mornings I have my quiet hour to myself every morning. I let the dawg out, make a cuppa, go to my office and switch on to Radio 4 and go online and intimately commune with the news. Over the winter months my hour is invariably a deathly quiet hour.
This morning was suddenly lighter than the days before and also far noisier - the songbirds were out on the wing and signing chirpily. The snowdrops are still out, the crocuses are in full bloom and some daffodil heads are breaking through. The sky was a glorious blue at 7 this morning. This morning felt as if the spring was really about to burst forth.
Then, the sleepyheads are roused and the school day begins. Suddenly, IS asks me, "Dad, why did you marry Mum?" Whilst the others laugh and goad me I try to think of a smart or witty answer. Finally I reply, "Well, if you must know it's because I knew we'd have the best 3 girls ever".
.....Arrival - 6th April 2001
From London we headed to SC's parents (who lived 10 miles away from our new house) for the 48 hours before we took charge.
Friday came around and we and John and Stuart Removals turned up at 2 o'clock to bid farewell to the vacating D family. The scene that greeted us at the house could have been out of a slapstick movie. A number of sweaty, panicking removals men were desperately behind in their packing. In the grounds were 2 pantechnicons with men sweatily humping and arranging stuff inside. In the house, more men were busily packing and shifting and shouting in strong Yorkshire accents. 'Our' crew just looked gobsmacked at this tableau of madness. We went off for a coffee and...calm, and a preliminary look around our new town.
Nearly 3 hours later we returned and found a THIRD pantechnicon and more men - now totaling ELEVEN - even more sweaty, even more panicky and even more behind schedule. Pandemonium ruled!
Eventually, we spoke to one of the delightfully harrassed and apologetic D family who said they should only be another hour or two. We called an emergency London Crew Removals Meeting and decided to leave this Yorkshire mob to their unbridled incompetence and that we would keep in touch by phone. We returned to my parents-in-law whilst John and Stuart headed for the pleasures of who-knows-what.
We later found out that the D's vacated the house at 10.45pm.
Strike 1 to the London crew.