Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Moving, part 2

We are installed in our new house. The move went very well, considering. I sort of want to write a big long post containing everything that happened (I know that if this were a blog I read, I would feel cheated if the writer were to fail to do so for me; one day I expect I shall read this, and may be disappointed with the omission) but I am too tired. I shall write and see what comes out. The whole story may well do so... Additionally, I have told the story so many times that it bores me. But you have not heard it yet, and so you might not be bored by it.

So, the move started on Friday evening. Actually, it started on Friday lunchtime. I went round to the house and covered a couple of carpets with Shake & Vac (Neutradol edition) and hoovered (well, dysoned) one of them, before running out of time and getting stuck in the supermarket when somebody with many items beat me to the checkout and didn't offer to let me go first (which I totally would have done for her as I am perfect in every way, of course; my slight indignation is therefore perfectly well justified).

After work I went back to the house and covered all of the remaining carpets with Shake & Vac, and dysoned all but two of them. I then swept the kitchen and was working on finishing dysoning the living room (the penultimate carpet) when the parents, Robert and Anne arrived (HWSNBN was staying at the old house and packing, which was very kind of him). Mother put the dinner on, Anne and I went to Serena's house to acquire some chairs (it's so much fun having neighbours with chairs!), and then we had a tour of the house and started assigning curtains to rooms. Then, having failed to get any curtains up, we ate dinner. This was a beef casserole, with peas, fried new potatoes, peas, peas and peas, and was very tasty. As were the peas. I have learned that one bag of frozen peas is more than sufficient for feeding five people.

After dinner, the work really started. People started cleaning cupboards and walls, Mother did an amazing job of cleaning the grill, and I slunk upstairs to clean the bathroom. The magic vacuum cleaner came out and started vacuuming under the sink, and new and amazing discoveries were made in the kitchen cupboards. One of the back boards has rotted through completely, which is very yummy. HWSNBN has put the pans in that one now.

By 10.30 we were fed up. Robert and Father went back to the old house, and Mother, Anne and I went to pick up the van (I collected the keys for the van at 5.30, but didn't want to drive it any further than necessary, nor to park it on my new street). It was much better than the last van we hired from that place: it liked to go in straight lines.

When we got back HWSNBN and I loaded up boxes from the front room into the van, found bedspace for everyone and went to his mum's house to sleep in our bed settee, which currently resides in her spare room.

Wow. I have no idea whether or not this is boring you, but it is not exciting me. If you give up at this point, you are forgiven. If you gave up earlier you are forgiven, but you may never know without reading this bit...

Saturday morning happened next, as is its wont. We got up really early (for me for a Saturday morning, at least; not early by most non-students' standards), and were ready to start the move by 9. By 10 we had a vanload of stuff ready to go, so HWSNBN and I set off together in the van. We picked up German 1 on the way (although we had to leave behind his wife and baby due to lack of space), and had a quick run round the house to pick up curtains and move the landlord's furniture into one room for easy collection by him, before starting to bring the boxes into the appropriate rooms (we started off so well!). When that was done we returned home and started to load the van again. We were starting to get hungry and Mother was making lunch (bacon and mushroom butties) and cups of tea, so this took a long time. German Wife was wanting to walk to the new house with Baby, so I felt really bad about the time it was taking, especially as I had given an unrealistically optimistic estimate about how long we would be taking. We finally got the van loaded and put German 1, Robert and HWSNBN in it, then I went with Father to HWSNBN's mum's garage to collect a load of boxes in his estate car.

Now it occurs to me that this is getting extremely boring. Suffice to say it carried on a bit like this until 7.30, with Mother doing an excellent job of cleaning the old house and packing the occasional box while I tried to be useful and mostly just managed to be inefficient. At 7.30 we gave up for a bit and all went to the new house. Serena and I went out looking for dinner. The Chinese take-away we both adore was closed, so we had to go to the one we used to frequent the year after I graduated, when I lived in the centre of Town. I think that they eventually understood about making two of the dishes gluten-free (I had no gluten-type repercussions), and dinner was received enthusiastically. Mine was very hot. I don't think that I will have that exact dish again.

After dinner, the parents worked to make the new house ready for the night and HWSNBN, Robert and I went to move heavy things (such as the washing machine) from the old house to HWSNBN's mum's garage. By 11.30 we had finished this and loaded the van with a lot of the rest of the contents of the old house, including the fridge. By 12.30 we had returned the van and got to Serena's house - we stayed there overnight as she has a spare bed and we did not have enough space for beds for six people. Serena's mattress is very nice indeed; I want one like that!

On Sunday I did not have to go to church, so we went round to the old house and cleaned/emptied it. Mother and Father were amazing, and cleaned/moved massive amounts of stuff between them. I could only marvel at their efficiency (really, helping would have been more useful). After a while of ineffective helping, I went outside to get the garden ready. I emptied plant pots and planted bulbs, then sorted plant pots (well, delegated the task to Anne in the form of the "stack the plant pots in size order" game, with which she was not delighted), then swept the path repeatedly.

We also had lunch. Mother was delighted with her discovery that a pan lid makes a great emergency plate. Anne tried to spread butter with a fork. Much merriment was had by all. HWSNBN finished the ice cream, except for the really dodgy-looking bit at the bottom.

When that was mostly over, the parents, Robert and Anne went home. It was sad waving goodbye to them from the last time from that doorway. We loaded the car, then went ourselves; we were due at Serena's for dinner.

(Running out of steam here, you will be glad to hear.)

Serena cooked a lovely diner for us. We only had 30 minutes for dinner, as I had to be at Motherchurch for evensong and an organ lesson; it was very generous of Serena to cook for us under those circumstances.

Evensong was confusing. I didn't know what was going on, I lined up wrong, and I had to sight-sing some pieces during the service. Not really very easy! It will get better, though. One of the men in the choir was saying that he had just been thinking that the choir should get some female altos, so apparently my timing was good.

After that, I had my first organ lesson for nearly a decade. I have picked up some bad habits. The lesson went well, considering, but hopefully next week's will go better. I think that the main thing that I established was that I have to work on using my toes effectively and appropriately (the insides of the toes are fine to use, but the outsides are not), and on being able to find the pedal notes by feel, rather than relying on just knowing where they are. Being able to do that will improve my playing a lot, and should also make it a lot easier.

We started to look at a piece I got close to OK a few months ago. Apparently it is a hard piece. This made me feel a bit better - I thought that it was an easy piece but that I just wasn't very good. It turns out that the hardest bit is yet to come: I have to use the swell pedal!

Let me tell you about the swell pedal. Many organs are built with one section of pipes in a large box. This box is called the swell box, and the pipes are linked to one manual (normally the top one if the organ has three or fewer manuals); this is known as the swell organ. Shutters on the side of the box can be opened and closed to make the music louder or quieter by means of a large pedal in the middle of the piece of wood - it pivots, and when the top is closer to you the box is closed; when the top is away from you, the box is open.

Anyway, I have to be able to use one foot on the pedals, and one on the swell pedal: I have to operate the swell pedal while also moving the other foot around to play different notes. This is hard. Two hands and one foot each doing a unique thing involving much pressing is one thing, but when the second foot (and it varies which the second foot is, according to the music) has to do a different thing in a different place while the first foot carries on as normal that is a whole new matter. My co-ordination is terrible (although it is improving!), and so far I have not been able to do both actions at the same time. I think that I shall have to practise with just the pedals first. I need to be OK at this by Sunday, at which point I have another lesson. Hmm.

After my lesson I went home and worked on getting the house looking better. When I got back I saw that HWSNBN had made an excellent job of tidying the kitchen: some of the equipment had been put away and there was space down the middle of it. I was impressed. I worked on getting the bed ready (and failed at this - I got too cold in the night and nearly pushed HWSNBN out of bed by moving towards him to get the heat. Alas, he moved away from me, repeatedly, and then there was no bed left for him) and some clothes put away.

We got to bed late. I was very tired the next day and am still very tired now. It is hard to think, and I do not know when I will next be capable of doing anything useful other than unpacking. I'm not even doing well at that now - I need the landlord to come and get rid of all of his furniture so that I have an extra half-room with which to play.

So at the moment the house is a complete tip. The main settee frame is leaning against the wall next to the bed, there is no wardrobe to hang things so my dresses are still in suitcases around the bedroom, my room has a clearing, HWSNBN's room has a desk and a computer network (what can I say? He works fast), the living room is slowly being unearthed and the front room is full of unwanted furniture AND wanted furniture, books, DVDs, coats and other as yet unidentified boxes, plus a few plants thrown in for good measure. The curtains are closed today because there is no way I am making my way over that assault course before breakfast.

On the positive side, the bed is good and I have my underwear. I will soon have clean trousers in sizes that fit me, and bits of the kitchen are well-organised. The bathroom is not terrible (depending on where you look), and the bath fills up very quickly. Also, the house feels like home. I think that I will like living here. The bedroom feels like my sort of space, and the kitchen is growing on me (probably in the literal sense). I am happy to be here. Terrified about the playing I must do tomorrow evening (must unearth the piano to practise!), but pleased with how things are going. Yay!


Lisa Moon said...

Erm, where to start. A Dyson, eh? I hear those are great vacuums! Wonderful!

I admit to getting a bit lost in terms of visioning people, time and space but am wondering: what are mushroom butties? Is that like frying mushrooms in butter or something quite different?! Just curious...

Ugh, the gluten-free thing; we share your pain at our house - my son is slightly allergic (we think; are looking to confirm with allergist soon) and I may be 'intolerant' as I seem to be a little slimmer if I don't eat it. However, I'm rather fond of bread-y things, so it's difficult to keep that up. In fact, it went to pot completely when I moved in December! Quick snack-meals of crackers, and the like...

As for the rest of things: MY! How very busy! You even managed your organ lesson... wondeful.

By the end of the post, I felt like I'd moved again, too - or rather, you just reminded me of how I felt when we got in and went WOOOFF! plopping down with exhaustion!

Abi said...

Dysons are often overrated. They have a bit of a propensity to fall apart in a dramatic and expensive fashion. So far ours has been both sturdy and purple/turquoise, and so we have no complaints (except that I wanted the pink one that came with a little toy one for, erm, the child I don't have), but we did buy it in the knowledge that it could be a wrong decision.

Butty is Northern for sandwich. Chip butties are very popular (carbohydrate sandwiches being such an excellent idea), but bacon butties are much more my thing. With fake bread, of course (although I can assure you that real bread tastes better and is more structurally sound).

Bread and pasta are my favourite foods. Bread and butter or pasta and butter make excellent emergency meals, and I miss them. Also, gluten-free tends not to be very convenient. The thing is, if I eat gluten twice in quick succession it makes me feel sick. I can often get away with the first exposure, but try not to have it as then it is always in reserve, should I be obliged to eat pizza. But yes, the consequences discourage me from eating gluten. I think that I would be much thinner if I did eat it - I don't really eat much when I feel sick, and so the weight would probably fall off me. I am very tempted, but know that it is a bit stupid gambling with my health. And I don't like feeling sick.

I just wish I had time to plop down with exhaustion. I am exhausted enough to do so, but there is just so much to do. I can't concentrate on anything much (except for organ practice, but that doesn't help because I need to do at least twice as much to get the benefit), and can't even keep this paragraph on track! I can't wait for the weekend, except that it starts on Thursday with frantic activity, and doesn't let up at any point. I don't forsee feeling less tired at the end of it. *Yawns*