The Move

A couple of weeks ago we moved. Not far… about 5km. But it does not matter if you only move across the road – it is still traumatic. In fact they put it right up there with death and divorce. Moving is third on the trauma list.

Our move came about relatively suddenly. One night, after playing poker, my lovely man decided to check out some real estate websites. He spotted something interesting… 6 bedrooms… a granny flat, another separate little flatlet… space… a garden. He mentioned it to me the next day and I wanted to see it too. He showed me and we both wanted to see more… so arranged a viewing.

It’s one of those places that you instantly felt at home in. Not that the house was fabulous or anything – in fact it was a bit of a tip and we identified several things that would need work. We winced a bit at the colour scheme in the lounge, admired the outside “bar” area and then walked out into the garden.

I crunched something underfoot.

Looked at the estate agent… what are these?

Pecan nuts, she replied.

Seriously! A pecan nut tree? In our back yard! I want this house.

We trawled through the rest of the house. The granny flat was great – a bit dark maybe – but the space was awesome and the kitchen door opened out into the pretty yard and sunlight streamed through.

Emma thought she and Charl could happily live in the little flatlet too. We’d have to share a bathroom with Luan… not something I relished – but doable.

We left. But we asked the estate agent to alert us if there was anybody else who was seriously interested in the house. We went home to do the math and figure out if we could afford such a house. We wanted it, but decided not to get too excited.

We’d been living in a complex since 2009. It was supposed to be a temporary thing. Before that, we’d always lived in houses for 2 years or so. But for one reason or another we’d been stuck in the complex for a whole 8 years.

To cut a long story short – our finances worked out, we qualified for the financing and we bought the house. Mainly Chris did – but seeing as we are married in community of property – it is a “WE” thing. Sounds a bit like a mansion but really it is a rambley old lady.

Mom will also come and live in the Granny Flat (a scary prospect for her because she has lived in the Western Cape for the last gazillion years). We’ll go to Cape Town in early September and help pack up, and then drive Mom and her moggy up to Pretoria to join us in our “commune” as Chris refers to it.

On the 28th July we arranged to get the keys from the previous owner. We were very grateful to have a few extra days before the end of the month. We desperately wanted to cover the yellow the mauve walls with white before we moved in. Also, the complex owners were hassling us to move out early on the 31st because they had new tenants for our unit.

In return for some strong drink and a bit of petrol money, Luan had arranged that his lovely friends would help us move on the Saturday. One of the guys has a Nissan X-trail with a tow bar – so all we needed to do was rent a trailer. The whole move basically went without a hitch!

It was rather hysterical watching four B.Sc. students and a Physics HoD Professor maneuvering heavy furniture, appliances and giant pot plants in and out of narrow doorways.

They’d gather and ponder and postulate before attempting anything. Chris let them try things out first and only intervened when it looked like the piece they were trying to move was likely to be destroyed in the process.

A lot of joking went on. Em and I had a fat laugh when Luan, positioned precariously on the trailer was giving orders to his friends on where to put stuff.

“Say please!” they ordered. He groaned and then redirected his request in a more civil manner.

Chickens were bought and devoured by hungry helpers’ in-between bouts of moving. The bulk of the big stuff had to be relocated by 16h00 on the Saturday. Our X-trail owner had other plans and needed to be gone. This meant the trailer had to be returned by then too – because not one of our cars has a tow bar.

That night we braaied some wors outside around our tiny pool and marveled at our new space. We slept in our respective areas of the new house for the first time. Charl was away in Cape Town due to his dad being very ill (sadly he subsequently passed away), but Em opted to sleep alone in the outside flatlet anyway. Figured I was so tired I’d sleep like a log – but my sleeping patterns take more than a move to shift them.

We did misjudge slightly – one last trailer load on the Saturday would have meant that we would not have had to spend the entire Sunday shuttling loads of bitty paraphernalia back and forth in our three cars. The Tucson doubled as a bakkie and Luan’s little Corsa worked it’s tyres off too.

Luan always washes his clothes on a Sunday. This was the first time he had ever really experienced a moving process and it had not occurred to him that the washing machine might not be available for this weekly task. Luckily his father is every accommodating. It was not a one hundred per cent straight forward job to get it going and some handy-manning ensued.

I was at the complex – cleaning and scrubbing, so was not involved.

On one of the shuttle trips, Chris looked at me with a puzzled, somewhat perplexed, expression on his face.

Hmmm…. He said. I’m not sure that we put the outlet pipe in the right place.

Since they had put the washing on they had not been inside – they were simply dumping the stuff under the carport and dashing off for a refill.

I laughed and replied that we were obviously going to have a very clean kitchen floor then!

True enough – on the next round, when they ventured inside, the kitchen floor was, indeed, flooded. I’d told them where the towels were – so they could mop the mess up. Of course, all the boxes with kitchen stuff from the day before were piled on the floor, so it was a tad soggy and shambolic.

Luckily Em and I were working our fingers to the bone at the ex-house and missed the whole episode. (This did mean that I had to do six loads of washing the next day though! Fortunately our new house has fabulous washing lines and the sun was shining!)

This was the first time we had ever moved in such a higgledy pigledy fashion. Usually we get the movers in and it’s very orderly – everything has been packed into boxes and labelled with a room number – those boxes then go to said room. Easy to unpack – no problems. This time things got dumped all over the place. My office (another blog) became the dumping ground.

The first room that I tackled on Monday was the kitchen. I needed to get that in order so that we could function.

Wasn’t kidding when I said I’d worked my fingers to the bone either. My digits were criss-crossed with a myriad of little cuts that stung like crazy. I soon discovered that everything to do with moving (and life) involves fingers and it was rather frustrating to be so incapacitated. Plasters layered onto sore bits kept coming loose because my fingers were constantly in the water.

Could not even type…

Chris also nearly brained himself on this elaborate light arrangement that hangs smack dab in the middle of the dining room. We decided to pile stuff up around it – so that nobody else did the same thing.

We inherited a little sausage dog, Gemma (fondly referred to as “Germy” by Riaan – one of Luan’s friends) with the house too, and had to move the cats – but that’s another blog.

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