The removal men had been booked for 7am, and we had been told it would be a 12 to 14 hour job. I was up around 6.15am and had just called Peter to get up, when they arrived, it was 6.40am. Still, better 20 minutes early than 20 minutes late.

After a quick ‘tour’ of the job they began. They had brought two vans, one a conventional removal van, the other a big ‘Transit’ type thing to accommodate the plants, plus garage and shed paraphernalia.

They began by emptying the garage, helpfully we had already emptied the shed into the garage several days earlier. Meanwhile I went to buy some sandwiches and some mugs so I could make them a drink, I’d packed all our mugs away apart from two grotty ones.

On my return the smaller van was full, but the garage wasn’t empty, and work had started on filling the big van. It soon became apparent that this was going to be a really long job, so Peter and I pitched in and began to help.

By around 1.30pm we were getting towards the end of loading, or so we thought, and I was dispatched to the new house, taking with me ‘anything you can get in the car’,and told to wait there.

This I did and when the two removal vans turned up it must have been about 2.15pm and just beginning to pour with rain. And so the job of unloading began. They had said this would be easier, but I beg to differ, maybe it was because I was tired, suffice to say it was excruciatingly hard work.

By around 5.30pm we were nearing the end, just 2 items to unload, the large dining table and Peter’s beloved sofa, both of which are very big, very, very heavy and Peter’s pride and joy. Sadly neither of them would fit into the cottage!!

Various doors, various angles, various methods were tried, but the table and the sofa resolutely refused to go indoors.

As a last resort we put them under cover in the open sheds that surround the joinery yard and covered them up to protect them from ‘guano’ produced by the house martins who live in the rafters. We arranged with two of the joiners to remove the front window the following day so the sofa and table could be brought indoors.

The removal men left around 6pm, and you might think that is the end of the story, but you’d be wrong!!!

To be continued – — –