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Posts tagged ‘moving house’

Aerodynamically optimal

Three days into our new home and we’re still chaotic. Basically our life can be described in terms of boxes and litres of Jif cleaning fluid.

After the movers relocated the bulk of our possessions last Thursday week, we made one more trip to the container in Spring Creek with a last trailer-load. The container smelled like the gorilla pit at the zoo. Please note it featured this delicate bouquet long before we ever stuffed it with our belongings. I’m not sure whether it seemed more potent due to my enhanced sense of smell or it had actually once contained gorillas.

As Andrew unloaded, “I thought you were going to put your motorbike in the container,” I said. Although phrased as a statement, Andrew recognised it for the pointed question it was.

“Decided not to,” he said. “We’ll have PLENTY of room for it on the trailer.”

I may never learn to decode my husband’s unique blend of brooding pessimism and misplaced idealism.

Container on its way, we set to cleaning the house. I was anxious to leave it spick, since not only are the landlords our friends, but they handed over the house in such pristine condition. Unfortunately, I underestimated the time it would take, allied with how pregnant I am, not to mention pedantic. You might call it a trifecta of miscalculation.

I was still cleaning on Saturday morning, the day we were to drive to Oamaru. While Andrew loudly expressed his astonishment how much stuff was left to fit on the trailer, I desperately wiped down door handles. The end result was three rooms and two bathrooms that gleamed, with skirting boards that could have been declared contamination-free zones. Unfortunately, the living room windows were still smudged with dog snot . . . but at least I got the blood stains off the walls and scraped most of the viscera off the ceiling.

I drove the MR2 the first leg of the trip, while Andrew drove the Hilux Surf towing a trailer that looked precariously volatile but, he assured me, was both stable and aerodynamically optimal.

We swapped vehicles just south of Blenheim and I drove the Surf the rest of the way. Again, I’m not sure whether it was pregnancy or the fact that we haven’t defurred it in a while but sitting into the Surf’s driver seat was a nauseating experience.

We hit Christchurch at around 5pm, where we collected a cot, which posed a challenging logistical problem for Andrew.

In Rolleston, we stopped for a late lunch from BP. I had a gourmet vegetarian pie which, given how hungry I was, should have been a taste sensation. Instead it was rather horrid, tasting of burnt-curry with a strangely chewy texture. It was only after I’d finished it that I realised I’d also eaten most of the wrapping paper.

Poor Andrew had to work on Sunday but I took a day off. On Monday morning, the Spring Creek Container Yard notified me that our possessions had arrived. In a quality effort, Andrew and The Welsh Giant relocated everything to the new house by early afternoon, while I . . . cleaned.

God I hate the smell of Jif.


Two days before the movers were due to arrive, we decided to call into the container yard at Spring Creek to check the security measures.

Alan, the manager of the container yard, who had taken my booking, was not available.

“I’ll show you the container, if you like,” said John, a man who operated in a strictly humour-free zone. Unless you counted his glasses, a pair of big, yellow-tinted square eyesores. I hope they were for visibility purposes rather than a fashion statement. Because that statement would be loud and pelvis-centric without any discernible excuse for it.“Let me get you a couple of high-viz vests. You need to wear them on the yard.”

“Oh no, no, that’s ok,” said Andrew. “We don’t need to-”

“No- I want a high-viz vest!” I said. “Hey! Do we have to wear hard hats too?”

Apparently we didn’t.

“When’s your container hired?” asked John as we fluorescently trooped over to the holding area.

“Thursday morning,” I said.

“I don’t think so,” said John. “I handle container bookings and we have nothing for Thursday.”

“Oh, Alan ASSURED me the container would be available on Thursday,” I said.

John’s face twitched with the effort of internalising an extreme eye-roll.

“How long did you book it for?”

“Alan said you guys were EXTREMELY flexible,” I said happily. “He said we could have it as long as we needed and just to let you know on an as-required basis. Alan- he was lovely- wasn’t he, honey? SO accommodating.”

“How much did he quote you?” asked John, increasingly dour.


“And for transport?”

“Oh, that includes transport. And GST. Very reasonable, we thought.”

Evidently John thought so too. Perhaps the spectacles were corrective, to address eye-rolling.

Anyway, I don’t know what he was fussing about. Either there was a stash of containers around the corner, or John was extremely good at his job (although I can’t think there’s much to arranging containers; surely it’s just an adult version of building blocks?); in any case there was a container waiting for us at the yard on Thursday morning.

Back at home, “I still think I could have shifted our things in a couple of trailer loads,” muttered Andrew.

I might have to ask John about his spectacle prescription.

Nice; or totally mind-blowingly awesome

Even when we are present in the same house – say, Husband upstairs in his office and me in the kitchen – the most effective means of communication is often email. From my perspective, email generates a faster response than bawling up the stairs and, crucially, there is a written record of any agreements or transactions.

The benefit for Andrew is eliminating the requirement to talk.

When I saw the property on Trademe, I sent an email to Andrew with subject ‘sigh!’ and the link. Then I was distracted bidding on a bread machine (unfortunately it went for more than $5) and pretty much forgot about it.

But half an hour later, when I went upstairs to bed and found Andrew flicking intently through the photos of the property, I felt a chill of premonition.

“Looks nice,” he said moodily, clicking on a picture of the sun setting over snow covered mountains. On Andrew’s emotional register, ‘nice’ roughly equates to ‘totally mind-blowingly awesome’.

“Suppose,” I said.

“Well? How about it?” he asked.

“How about what?”


“Moving?” I repeated. Because honestly, this consideration had not seriously registered. I mean, yes, the house was lovely, but why would we want to move? After all, we are perfectly happy where we are: half an hour from the city, 40 minutes from beaches with black sand, about 100km of walking trails within biking distance of our front door. We have made wonderful friends, against all the odds (Andrew). We love the community along the road – apart from the miserable old hag who walks along the road and never waves and is incapable of cracking a smile even when Jed pulls faces at her out the car window. Skank.

Also, the thought of packing and cleaning and trying to dissuade Husband from attempting to transport 24 cubic metres of belongings on his rickety trailer was unappealing.

Yet the next morning, following a game plan hastily conceived the night before, I was on the phone to S enquiring whether the house was still available and whether the stipulation ‘no pets’ included dogs. Because if it did, we could always give Jed up for adoption.



Deadlyjelly on the move

At the start of summer, Husband started talking about moving to South Island. He brings the topic up every now and then, usually at the beginning or end of a year when he bemoans his lack of achievement (apparently living a happy, fulfilled life doesn’t count).

I was all, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure thing Honey. I’m with you 100%. No, wait; my mistake. Make that 110%.”

Because I knew he’d do nothing about it.

Now, if you think you can see where this is going, you are so wrong. Sorry, I hate to be confrontational, so let me rephrase: you might be right, except you aren’t. Indeed, Husband did nothing about it, except for threatening to sell my purple fridge.

No, no; much to everyone’s astonishment – in this context, ‘everyone’ comprising Andrew and me – this is all my fault.

It was last Thursday week and I was bored. I decided to spend a quality half hour on Trademe before bedtime. I did a few searches on chimineas for sale, Goretex, bread makers, chickens, any items in the shape of a pineapple. Then, seized by a relentless whim, I did a search on rental properties.

I wasn’t looking for anything specific, just listings of 2-3 bedroom houses for rent in the $200-$400 range in South Island that included keywords: “private”, “secluded”, “trails”, “bush”, and “heated towel rails”.

After viewing 50 properties ranging from spectacularly awful to oh-my-god-you-would-have-to-pay-me-to-live-there-and-even-then-it-wouldn’t-be-enough, I was about to go to bed when I saw it.

Unfortunately, the scenery is obscured by a big wet patch. Here is the view looking south:-

And north:-

Welcome to Marlborough country.

We move in three weeks.

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