A moving experience

Neil HaversonThere seems to be a bit of the traveller in Brat Minor. I wouldn't be surprised to open the EDP and read that he has occupied a plot of land, laid down tarmac, connected water and is applying for retrospective planning permission.Neil Haverson

There seems to be a bit of the traveller in Brat Minor. I wouldn't be surprised to open the EDP and read that he has occupied a plot of land, laid down tarmac, connected water and is applying for retrospective planning permission.

He has now moved house more times than Mrs H and I have in our entire married life.

I think he gets it from Mrs H. Before the formal attachment of the ball and chain she had her fair share of flats. I often wondered if she was trying to keep one move ahead of me.

Mind you, I did help the then Miss H move on a few occasions. Once I remember we shifted all her belongings in a Mini. I have this painful memory of arriving at her new home and extracting a small book case from the back of the car. It still had the books in so was rather heavy. I'd all but popped a hernia getting it in the car.


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'Where has it got to go?' I asked my cherished girlfriend.

She pointed three storeys up.

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Well, I was younger then. And it turned out to be good training for moving our wandering son - except we've never done it in a Mini.

His latest uprooting took place last weekend when he and Katherine moved to our village, less than a mile from Fortress H.

'You do realise it's Cup Final day,' I informed him.

'Is it?' he replied anxiously. ''s'oright,' he added confidently. 'We'll be done before kick-off. '

Brat Minor has obviously briefed Katherine well about his father. When they told us about their planned move, Katherine turned to me and said: 'You'll be driving the van.'

It's a bit like being the only number listed in Yellow Pages.

But nothing is ever simple, especially where the hapless Brat Minor is concerned. When he gave notice on his existing tenancy, he managed to cause confusion that left one landlord expecting him out one day and another not expecting him until the next.

Following hasty negotiations and a swift grovel to the van hire company we settled on moving half on Friday night and the rest at the crack of dawn Saturday.

It goes without saying that Mrs H was involved. This meant the operation took on military proportions. Timings were issued.

'Let's work this back. If we have to be out by 11 on Saturday and there are two loads; allow 20 minutes there and back…we need to be there at 7am.'

The van was half full before we left home; bags of old sheets to cover things, spare clothes and bottles of water for thirsty workers.

Mrs H was in her element. She has a dodgy back and was excused lifting anything heavy so she assumed the role of chief van packer. As we trudged back and forth from the house with boxes spilling coat hangers and bin liners tearing under the weight she stood on the tailboard like a captain on the bridge.

'I need soft squoodgy things to fill in some holes,' she instructed. 'No, that's no good; leave it out there. MIND! You'll break it!'

It all went surprisingly smoothly - and we finished in good time thanks to help from Mrs H's sister and her husband.

Brat Minor and I were released in time to watch the Cup Final.

They have accumulated a fair amount of possessions in their relatively short lives. Knowing what we have in a bulging Fortress H, I shudder to think what would be involved if Mrs H and I decided to downsize.

And having seen Mrs H organising someone else's move I don't know if I have the will to face the trauma of her masterminding ours.

Of course, if we do eventually up anchor I know what I'll say to Brat Minor.

'You'll be driving the van.'

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