Moderator’s Blog 51 10th August 2011

A New Home

The day of the move was 4th August – so we woke early, dismantled the bed, disconnected the phones and put the last things into boxes. The removal team arrived at 10.40am, Steve, Rob and Aubrey, and a good team they were. We all worked very hard, stopping every hour or so for tea breaks. As each room was cleared, we cleaned and hoovered it and closed the door. Eventually, when the van had gone, it was the turn of the kitchen and garage. Then we said good-bye to the house and travelled in convoy to Leighton Buzzard.  The journey took about an hour and a half. We were so tired we decided to go to a local Italian restaurant for a meal, which was leisurely. Then we went to bed to rest and be ready for the furniture arriving the following morning.

The team arrived about 8.40am and it was non-stop unloading and putting things into their assigned places. It was tight getting the freezer and washing machine into their slots – we had to remove some beading to get them in and then replace it when they were in. Otherwise, everything went smoothly, including dropping off the extra long ladder, and then the garden shed at the allotment. We sent the removal team away with some large courgettes as an extra bonus.

On Saturday, we focussed on getting the living room straight, including connecting the new TV (courtesy of the Synod) and the telephones. We also had to assemble two wardrobes, one of which we completed late on Saturday after much frustration and the other more easily on Sunday. We then put together the beds in the other two bedrooms. All the while the empty cardboard boxes were piling up in the garden – alongside the chest freezer and bed-settee – all covered in waterproof sheets awaiting dispatch to other places! A nice touch was putting up the hanging baskets we had brought with us to brighten up the garden wall.

On Monday, the aim was to get the computer working, which meant moving many of the boxes, which we had put in the study in order to get at the desk. I did that just as Steve arrived, who had come to talk over his future ministry. We sat comfortably in the living room, over a cup of coffee. It was good to help a colleague to reflect on the issues surrounding a decision about the future. Later Joan and I went to the allotment but we only had time and energy to harvest some potatoes, courgettes and onions.

On Tuesday, Joan took her mother to the Doctor for an appointment while I tackled the study – trying to put things into useful places. All the time the pile of empty boxes was growing! Nevertheless, the house was looking better and better. In the evening we set out our pictures as a gallery to decide where they might go, and even hung some in the living room, bedroom, dining area and conservatory.

Today, Wednesday we have been sorting out the utility room, which is our main area for storage as well as having the washing machine and freezer. We bought a couple of storage racks from IKEA and that has done the trick. We even managed to bring in our rubber plant from the garden and give it a home in the conservatory.

All through the week, we have had moments when we sat down and surveyed the home we were making, and it is very good! It has been an encouragement to receive so many cards wishing us well in our new home. Thanks to all of you! Home, of course, is not the house – it is where my wife is. We are together here and though we are tired, it is good.

Terry Oakley