So, when I last wrote, I was frozen, like a rabbit in headlights, unable to finish packing up for our move. As I sit typing, I am surrounded by half packed boxes. The dog of the blog is snoring and shuffling about in her bed. My feet are killing me, and I need a cup of tea. On the surface of it, nothing has changed.
However, the boxes are now almost exactly three hundred kilometres from where they were in my last blog entry, as are the dog of the blog, my feet and I.
Somehow, we arrived at the day of our move with almost everything done. The lovely Geoff, aided and abetted by a second lovely Geoff, took off at nasty o’clock to fetch a hire van from Malaga. The dogs and I tripped over each other, as I spent a couple of hours ferrying the last few bags and boxes down to the office, ready to be loaded into the car.
I lost track of who was going to be where, but when they got back from Malaga, my lovely Geoff collected Nick and Stan (regular readers will remember that Stan is the canine love of Poppy’s life.) Stan was going to come in the car with us, and stay at the new house with the girls and me, while Nick did several trips with the two Geoffs.) Geoff and Nick dropped the car back to me, and I loaded it up with the three dogs, Boggle, various items that I did not want to go on the van, and the most important box of all, containing the kettle, mugs, tea bags, milk and loo roll.
An army of volunteers gathered down at the lock-up, and by the time I had the car loaded up, they had almost finished loading the van with the first pile of furniture, boxes and lumpy packages. I had expected to go on ahead, collect the keys to the new house, and have the kettle on by the time the van arrived. As it was, I followed the van as the two Geoffs and Nick had a Thelma, Louise and their friend road trip. It all went swimmingly well, and about three hours later, we pulled up outside Montaña Vista.
While the dogs capered about, wildly excited, the agent read the meters with me, and the men folk unloaded the van into the garage. It was alarming to see how quickly the space was filled. Each box, item of furniture and package bore a colour-coded label. I officiously taped corresponding labels around the house, hoping that my foolproof system would be as foolproof as I thought it should be.
We had agreed that we would ask a local friend of a friend to help me move the boxes and furniture into the relevant rooms, while Thelma and her buddies returned to collect another van load. Almost as soon as the van took off, the lovely Mario was moving boxes at an incredible pace. It must be the extra thirty years and broken ankle that stopped me matching his turn of speed, otherwise I would have put him to shame, of course.
An hour or so later, Mario left. I had no internet, and my mobile gets no signal here, so the dogs and I were left to fend for ourselves as best we could. The hamlet has about a dozen houses, but nobody seemed to be around. I should have felt slightly nervous, I suppose, but the surrounding almond covered hillsides dozed in a very unthreatening fashion in the late afternoon sun, as I puttered about happily.
I set to work opening boxes in the kitchen and allocating pantry space to my jars of chutney. Plastic tubs and containers were stashed under the sink, and the kettle and tea bags made themselves right at home.
Two or three hours later, I had the kitchen sorted, the wine rack re-assembled, and picnic plates and cutlery located. The dining room was functional rather than elegant. Our good friends, Donna and Andy, had offered to come and feed me, so I spent a pleasant evening with them, an excellent chicken casserole and a bottle of cava.
After they left, I continued to unpack and obsess for a few hours more, before collapsing, exhausted, into a single bed downstairs, with the three dogs swapping beds and grunting contentedly as they settled for the night.
The next morning, after about four hours’ sleep, I was up and about, unpacking boxes. I wanted to try to keep up with the arrival of each vanload, so that by the time Geoff arrived on the last day, there would be calm and order to greet him. I am so good at having these crack-brained ideas! I had also offered to cook the three amigos some lunch, so I spent a happy couple of hours, desperately trying to find out how to get into the car park of the supermarket in the nearest large town. The Ayuntamiento have at some point decided that it would be fun to hide the car park under the town square, in the middle of a one-way system. An excellent plan, which was only very slightly frustrating and annoying.
Another annoyance was the arrival of the internet engineer chappie, who announced we could not have his internet because he couldn’t see his mast. It would have been less annoying if his company had not assured us that we could avail ourselves of their service, and with a jolly speedy connection to boot.
The frantic woofing and leaping about gave a clear indication of when the van was arriving. Once again, the intrepid threesome unloaded, and once again the pile of stuff in the garage was alarming. It became more alarming when I realised they had gone home, stuffed with a hastily put together meatball casserole, leaving me with no way to contact the marvellous Mario, a garage full of all manner of things, and my beloved plants, all over the terrace. I had to deal with all of this myself, aided only by the less than helpful suggestions of the dogs. Boggle informed me that he was beautiful, but was not interested in any useful involvement.
By the end of day three, I was beginning to flag a little. Day two’s load was sorted, another load had arrived, and the men folk had left, taking Stan and the car with them.
I surveyed the scene, screwed the feet onto one half of the sofa, collapsed onto it and fell into a deep, exhausted sleep.