Piles of stuff

We’ve been clearing out and packing up for weeks now it seems. Every evening another box of papers to go through, or a set of shelves, or a cupboard. Every trip to Inverness included a few box loads for Blytheswood or the British Heart Foundation (we spread our favours) and/or a few crates for the dump (by the way the Inverness Municipal Tip has a cat that wears a yellow hi-viz vest with her name on it – she’s Stig of the Dump). We took most of our old work clothes and our more free-thinking books to Oxfam in Byres Road in Glasgow where we thought they might find a more receptive public.

We’ve more or less filled our former neighbours Trish and Adrian’s spare flat (they call it the emporium) across the road with boxes and crates for Blytheswood to collect (British Heart Foundation having let us down by refusing to take our general bric a brac along with the telly and various bits of furniture – charity shops these days are quite picky about what they’ll take and when they’ll take it).

But even with all that we were woefully ill-prepared when the removal men came to take our stuff into store. We were expecting them to conduct a leisurely tour of the premises, work out a plan of action, help us to pack with the materials they would provide. In the end only the last of these held. So we spent a rather fraught day packing china and glass, sorting the stuff we wanted to keep from the stuff we would quite like to keep and/or thought we shouldn’t really get rid of although we didn’t really want in. In the end we got so scunnered and quite horrended by the amount of stuff we had that we never wanted to see any of it again

By midday on the Thursday the house was looking decidedly empty. We were left with the piles for taking in Lotte and in the car, stuff we were leaving for the new people (most of which they knew about), and yet more charity piles for Adrian’s emporium.

Later that day Wilf and Gelise arrived from Belgium with our new car. We have replaced Harriet our Hyundai i30 estate with a left-hand drive version of the same car, which we have somewhat unimaginatively named Harriet Deux. W+G picked her up in Bruges (now there’s a good film), took her on a ferry to Hull and drove her to Drumnadrochit through some pretty horrendous weather. They were rewarded with three nights luxury B&B at Ferness Cottage next door with dinner cooked in Lotte’s equipment and served on our picnic table. Fun, but the table didn’t survive (another addition to the charity pile). In between visiting Horis W+G helped with the clearing and cleaning (although asking charity shop junkies to help shift boxes and crates full of stuff was a bit like asking sugar addicts to judge the chocolate cake competition without tasting anything. Still we managed a communal skype call with Rose in Montreal, and to celebrate the ceremonial burning of the log that Dee and I picked up from pruning operations in Unter den Linden many years ago and took for a special trip to the top of the Reichstag (security dispensation: ‘Nur schmeissen Sie es bitte nicht an die Fenster’).

W+G left on Sunday afternoon after the Grand Prix and Dee and I started the final clear and clean. Needless to say when the new owners of 14 Lewiston arrived on Monday morning we were still juggling with piles of stuff.

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