Crawling onto my blow-up camp bed and pulling the covers over my tired and aching body, I had little hope I’d be able to sleep much that night. In an attempt to make myself drowsy enough to drop off, I began reading a few pages of a book, giving up about fifteen minutes later when I kept dropping the heavy tome on my chest and shocking myself awake.
As soon as my head hit the pillow I was out like the proverbial light, head flung to one side and mouth open wide, sucked away into a blissful world of blank nothingness. I’ve been told that I don’t move all that much while I’m asleep, yet on this particular night I must have tossed and turned several times in order to find a comfortable position in which to lay. Unfortunately, I made one turn too many and obviously the wrong way too, as I rolled sleepily to one side and straight off the camp bed.
Landing on my ass, I’d tumbled onto the carpeted floor at rough 3 am with a start – and a few choice swearwords to boot.
I managed to make it through the rest of the night without falling off the bed and adding to the myriad of bruises that I’d collected from humping a load of boxes and bags up the stairs to my new place.
So far, so good.
If only it were that simple.
I had wanted to take a shower after breakfast and it was only when I was completely undressed that I realised I’d left my shower cap at my old house. My hair is long and runs down past my shoulders and I had neither the time or the inclination to dry it that morning and so I put it on my list of things that I needed to pick up on my return visit to my former home before I left for work that morning.
Once at the house that I used to call a home, I gathered together all of those small yet essential items that I’d forgotten the day before and also swung by the local grocery store to pick up a damn can opener…..
Grabbing a quick shower at my new place and checking that my cobbled-together cable ties were holding, I packed my things and left for my overnight shift at work where I spent the next twenty-four hours worrying if I’d locked the front door properly, shut all the windows, turned the cooker off etc.
By Saturday afternoon I was back at the house, gathering together the larger pieces of furniture that I’d need to make my new living space cosy and comfortable. I’d sweet-talked my cousin, Joe, into helping me shift the big stuff that a weak little woman like me wouldn’t be able to shift on her own. I thought I might have to bribe him with money or beer (perhaps both) but he readily agreed to help me out for free. I guess all those times I’ve babysat his two gorgeous little children had really paid off!
It just so happens that we hit a warm spell of weather here in Britain and that Saturday was an especially humid day. What could be more fun than moving tons of heavy furniture in such strength-sapping weather?
I felt quite guilty watching Joe and his friend battle up and down stairs with my bed, coffee table, sofa etc. but bless their souls, they managed to get it from the house and into my new flat within a couple of hours, although I have no doubt that they both walked away with several new bruises and possibly a hernia to boot.
I’ll admit that I’ve never seen so much sweat pour off another person before and it was almost painful to watch Joe and his friend grappling with my heavy furniture. Handing them each a can of coke and greasing their palms with a few pound notes, I was jokingly told that should I ever want to move again that I need to leave the couch behind!
My couch is the leather recliner kind and very, VERY heavy and awkward to fit through doorways and up stairs. There were a number of moments when I honestly thought that the front door would come off its hinges or that the couch would forever be stuck between the narrow walls of my staircase. Somehow, the two of them managed to get it up and into the flat.
I took pity on them at this point, telling them that I would move the furniture around the room on my own while they sloped off back home with sore muscles and damp shirts. After an hour or two of ensuring that my feng did indeed shui, I was finally happy with the results.
Perhaps a foolish move, but I’d invited my mother and aunt to come visit that evening for an informal gathering for drinks and nibbles, which meant that all of the boxes, empty wrappers and various pieces of litter needed to be hidden in such a way as so they were not immediately obvious to the beady eyes of my family members.
Oven on, beers opened and candles lit, I waited for them to arrive…..
Would they even like what I’d done with the place?