Phew! The move from Sutherland Place has been completed. Tomas and Roland, two very personable Lithuanian born young men did an amazing job and were excellent company. How they managed to carry all the book-filled boxes up from the basement I could only marvel at. My Dad was an excellent van-packer. He would have been very proud of the way Tomas masterminded this process. The original plan had been to work two trips, one to Michael’s Wimbledon House with the furniture, return to Sutherland Place, and then take the books to Minstead. They wanted to do it in one. This needed very tight work. It was done.
I ran out of boxes. Tomas brought two from the van. I ran out of tape. I bought some more in Westbourne Grove. On the way I saw a three-legged cat deftly avoiding one of the multitude of doggie bags that litter the streets of W2. These, you must understand, are not filled with food people couldn’t eat in restaurants. They contain scooped up dog shit which local canine owners consider is acceptable to chuck in the gutter for roadsweepers to clear up.
With the van loaded and number 29 locked up I duly delivered the keys Roger Berwick had brought me on Saturday to Vera Williams in Talbot Street. The men invited me to ride in the van, which was a great help to me and meant they didn’t have to wait in Minstead for my arrival.
The only hitch in all this process was caused by the cash machines. I walked round to Sainsbury’s in Westbourne Grove. Their ATM was out of order. That didn’t particularly bother me, because there were lots of banks in Wimbledon. Having introduced my removers to Michael and Matthew, I left them to unload, saying I would be back in a few minutes with the cash. Santander was the nearest. Intending to give these stalwarts a generous tip I needed £500. Their machine showed a top figure of £400. They also offered an additional transaction. So I elected to follow the £400 withdrawal with one for £100. It seemed logical. I got £100 and a receipt which informed me I could have £200 more. I went inside and reported this to the help desk. I was told their machines only supplied £300. ‘But there is an option for £400’, I said. ‘That’s for special customers’, was the reply.
I then visited NatWest’s cash dispenser. This one gave me a slip that bore the message that I could only have £200. There was nothing for it but to join a lengthy queue. No-one attaches themselves to the end of one of those unless they have a problem. So it took a rather long time. One exasperated young woman lost patience and left, so that moved me up one. There was, of course, no problem at the counter. The cashier offered to increase my ATM withdrawal limit to a ridiculously high sum. He persisted in his offer, suggesting it would save me queueing. He had a point so I reduced his proposed figure and accepted his generosity. This also took more than a little time.
On the way back to the house a small boy dropped a letter. His mother didn’t notice and seemed not to hear him telling her of this. I bent to pick it up. That is a very simple sentence. The manoeuvre was not. At the best of times getting down there is a somewhat painful business these days. After a weekend spent packing it is less than easy. And envelopes lie flat on the pavement so you have to get your fingers underneath them. In Wimbledon Broadway this procedure has to be carried out while most of the world is streaming past you in haste, and is made more hazardous when you don’t have brake lights attached to your backside. Anyway, I did it. The boy was most grateful. I’m not sure his mother was exactly delighted at its return.
I arrived back just in time to move on to Minstead. Tomas completed the journey in an hour and a half, including stopping for petrol. I thought that quite impressive. They unloaded at admirable speed and were soon off back to where they had come from.
Andy Bricks, of Globe Removals had moved us from Morden on 11th November last year. It was on the strength of that experience I chose to use them again. They are to be highly recommended, as being punctual, efficient, reliable, and very reasonably priced.
Falling asleep at the end of the day, I just about managed this piece of work. Jackie had driven us to Ringford where we had a look at the outside of a house. Excellent curries were consumed.
As I staggered to bed I realised I hadn’t mentioned that we visited the Curry Garden, so I opened up the computer again to put that right. The bit about the outside of a house is rubbish, as is Ringford – it should be Ringwood. I must have been actually dreaming when I wrote that. At least I got the curry bit right. Well, I have been up for eighteen hours, and had quite a busy day, finished off with two pints of cobra with the meal. I’m going back to sleep now.