Saturday, 2 January 2016

Moving house? Did someone say

they are moving house? 
Someone has mentioned they are moving house. I feel sorry for them. Even if you actually want to make the move it is stressful. It is messy and time consuming. You spend weeks living in a muddle and wondering where things are.
I haven't moved house for a while now but we moved a number of times when I was a child. I moved after that too - to London and back, to two other cities and back - and between houses here. I really don't recommend it.
The Senior Cat won't move again. If he is fortunate he will end his life in this house. If he does need to move somewhere else because he needs more care than I can give him then he won't be the one who needs to deal with "the shed" or anything else. His children will have to do that. He won't have to deal with the thousands of books and all that timber in the shed.
My mother was ruthless each time we moved. She gave away things we children wanted to keep. I wanted to keep my doll pram. (It was useful for carting building materials for the cubby houses we kept building rather than dolls.)  I wanted to keep my dolls' house. I didn't actually play with it much but the Senior Cat had made it for me - a replica of the house we lived in at the time. Both those things were given away along with a lot of other things we wanted to keep. There was never "any room" for such things. 
My parents moved from one country appointment to another with a few years in rented accommodation in the city. They knew that wasn't going to last and they would go back to the small fibro-asbestos houses the Education Department required them to live in - and yes, they paid rent for them. 
Just after my maternal grandmother died and the house she had been living in became empty my parents were advised they were both being given city appointments. We moved into my grandmother's house. It was there. It was in a convenient location. It was the house my mother had spent part of the adolescence and early adulthood in. She didn't like it but she accepted it as much more convenient than searching for something else. She bought her brother's share of the house and, for the first time in their married lives, my parents had their own home.
At that point they did something we children had known nothing at all about. They went to my paternal grandparents home and got their wedding presents. The wedding presents had been carefully packed away in a tea chest. They had been married just after the war - in 1947. My mother had the presents, apart from the laundry basket, packed away and said she would not use them until they had a home of their own. It took almost twenty years for that to happen. 
The silver took a bit of cleaning but everything else was in perfect condition. There wasn't a lot because the wedding was small and people did not give extravagant gifts then but perhaps that made them all the more precious. My mother didn't want to risk losing what she had been given then.
As for the laundry basket, a sturdy cane affair from the Royal Society for the Blind Workshop, it is almost seventy years old and I still use it.

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