I am here in bed wondering how on earth I can actually type as my fingers feel as if they are at backwards right angles after yesterday's shenanigans.
Will and Jo moved house from the mansion sized one they built as part of their property developing into a little 3 bed detached. They were actually doing a part exchange with the people who bought their house, so the day became a massive game of "is that your box or mine" as we had to cross paths with the people coming out as they went in. It was utter madness.
I was late as Tom didn't wake me up so he left early at 8am and I didn't get there til half nine which was not very impressive. My mum had had to leave and go home as she was sobbing too much; the begging of my brother to "just stay here and have babies and don't go travelling" was pretty much the only sound I could hear as I pulled up. Unfortunately, although my bro is now mortgage free in his downsized house after selling the place he built, there is no way he could afford to stay on in the big place so it had to go. Mum was therefore flooding the driveway with her emotional outpourings so was despatched on lunch duty and told to return to the new place with provisions when she had calmed down and settled the cat for a mini holiday in her conservatory.
Meanwhile, my brother had turned into the human snail and was somehow managing to carry virtually the whole house on his back - he actually carried a double divan bed on his own down the stairs! Tom was busy helping to load the van, which became slightly heavier with a few pounds of skin off my shin after a slight misjudgement with a hall bureau that Tom and I were trying to wedge on the van. My language was little unsavoury at this point.
My Dad was busy dismantling things upstairs and was knee deep in a sea of screws, spanners and hundreds of lengths of wood, none of which now resembled anything like furniture and would therefore become the world's most difficult 3D jigsaw once it was all transported over to the new place.
Very quickly, Jo and I realised that we were probably better off at the new place rather than trying to load a van - we very nearly ruptured ourselves trying to carry a TV stand so we packed up and drove to the new place.
Now, I know most of you have probably seen "how clean is your house" but I have now lived it, every last dusty crevice of it.
The new place was, in a word, FOUL.
Now, I know the woman who was leaving was pregnant but this was no excuse. It was filthy. Don't get me wrong, there weren't food stains up the walls, layers of grease inches thick in the kitchen or anything but the bathroom was a different matter. I actually had to chip limescale off the shower head with a knife it was that thick. They also had carpet in the bathroom and round the loo - bleurgh!!
The tiles either side of the toilet had very suspicious "yellow grout" just at "pee height" and there was so much hair and dust everywhere that you could stuff a mattress with it all.
It took me over 3 hours just to clean the bathroom. There was mould, hair, limescale and dust in great balls everywhere. I was scrubbing grout with bleach and a toothbrush, chipping off limescale with vinegar and a knife and putting handfuls of pube-dustballs in plastic bags for what felt like eternity. In fact, I was so covered in other people's pubic hair and dust that when I emerged from the bathroom I was absolutely covered in it from head to foot. I now resembled Bigfoot - just one great dirty hairy beast. I had an entire new full body outfit fashioned from other people's detritus. It was not pleasant.
Jo had actually managed to fill a whole hoover bag with dust just from the hall and lounge carpets and there were enough crumbs down the sofa they had left to make a cheesecake base from. The windowsills had to be hoovered before they could be dusted and they hadn't even hoovered behind the furniture they'd taken so there was half inch thick piles of dust all over the place. Poor Jo was fuming; she'd spent days cleaning, washing skirting boards, disinfecting things and polishing every last inch of their huge place and this family couldn't even be bothered to whip the hoover round.
I became rather delirious at one point which I attribute to over inhalation of Cillit Bang; I wouldn' be surprised if I found groups of teenagers down the park on a Saturday night with that foamy pink concoction as one sniff of it and you're away with the cleaning fairies. In fact, I think it's actually listed as a class A drug and that there is a support group for recovering Cillit bang addicts in every local community centre.
I guess it didn't help that I had a rancid hangover. Tom had found out, whilst buying some "new home" champagne at the off licence, that our favourite brand of bubbles was half price. Well, it was rude not to! Needless to say, being on your knees for three hours with a gallon of Cillit Bang and your head down someone else's loo is never a first choice when nursing a champagne hangover. I can categorically state that other people's pubes are not the best thing to be dealing with when you're head's banging and you're desperately trying to hang onto your weetabix.
After the world's longest cleaning session and a few games of "hunt the kettle" we managed to get the house into something resembling decent order. Mum had been round with a picnic lunch for us all and the lads had gone to get the last vanfull of stuff from the old house. This is when the Cillit Bang really kicked in. Jo and I decided for some stupid reason to tackle moving the furniture. Now, as anyone can see from pics I've posted on here, neither of us is particularly endowed in the muscle department and we're both under 5'4". I may be a little on the chubby side compared to Jo but with a combined bodyweight of only 16 stone, we were perhaps not the best removals team. We started Ok with the settee (it was on castors) but things were a little less than successful with my brother's huge TV. Somehow we managed to wedge it (and ourselves) in the porch and I was laughing so hard that my arms went weak. This meant that we had the Guinness book of records heaviest television resting on Jo's tiny arms, my useless ones and one corner of a radiator with no room to maneouvre and the potential wrath of my brother hanging over us. We were therefore facing the prospect of living out our days in the porch for evermore as we were well and truly stuck. Somehow, and we still don't know how we did it, we eventually managed to get it into position but I almost crushed Jo's fingers in the process. We then stupidly went on to move all the sofas, dining table, an eight foot square mirror, all the chairs and three cabinets. Jo now has arms that scrape the floor and I feel like someone's clubbed me over the shoulder blades.
Eventually my mum and dad turned up again and Dad started assembling things whilst mum assisted with the hours of cleaning that still lay ahead. Dad helpfully managed to assemble the bed back to front so had to spend hours undoing it and putting it back together again. His language was not good; it would have made Gordon Ramsay reach for the swearbox. Whilst this was going on, i was organising the pantry and quizzing Jo as to why she had so many boxes of Birds trifle, who on earth needed 4 litres of balsamic vinegar and why is she the only woman in the UK under 50 to have a box of suet.
However, mum is renowned for her pantry abilities so I left her there where she did a stirling job with Jo whilst I sneaked off home to get the food ready for later.
I cooked up a feast for everyone; lasagne, cous cous salad, garlic bread, sun dried tomato focaccia, pea and green bean vinaigrette salad, champagne and Tom picked up a load of chocolate cakes and crumble.
Unfortunately, by the time the lads had managed to drop the van off and get back to pick me up, we didn't get to eat till gone nine and we were all completely exhausted. We arrived all wedges in a mondeo; 5 adults, a steaming lasagne, half a tonne of salads and garlic bread and a cat.
However, it also meant that we had a fab, bonkers completely "over tired and stupid" family night which was the usual far too much booze, me and mum crying with laughter at complete rubbish and dad and Tom talking about golf and cricket. We had an absolutely brilliant time, even though I had to press the trifle custard from one of Jo's many packets into action as we had nothing to pour on the crumble. As it got later and later, i took a moment to look round at everyone at that table and thought how lucky I was. I have adorable and ever hilarious parents, a new sister in law who I adore, a brother who literally saved my life last year and helped to very gently put all the broken pieces of me back together and a fantastic new man in my life who seems to be the part of me that's been missing my whole life.
I really am the luckiest girl in the world and whether Tom and I marry or not or whether he does pop the question or not is now of no concern to me. He is the best thing to ever happen to me and I know that he has my heart in the gentlest of hands and I trust him implicitly to do the right thing. I just love being by his side and if he wants to marry me, I'd be delighted but if he delays a proposal then I know it will be for the right reasons. So, I guess I'm none the wiser with regards to our future plans but I do know (and don't tell anyone) that I googled "getting married in Estonia" this morning as I suddenly thought last night that if we did get hitched, I'd love to do it there.
So, no developments at all from the odd conversation in the car but who cares. There's left over crumble to eat and I don't need to be anywhere near any cillit bang today! yay!!!