It’s a big week, this week. No, it’s not the start of the Olympics. Well, yes, it is the start of the Olympics – it wasn’t a misprint in the TV times. But it’s a big week for me and my girlfriend, as we move house. OK, maybe it’s not as big as the Olympics but it’s just as important. Maybe not to the world at large, but to us it’s a pretty big shift. It’s taken almost as much organising as Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony and has the potential to be just as ramshackle an affair. To be honest; I think the closing ceremony idea is taking it a bit too far. I mean, Underworld aren’t cheap to hire out for the day and all those dancers just to commemorate the packing of the last box – it’s a bit much. Oh, well, we’ve bought the bunting now, we might as well go along with it.
They say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do but let me tell you know – that isn’t the half of it. Sorting through the mounds of tat and rubbish we’ve accumulated since moving in is ridiculous. It’s like an omnibus edition of one of those serial-hoarder programmes. I’m still waiting to unearth a missing flatmate and a dead cat. You know who I blame, don’t you? Family. If they were so ruddy generous all the time, bringing us gifts and presents then we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now. It’d just be a TV, a couple of deck chairs and a mini-kettle. As it is, we have to decide whether to keep wind chimes, notice boards-cum-calendars that are dated 2008, rugs that malt quicker than a dog with alopecia – an endless stream of homely nick-naks. I know I sound ungrateful; I’m really not, but you try finding a second use for a tiny snooker table or a giant calculator that looks like a chocolate bar. Every time we fill another box, it’s like disposing of a body after a very tacky murder.
I suppose we’re party to blame for all of this; we should really make it clear when we’re given presents, that we don’t like them. Or we should at least return them to the shop the minute the Christmas tree’s been taken down. As it is, we smile politely and say thanks for the emerald green, hen-shaped butter dish that we don’t use. Or the ‘I love my dog’ cushion we have, regardless of our canine-deficit. We willingly take them with a loving smile and then promptly hide them in the spare room, which bares the resemblance of an arts and crafts fair for the clinically untalented. What’s more, we feel obliged to get each of the items back out, should anyone come round. As soon as that door bell goes it’s a blind panic to get the leather-effect throw on the sofa and to pull the ‘Home is Where the Heart Is’ plaque out of the boiler room. It’s not a healthy way to live – we constantly dread house guests because it means another 30 second make over.
But anyway; that’s enough of me rambling. We’ve had a lot of good times in this flat but it’s time to move out and move on up (as the M People used to say). Everything’s nearly packed and the flat is almost as clean as it was when we moved in, except for that big black mark on the bedroom carpet – that’s the last time I make cheese toasties in bed. We’re looking forward to moving into our new place and can’t wait to get settled in. Everyone’s welcome to the house-warming party, but whatever you do, don’t buy us a gift or you’ll be in the loft as well.