Regular followers will have noticed something of an interruption to this blog, for which many apologies. But we have been moving house. Now, this is something I hadn't done properly for 17 years, (not counting moving into my other half's flat last winter when most of my stuff went into storage).
They say that moving home is one of the most stressful things you can do, up there with losing your job, getting divorced and even bereavement. But I confess that I'd never found it that difficult - until now. Perhaps it's an age thing. When I last moved I was still in my early 30s and had the enthusiasm of fresh starts and all that (not to mention lots of energy, unproblematic knees and no bad back).
I am now firmly in middle age, and one of the things I am slowly finding out is how my tolerance of disturbance (of any kind) is diminishing. Perhaps I really am turning into my father...
It didn't help that on our first morning, when still surrounded by boxes up to chest height in just about every room, my partner had a shower, only for a good portion of the water to cascade into the lounge which I had spent the best part of the previous week painting. It turns out the seal around the bath was failing, and the bath itself sinking gradually into floorboards softened by being periodically soaked.
On the positive side, my Vicar recommended a good plumber who came to the rescue that day. (Definitely a prayer answered). After a lot of huffing and puffing, he and his mate built a new platform to support the bath, replaced the seal, and split the tiled bath panel in half so that, in future, getting access under the bath will not require removing the washbasin and shower screen.
After a start like that, it's hardly suprising the next few weeks were stressful. My other half took one day off work, leaving me to sort out the house, as I'd cleared my work diary for most of August in the anticipation that I'd not get much work done anyway. That turned out to be much truer than I had thought possible, thanks - or rather, no thanks - to BT.
All we had requested was our old number and account to be switched to our new address - a simple and regular enough task, you would have thought?
Oh no. No - no, no, no, no.
It has taken two months, and 14 phone calls to 11 different staff to sort out the total mess that was created: no line at all for a week after we moved in; a grand total of 4 other numbers allocated to us before we got the one we wanted; two separate accounts and a byzantine puzzle of payments (that I am still not sure are finally correct, although we now have approaching £100 of repayments, corrections and compensation on various of the 8 bills we have been sent); and, to cap it all, no broadband for 6 weeks. (Hence no blog).
And that's the short version: one of the biggest problems has been trying to explain the ever worsening situation to a succession of hapless staff who, despite their best efforts, have usually managed to take me two steps forward and one (or two) steps back, so at each turn something else has gone wrong and the tale has become yet more complicated. Theseus had an easier time negotiating the Cretan Labyrinth. Unbelievable.
Still, 2 months on, we're now almost settled; we have broadband; just 4 more boxes to unpack, some minor building work timetabled before Christmas; and we're looking forward to our first Christmas in our new home.
Watch this space...