OMG - Packing up the house.....I actually started in JANUARY, sorting out and throwing out the non essentials, you know what it is like, every cupboard in the house becomes a receptacle for STUFF! The kids were not always very impressed, especially Kirstin who has a stronger Rule gene for hoarding than her older sis Jessica. We did make progress though and they even sold some of the toys that were in good condition to a second hand toy shop. In April I had to manically go through the house and sort out what we were going to send in a groupage shipment to Ireland. Of course there were tears and tantrums here too, "No, you can't take 10 dolls to Dublin, you hardly play with them anymore!" "But they are ALL my favourites, how can I choose???" And "You sort out your own bedroom, I have to do the whole house" AND THEN...."It is your fault that xyz did not get packed we/they are children, YOU should have helped" (i.e. DONE IT ALL)
Anyway on May 2 Pickfords arrived and boxed and wrapped the CHOSEN ones for the journey across land and sea. The house seemed rather empty after this, no family photo's and no pictures on the walls. I realised that a house is only a home when it has all the characteristics we bestow upon it with the said collection of STUFF.
The house was still not sold so we had to loan pictures for the wall from the folks (Remember the Rule gene I mentioned) which Dad kindly got out of storage for us. In the middle of May we had a show day on a bright sunny day and we sold the house, this was a huge relief as we were getting uncomfortably close to THE 14 JULY, D Day.
I thought I was quite organised, I had made a list of the things we were selling in January, to be paid for and collected in July, and emailed it to friends to pass around. A week later all the big items were sold, we had decided not to take furniture and "white goods"as our house in Dublin is guaranteed to be a lot smaller than the one we have inhabited for the last 5 years.
Moving forward to 6 July....furniture started getting collected, Jessica's bed and my dresser were the first victims and got loaded African style onto the ROOF of a bakkie (Pick up). This took about 3 hours to co ordinate, I swear it was a frustrating thing to behold! On Sunday the rest of the beds went, plus a lot of other bits and pieces and we spent our first night out of our home. Amongst all of this there were farewell parties for all of us AND a baptism,more on this another time though.
On Monday Malcolm and I were at the house bright and early to pack up the odds and ends and to be there for people picking up there purchases. Tish (Jessica and Kirstin's art teacher) arrived for her things and ended up buying the last few items, including the TV cabinet. Her brother is a minister in Zimbabwe and she does a collection for him, so she turned out to be a God send, she wrapped and packed all the bits and pieces, odd sets of crockery, kitchen utensils, and so much more, loaded it into her car and took it away for him. I cannot explain what a relief it was to have her around! She loaded up her car about 5 times and took all the bits and pieces with her. And then we threw out and threw out and threw out. I cannot tell you how much we THREW OUT but it was never ending, the dregs of mayo and other sauces in the fridge, the pantry and the drawers, all the 'not enough' to give someone. Do me a favour have a look in your fridge, imagine it was sold and you had to empty it.....yep, I had to do that! And let me hastily remind you that I like cooking, so I have more things in my fridge than your average chef! (Think anchovies, pink peppercorns, capers, curry pastes, sambal olek even ghee etc.)
In between all of this we also met up with friends for dinner (thanks guys!) every night and squeezed in a theatre trip and dinner to The Lion King (magnificent). We were the walking dead by the end of the week. There was so much to do that I could not think beyond to the magnitude of what we were doing until it was done. In a way this was a good thing because it made all the good byes to my great friends and family a lot easier than they would have been had we "had it easy".
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