It took six people four days armed with 825 meters of export grade bubble wrap, 360 cardboard boxes, 37 rolls of parcel tape, 2 boxes of Elastoplast, 1 packet of Berocca and a fair amount of alcohol to get Coconut House packed into a 40ft container and onto a truck bound for Felixstowe Docks. Follow the link here to watch the moment….
I just couldn’t stop myself having a good old bawl watching that huge shiny lorry loaded with all our worldly goods disappear down Long Melford high street and into the distance. The packing up process had been exhausting, at times chaotic but we had “Team Pomroy” on our side and nothing was impossible. I have never seen a more hard working, diligent group of people helping us pack up. Their patience and resourcefulness knew no bounds and we will forever be grateful to them. When the rain wouldn’t stop, when their legs ached from fetching superking beds off the third floor and when I couldn’t make up my mind to “keep it or chuck it” the Pomroy family just got on with it and got the job done and on time.
The massive pack up had started for us many months ago but the real work started on Monday 7th March. The dining room was transformed into a packing station and Jo and daughter Tyler set to work wrapping everything that could fit into a cardboard box. Meanwhile the boys set themselves up in the cleared out gallery wrapping all our furniture. The Kiwi being a bit of a carpenter made wooden crates for all our paintings – basically nothing was left to chance and everything we owned was encased in yards of special bubble wrap. Every item then had to be numbered, categorised, listed and valued onto an Excel spreadsheet and that was my job.
I also had the unenviable task of clearing out the kitchen. This I found extremely interesting as I discovered all sorts of things I didn’t know I had including this jar of Bovril. Note the “sell by date”!!
By Wednesday night all that was left to pack was our bed. The container lorry arrived at lunchtime Thursday and we were given just 3 hours to get everything into the container. But it was done with 20 minutes and a little bit of room to spare.
The Kiwi, our two Golden Retrievers, Daphne and Margot and I then descended onto our friends over the border in Essex. We were greeted with hugs, sympathy, large gins and hot baths. I can’t begin to express how grateful we were. By now the Kiwi had an unbelievably stinking cold which in time turned into sinusitis and was also passed onto our poor long suffering hosts .
The next five days were spent cleaning up Coconut House and chucking out everything we had left behind. Two skips, many, many trips to Sudbury dump and several trailer loads of burnable rubbish were removed. How could we have ended up with so much stuff? I reminded myself of my days living in London and how I could move all my “stuff” in just a couple of trips in the back of my Fiat 127. Oh well “it’s a funny old world”.
The following evenings and weekends were spent saying goodbye to friends and family which steadily became more difficult especially a last lunch with my parents. Whilst we were with them we drove down to Shotley Marina and from there we looked across the Orwell Estuary and could see the good ship “Munchen Bridge” which was being loaded with our container.
Tuesday 22nd March was our last day in the UK. The Kiwi, the dogs and I were collected from our friends in Essex in Tony’s big white van and were taken to the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow. The dogs had spent the last couple of days getting used to their crates which was just as well as Margot had come into season and our friends boy dogs thought she was extremely delicious. It was another “quite a moment” saying goodbye to our dear girls.
They were booked on the QF10 to Melbourne the next day and we wouldn’t see them again until they had completed 10 days in quarantine. As of writing this because it’s Easter we still haven’t heard if they’re ok but are hoping no news is good news.
We’re now in New Zealand visiting family and meeting the Kiwi’s first grandchild (who is angelic!). On Thursday 31st we fly to Melbourne and the adventure really begins…..