Funny look at family moves.
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THE SECURITY BLANKET
Stranded in a sea of tea chests and fraught with demands such as where do you want this great big pot plant lady? I refused to be waylaid.
I’ll admit that the vision of my treasured old dining table declining to conform to the odd proportions of the hallway should have driven such mundane considerations right out of my head.But I closed my eyes.
It’s also surprising what the sound of breaking glass can do to the concentration, allied to the sneaking suspicion that the missing wine glasses had just turned up. However such distractions could not be allowed to deter me from the goal I had set myself...finding the elusive bedclothe.
Even when cries of Yuk! Who packed the old Kitty Litter! rent the air and our four- year -old suddenly discovered that all the lights had dimmer switches, I was determined this priority must prevail.
Although I could be accused of wanting to hog the glory being hailed as a hero, because the beds were all ready when the troops baulked at unpacking one more box, would be worth the flak.
Of course in a perfect world I’d wake up in my own cosy bed the first morning in our new home to the smell of fresh coffee lovingly presented by my husband and patterns of dappled sunlight falling across the wall. The children would rush in extolling the delights of the garden and planning the day’s adventures.
In reality, because the curtains aren’t up, the sun hits me smack in the face at daybreak, and the coffee grinder is nowhere to be found. The plates I need are in one of the anonymous boxes but it doesn’t matter because I’ve even less idea where the spoons are hiding. Then the children start crying about leaving their friends and accuse me of not caring that they didn’t want to move anyway! (Suggestions of egg McMuffin would stem the flow of tears but as they’re dependent on rediscovering the car keys I daren’t make them.)
In the middle of the night, when you’re on auto pilot and mistake the wall for the bathroom door (because for some years you’ve been walking the same forty paces in the dark without mishap) a certain nostalgia for the familiar tends to take over.
Reaching out to where the light switch used to be and coming up with a wet face washer makes the eccentricities of your old bathroom recede into the distance, like new wrinkles on the face of an old friend.
The advantages of erstwhile bedrooms with a common door also make themselves felt, when a little body invades your bed because she can’t hear you arguing over who’ll now get up to put the wretched light out.
The things that go bump in the night sound disturbingly different too, like the brain-teaser that turns out to be the mechanical rhythm of the pool filter. And if you’re weaning yourself off the sound of sirens and the hum of traffic, a four am chorus of Kookaburras is shattering to dreams of peace in suburbia.
There’s no doubt the first few days in a new abode are somewhat akin to setting up base camp in the Himalaya, unnerving and exhilarating at the same time. However I’m determined to approach this initiation period stoically.
Eventually I will find the secret hole the dog is escaping through to terrorize next door’s cat and I will even learn to roll over relatively undisturbed by murderous growls outside the bedroom window. Though it sounds like an alien to me the obsessive- compulsive lawn mower next door assures me it’s simply the local possum come shopping for our mulberries.
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