MY daughter has moved house.
Actually, that’s not exactly true.
I’ve moved house. I have hired the truck, loaded the truck, driven the truck, and unloaded the truck. I have paid for the truck.
My daughter has bossed me about. Her daughter has bossed me about. So has her son, and they’re only three and two years old.
stations sells is fuel.
I am trying to look upon it as a Valuable Experience. I have learned things about moving house.
First, get a man in. Get several men in. Burly ones, and deaf ones. Ones, that is, who won’t hear when a three-year-old tyrant says: “But I want my koala now! I don’t care where you’ve packed it. Getitnowgetitnowgetitnow!”
Second, find your daughter’s financial adviser. I want to know how it is that she can afford an ipod, surround-sound stereo system, sufficient DVD screen to wallpaper the entire lounge room, a microwave that will dice carrots, a computer that can access God and a fridge that serves gin and tonic with ice added automatically.
I can’t even afford an automatic kettle and I’ve been earning money nine times as long as she has. Maybe she’s a drug dealer, but I don’t remember packing any drugs.
Third, take an inventory of everything you own. I’m sure I used to own a lot of stuff, but not any more. It’s a curious thing, but my possessions seem to have been diminishing in inverse proportions to the increase in hers.
That is to say, I think someone has been flogging my stuff. I packed into that truck a bedside table that was a dead-ringer for a coffee table I used to own. I even commented to my daughter on the similarity.
“Yes, it is, isn’t it,” was all she said.
“Where did you get this standard lamp?” I asked.
“You gave it to me. Don’t you remember?”
No. I don’t remember.
I do remember it was a gift from my wife. I do remember being fond of it.
Fourth (and assuming you are foolish enough to ignore the first item on this list) hire a road train. On the other hand that could be a bit of a squeeze. Hire a ship. And ignore anyone who says: “Oh, there isn’t much. It’ll all fit into a small van and one trip will do it.”
It is one of the natural laws of the universe that the contents of a home, on being removed from one place to another, will never fit into the mode of transport used to carry it.
It is a waste of time planning the operation in advance. Pieces of furniture that appear at first glance to be shaped like plain old boxes will grow exotically shaped and extravagantly ornate protuberances the moment you try to fit them into a truck.
Do yourself a favour and skin your knuckles, crack your shin, fracture your skull and slip a disc before you start work. It will save time halfway through.
And above all, ensure that you never, ever pack the nappies at the front end, behind the sofa, the table, the fridge, the wardrobe and the chest of drawers without first establishing that a sufficient supply has been kept aside to service the needs of a two-year-old on a five-hour journey in an unfamiliar truck travelling at 30kmh in regions where the only thing the fuel