Last time we moved, and I mean really moved, as opposed to leaving Sainte Cecile with a car full of belongings, I was eight months’ pregnant. Rupert had already gone on ahead to France to “prepare” the new house and I was left with Olivia to pack up our entire home.
Olivia, as you might imagine, was not much use. Aged just over one, her overriding interest was in getting in and out of the boxes I was trying to fill. It is a time of my life I prefer to forget, along with my night in Stoke Newington jail and being pick-pocketed at Victoria coach station (unrelated but unpleasant events).
Two weeks ago we moved house here in Abu Dhabi. At 9am on Friday morning (the day of the move) a team of seven men showed up to pack all our belongings. By 10pm on Saturday most of them were unpacked and in more or less the right place. I spent most of the time telling the removal men where to put things and meeting the neighbours.
Of course it was not totally stress-free; I lost my hairbrush, for example. Quelle horreur. But I didn’t unpack a single kitchen appliance, or even a glass wrapped in newspaper, which has to be a good thing.
The new house is lovely, a proper family villa, with a rent that, though astronomical, is low enough that we can live without lodgers. The house is in a small compound of ten villas, with a cobbled road up the middle, where the kids play endlessly. The other families have children too, some of whom mine have met before, so it has all worked out perfectly. Well, apart from one incident where Leo cycled straight out of the compound onto the main road without looking and could have been crushed by oncoming traffic. Thankfully he wasn’t, and there really isn’t much oncoming traffic, but he has been banned from the bike for a week.
I am not saying I want to move on a regular basis, but I am happy we did and that I have discovered that, when done properly, moving doesn’t have to be, as the saying goes, one of the three most stressful things in life, along with death and divorce.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2010