After two days of packing, and with Peter having told me that things were on track, and there wasn’t much more to do, (Take that, viewer lady!) I expected a quiet-ish weekend with not too much to do.   All I had planned was Sunday lunch with my sister and her family.  She had requested roast chicken, but I explained that all my pots and pans were already in boxes, so it would be picnic stuff.  With this in mind, I planned sandwiches, crisps, sausages etc. maybe a couple of pizzas.   Nothing that involved the use of saucepans.  It turns out however, that even sandwich making requires some equipment.  In order to make egg sandwiches for example, you first have to boil the eggs.  I toyed with the idea of taking them up to the boiler room a few days before and slow boil them, but eschewed that notion as impractical.  I would have to dust in there to do that and who has the time?

So Saturday morning found me at my friend M’s house, with a plastic cup containing four eggs.  She came through for me (again, as always) and also lent me two mixing bowls and an old ice cream tub.  This is it, I am prepared,  I had left out plastic cutlery, plastic plates and a carving knife.  What more do I need?  Well I need space on a surface (boxes), a chopping board (all packed) and space in the fridge (Oh wait – I just chucked a huge fridge out).  I feel like I shot myself in the foot rather spectacularly here.

Doggedly, I persevered.  I shredded the chicken for the now necessary ‘tuna chicken'(TM) sandwiches.  I rescued condiments from inside a box marked CHINA AND BITS (Bits, Peter?  How enlightening.).  I got everything into my borrowed bowl and realised that I didn’t have the right type of mustard.  No big deal right?  There are at all times at least 8 different types of mustard in our fridge.  English, French, German, Swedish, American, grainy, sweet the list goes on.  We were out of French.  Now ordinarily, and any sane person would back me up on this, you would pick another similar mustard, spicy but not too spicy, and substitute it for the French mustard.  WRONG!!!  Not if the consumers are my family.  My family are so resistant to change, that it has extended into their tastes in food.  As well as holding onto useless items for eternity, they also object to the slightest changes to their favourite recipes.  One day many years ago I made the family favourite of ‘stringy spaghetti’ (so called because when you serve it, it is so cheesy that the spoon stays attached to the dish by cheesy ‘strings’ (not cheese strings – that is disgusting, sorry D).  I usually use a blend of  5 cheeses to make it.  On this one occasion, I found myself without one of the cheeses.  As it was the blandest of them all I decided that it didn’t matter and forged on.  As we were sitting around the table with an empty dish in front of us, my brother pipes up and says.  “That was delicious M, but I think there was a cheese missing.”  YES,  HE REALLY SAID THAT.  When it comes to my cooking, my family are all supertasters.  Every tiny change is commented upon and usually with the add-on “It’s still nice/tasty/yummy, but I think I prefer it the old way”.  Believe me, when I started using penne instead of macaroni to make pastitsio, my sister took years to stop moaning about it, and she still goes misty-eyed at the thought of the old recipe.  Pasta shapes!!  For goodness’ sake, it’s not like I said:   “Today I am making a pastitsio and instead of macaroni, I am going to use tree bark.”  Whenever I have moaned about this to friends they have all just told me to make it anyway, and “they won;t know the difference”.  Unfortunately for me, they always notice.

So, all of the above was the reason for which I was traipsing to the supermarket on Saturday afternoon instead of packing boxes.  Once that was out of the way, I went home and resumed packing. I remembered from last time that nothing bothers movers more than small items.  It’s not that they want huge boxes or anything, but that if small items can be grouped together in say – a box, then it means that they can take several items simultaneously.  It isn’t rocket science, but sometimes you feel it’s just easier to load everything into plastic bags and leave it by the door for them to deal with.  So I have several boxes open and I am doing that thing where I go into D’s room with questions like, do you have a box that is slightly smaller and shallower than a shoe box?  I have space.  D comes in to see the space.  Wait, you’re putting this into storage?  What if we need it?  Let’s take it with us.  (I learned fast on that one.  Don’t show D the contents of the boxes.  Tape ’em up quick.)

And speaking of quick taping, I have (she says modestly) become something of an expert with the tape dispenser.  Whereas in the beginning it was hard to do and it took me ages to get one piece of tape, now I find that with every box I make up, my best time improves.  I keep looking for the signs on the side with my time and the words PB (personal best) or OR (Olympic Record) or (best case scenario) WR (World Record).  I am like a quick-drawing cowboy with that thing.  D & R tease me all the time that I need a piece of equipment to do something simple, but what I love about it is that I am not doing that thing where I am bent over double, using my teeth and just biting off pieces of tape which I then have to spit out while trying to make sure that the tape isn’t stuck to my hair.  They’re just jealous that they don’t have one, that’s my theory and I am sticking to it.

On  Sunday morning, I looked around the house for the stuff that I needed to prepare said picnic lunch, I realised that in his infinite wisdom, Peter had packed up even the oven shelves.  The appliances aren’t even mine.  But with a prayer and a song, lunch was served and my niece G, pronounced it a success.   We took pictures of the ‘last Sunday lunch’, and then it was time to clear up, and I wondered once more why we don’t use paper plates every day.

Anyway.  Many boxes were packed this weekend, and many items were discarded (surreptitiously and overtly).  Off to bed early as Monday was Moving Day One.

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