The days in between moves were not as one could assume dead days.  I spent them all either packing at the old flat or sorting at the new flat.  I was still travelling back and forth with suitcases and managed to convey my entire wardrobe in this manner, thus eliminating the need for wardrobe boxes which the movers kind of hover and wait for as you empty them.  This not only adds to the stress, but it also means that you are unable to spend any time thinking about where to put stuff as you are just throwing clothes into your cupboard willy nilly.  Ordinarily, that is how I put stuff into my cupboard – willy nilly I mean – but with a new cupboard to fill, I felt that some attempt at organisation should be made, as a vague nod to start-as-you-mean-to-go-on-ness.  So I filled my not inconsiderable wardrobes, moved things, tweaked the system and even (in a grand gesture I feel) put some of our coats etc in my wardrobe because although there is a coat cupboard (I know, how cool is that!) there is no point in it being full to the rafters with our stuff and when we have guests, them throwing their coats on the sofa or wherever.  So cupboard organised.  Kitchen sorted, with just a few essentials and all the food to bring.

On the Wednesday night, my brother came over to see the flat with most of the stuff in it.  I have made much of the fact that he is opinionated in earlier posts, and this particular Wednesday was no different. 

“Ah, you kept the sofas like that did you.  Mmm.”

“Yes, and look all the albums are already on the shelves, thus getting rid of about 20 boxes!”  I answered proudly.

“Hmm, yes, I see but what is the other bit of the room for?  I see the TV area, but what is this bit for?”

“Well, reading, chatting, playing tavli, I don’t know, it’s a big room and I thought it was nice divided.  Plus which if we decide to bring the piano back, it can go there.”

We have a beautiful piano that has been in storage for about 5 years, and it really pains me to think about it in pieces gathering dust.  As soon as I knew we were moving to a larger space, I wanted to bring it here.

“No.  you can’t put the piano there.  Not if the albums are there.”

“Why, do albums repel pianos or something?  Can they not peacefully coexist?  Do the vibrations from the piano affect the structural integrity of photographs?”

“No, it looks messy.  The piano should be the only thing you see.  You can’t have it against a background of albums and books.”

“I feel sure I have seen pianos in libraries before J.” I paused and thought about that statement.  “Well maybe not in public libraries where silence is golden, but in rooms with wall to wall bookshelves and stuff.”

“You have and that’s fine, but it won’t look nice here.”

D chipped in.

“Yes, they do look a bit untidy.  I mean it looks a bit cluttered like that.  Can’t we put them somewhere else, why do they have to be on display?”

I felt a bit ganged up on to be honest.  Apart from anything else, they aren’t my bloody albums, we could scan all the photos onto a memory stick and have them revolving on a digital photo frame as far as I am concerned.  That way we would see them at least 100% more often than we do now. But along with the big apartment comes a lot of stuff, and I am trying to arrange it all so that it fits and I can live with it.  And for D, the veritable Queen of Clutter, to be talking about how the photo albums looked untidy, well – I got a bit defensive.

“Where do you suggest we put them? The annexe?  The extension? Oh wait, we don’t have either of those things.  We have this room, and bedrooms.  Do you want them in your room D?  Because I sure don’t want them in mine.  And since when does the sight of albums offend you so much?  These albums have been on display in every home we’ve known apart from at the flat we just left where we just didn’t have the room for them.  Now, suddenly they’re an eyesore?”

J said “Let’s try putting them here.”

The following two to three hours were spent moving every piece of furniture in the room.  We moved the sofas this way and that, the television unit (a very heavy cabinet with a marble top which is practically impossible to move), the coffee tables, the chairs, the shelves with the albums on, everything.  A few sore backs and a chipped wood floor later, (glad we had some old coasters we had just thrown away.  They were salvaged and now rest under the unit), J declared he was happy with the room.

The room divider was no more.  The two smaller shelving units with albums in now resided behind the couch, thus halving the impact of the shock! horror! visible albums.  The television is now on the side of the room furthest from the aerial point, which is why none of us had thought of it before, but I guess we can run a wire around the room and over the doorway (we’ll find out on Monday afternoon).  I sat on the sofa, exhausted and feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I mean it was a bit like an episode of room raiders except there was no tidying involved. 

“If you don’t like it, we can move it all back.” Said J, suddenly plagued with guilt at the sight of my presumably dazed expression.

I shuddered at the thought.  “Let me live with it for a while first, if I really hate it tomorrow or the day after, I’ll give you a call.”

We sat around and had something to eat.  We need to find a table to put here said J pointing at the space created where the sofas met.  Then followed half an hour where we tried every table available to us looking for the perfect fit.  It is a testament to how many unnecessary occasional tables we had that there were upward of eight possibilities.  In the end, we used a table that forms part of a completely different set of furniture, so it will be fun to try and put those chairs somewhere else, but it really did fit perfectly.  After that we messed around with various items of furniture, trying to make it look nice.  We have this statue of a nude woman cast in bronze, and I love her, I really do.  She looks great against the white wall.  We put her in this black rectangular shelving unit which frames her beautifully.  We then put another shorter unit on top.  This adds symmetry to the whole effect, but when J turned the unit to look diagonal, we had to draw the line. 

“Now she looks like an information point.”  From now on and forever, she will be known as the information lady.  That is how these things start and years from now our kids will refer to her as the information lady and have no idea why.  Those same shelving units had been piled up in our entrance hall in our old family home.  There was a lamp on top which looked a bit like an eye.  My Dad used to tell people that it was a sculpture called Big Brother.  Now we all refer to the lamp as Big Brother and no one understands why or what we are talking about.  Family history people, it doesn’t always make sense and in the end, it doesn’t always need to.Image,

Eventually J left and we went back to the flat.  The room is still as he arranged it, and I must say it looks good this way, I like it.  Let’s hope the cable guy doesn’t come over and dash our hopes on Monday. 

With Moving Day 3 fast approaching, it was time to stop arranging ornaments and get busy trying to sort out what was going and what was staying.  The good news is that D was so overwhelmed by all the stuff that arrived from storage, that she gave away maybe 6 whole things to charity.  There is hope yet.  I will get rid of more stuff.  It’s all about stealth.  That’s the approach I’m going for.