That’s us in our new Quarter. We were ‘homeless’ for a week. It’s good to be surrounded by our stuff again, albeit mostly in boxes, so now the unpacking begins, it’s time to make this house our home.
So how did we actually get here? The easy bit was the removals, the big yellow truck turned up and packed up our house in less than 48hours. For the family Braai Boy and I decided we would divide and conquer the beast that is The Move. Braai Boy was left the Clean and Fix list, he had to get the Quarter up to March Out standard or we risked being charged, you know for things like more than 4 nail holes in one room. Whilst he mopped, hoovered, holed filled, wheelie bin cleaned, gardened, swept, bleached and generally sweated a lot I took the kids on a road trip. Now, let’s be clear, Northern Ireland is not the arse end of nowhere, it is a 2 hour ferry trip to Scotland, so why it takes a whole week for the Removals to get from there to here is beyond me. I know there is probably some perfectly reasonable logistical reason, but then again maybe not, who knows?
Please do not think that the Army kick us out of one Quarter and expect us to be homeless for a week, we are offered a hotel. Ah, yes a hotel for a few days what total and utter bliss, no washing, no cleaning, no cooking, just total and utter relaxation. Wait a minute, have you met Miss Sassy and Wee Man? Getting the kids to bed and to sleep is a mission, they’re like bloody jack in the boxes with verbal diarrhoea. When they finally give up Braai Boy and I end up sitting on the floor in the bathroom or hotel corridor watching movies on our phones with a glass of wine. This is not ideal for two reasons, first the acoustics in bathrooms aren’t great (no we don’t use headphones as I like to talk through most movies much to the annoyance of Braai Boy) and secondly sitting on the floor in the hotel corridor clutching a glass of wine you do get some odd looks from other guests.
The road trip was great fun, to get from Scotland to the South we broke up the journey by visiting family. We stopped by my Wee Bro and his family and their lovely pet Lola the Wonderdog. The Kids and I added the Wonderdog bit, she’s not actually a superhero pet although pretty close given what she puts up with from the Kids. I haven’t dared tell me Wee Bro that we have been looking for a superhero cape to fit her, nothing too offensive but something to make her standout, you know pink with yellow edging and a great bit L on it. After a few days of general chaos we headed South to see my Mum on the HOTTEST day on record. I didn’t think that through did I? There was also the teeny tiny issue of no AC in my car. Late one Friday afternoon, a mechanic had reliably told me that to fix the AC would cost more than my car is worth, so I didn’t get it fixed why would I? it was never that hot in Northern Ireland.
Not going to lie it was the longest, noisiest, hottest road trip I’ve ever done. Made even longer because I went one junction the wrong way on the M1. I had been distracted by Wee Man talking about Paw Patrol and before I knew it we were heading to Sheffield and not London (I didn’t tell Braai Boy). We weren’t actually talking more shouting as all the windows were open, I’d like to point out that this was not cooling at all, it was like having a hairdryer blasted in your face, for 7 hours, 7 very hot, noisy, sweaty hours.
As we made the sweaty journey South I had time to reflect on the last 2 years. I thought about what we were leaving behind, apart from a dirty house, a stressed out Braai Boy and some tea swilling packers. I’ll miss the people most, I’ll miss the chats in the school playground and Kids clubs, I’ll miss bumping into people in the supermarket and blocking the aisles much to the annoyance of the Home delivery pickers. I’ll miss the camaraderie of the Deployment Divas, the knowing nods and smiles when the kids are playing up and you look like utter sh*t as you are done solo parenting, because they get you, they know and most importantly they do not judge. You know what though? The Army is such a small place that I know we will see some familiar faces in years to come.
Any other thoughts I had were cut short with the usual ‘are we nearly there yet?’, ‘mama I need a weeeeeeeee’, ‘mama shes looking at me, tell her to stop looking at me’, ‘mama the tablets not working’ or ‘mama can I have a snack?’.
On that note I’d best be off, Miss Sassy wants a snack, Wee Man wants some juice and there’s stuff to put away. Oh, and there’s also the Contractor to call to get sh*t fixed around the house, that’s a whole different blog right there.