Thursday, 11 October 2007


We finally got our stuff - all the clobber from the UK that we seriously wondered about paying good money to haul across the continent, but in the end just couldn't bear to throw away.
A very nice man arrived - at 7.30am (thank goodness he'd called the day before to warn us as he might otherwise have caught me with my curlers in) - with ten palettes on a big truck, dumped them in the car park and left us with a day's work to break them open and transfer the contents to our spacious, but not-overly-endowed-with-headroom, attic. Nothing that won't heal over time - head, not roofline - but I'm already thinking phase two of our renovations might involve roof-raising on that side of the building.
We were so excited about the whole thing we forgot to take any pix before we'd carted half of it away but trust me, there was tons of stuff. Fortunately the DIY store down the hill does a good line in wheeled chariots of various sizes, specifically designed for hernia-free shunting of big loads. Honestly, with a few of these skates I could push the combined English and French packs the length of the Stade de France car park, no bother. Assuming they'd co-operate which, I grant you, is a long shot.
I suppose we could simply have got a removal company to do the whole thing for us though the humiliation of a professionally drawn up inventory for customs - 243 cartons, 15kg, crap; armchairs, knackered, 2 etc. - would have been too much, as would the price. Likewise self-drive, which is eye-watering once you factor in fuel and other costs, though I was itching to have a go in one of those enormous lorries which, somewhat surprisingly, you can drive on a normal license. Instead we used a shipping company. I can heartily recommend for a) replying to phone messages and emails, and b) a no-frills semi-DIY service. They'll drop a container to your door, leave you to fill it, and deliver it at the other end, or you can take the gear to their Dartford warehouse where they bung it on palettes and the whole lot arrives chez vous a week later.

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