Monday, April 29, 2013

It's harder than it looks

I find myself staring at things and wondering why they did not go in the air shipment. Fairly obvious things which – had they been snakes – would have bitten me.

This is in between snatching things from the jaws of the removalists before they disappear into cartons. So far have lost a couple of things – but nothing of real consequence and that I cannot live without for a month or so. Who needs shoes.

This moving business is harder than it looks and I have apparently not learned very much from my previous moves – all of which have had a tinge of goat about them.

The cats were collected at 8:00 AM this morning and were not happy about the whole business. Billy was delivered back to Ducky Pharma and it was a sad parting – particularly as there were some new scratches that I had not noticed before.

There are six men doing the packing and they are all experts at their chosen profession. I remember the days when they used to move furniture. Not any more. Each piece of furniture is now wrapped in its own cardboard cocoon. Only boxes are moved.

I watched the man wrapping our lounge suite. He has an uncanny ability to craft pieces of cardboard to exactly meet the needs of whatever he is wrapping. It is like Origami. He cuts and slices and folds to wrap around edges, bumps and protrusions and ends up with a box of precisely the right dimensions. He does this without measuring anything. It is done with the eye and a precision box cutter. He can turn a sofa into a butterfly.

Poetry in motion.

I am now surrounded by approximately 200 cardboard cartons. I managed to rescue my breakfast porridge and the coffee maker and can thus survive to mid-morning. They also left me a bed and a TV.

The TV does not have much on at is SKY responded to the request to cancel services on 1 May be canceling everything immediately – i.e. on 24 April. Protestations elicited a response that a ‘re-establishment fee’ of €66 would be necessary to correct the mistake that they made. Who has the time, money or energy to deal with nitwits?

Tomorrow the van arrives at about midday and the whole kit and caboodle gets stuffed into a container. They assured me they will be finished tomorrow. Even after I showed them the basement – sure they were a bit shaky – but still guaranteed it.

Tomorrow I shall check into the Radisson Blu in Parkring. This is the first hotel we stayed in when we came to Vienna. It will be a bit of nostalgia – albeit without Cate who is already in the Land of the Free. 

And I must apologize to those bloggers whose blogs I have not visited for weeks. I promise I will get back soon. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

They are open every day

We did not see as much of Burgundy as we would have liked. There were a few days when Cate and I were so ill we could not leave the house. But we had a really nice time with the Hendersons – who have now left us and are in New York.

After five years of faithful service the garage in recent days has thrown a complete wobbly. On Sunday when we got back from Burgundy the door would not open and I had to park in the street.

The door was not fixed until the early afternoon - by which time I had received a parking fine of €36.

Today we were supposed to drive to the skin doctor but the garage hoist was kaput. This meant two taxi fares totaling €45.

Billy on the other hand has not missed a beat in more than 4 years and I will miss him when he goes back to Ducky Pharma on Monday. I hope his new owners appreciate him as much as we did.

I am still aimlessly wandering about trying to sort out what should go in the air shipment – which is picked up on Friday morning. This should be a straight forward process but seems to have discombobulated both Cate and I who together have accumulated only about half our allowance.

What are we missing?

I am starting to throw random things such as egg cups and wooden spatulas into the boxes – not because I think they will be useful – but because they may be a source of comfort when we get there and discover what we have forgotten.

Never mind – there are a lot of stores in Indianapolis – and – unlike in Vienna - they are open EVERY day.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What an excellent system

Things have been a bit chaotic around here lately and I have been neither writing nor reading blogs.

Cate and I are both as crook as Rookwood and are struggling along as best we can. Melissa arrived to day and is in no better shape than we are.

We are only one day out from the air freight shipment and – in between panic attacks –  Cate and I are throwing things into boxes. This was going to be a well planned and executed campaign but will of course end up as one of those goat things.

I am really going to try to get the removalists to pack things that belong together in the same box – so that we don’t have a computer in one box and the keyboard underneath some pillows in another.

We got the inspection report on the house in Indianapolis and there are about 60 things that need to be done – but the owner has agreed to do most of them.

I now know about Radon  - which is a gas which apparently abounds in Indiana and gives you cancer.

We have high levels in our basement but everyone says I do not need to worry about it as you can apparently have Radon remediation which sucks the air out of your basement and blows it onto other people so that they die instead of you.

This seems like an excellent system so we are doing it.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

We have our own ducks

We are in Burgundy in a place called Semur en Auxois which is a beautiful village about an hour’s drive from Dijon.

I still have my cold and Cate finally got it as well so our activities have been curtailed somewhat. We have spent a lot of time in pharmacies seeking drugs for our ailments.

Our house is very special and is on the river. It has it’s own weir with water cascading down to the river – and we have our own ducks. They come twice a day to be fed.

So far we have seen some abbeys and castles. These normally tend to bring me out in a rash but were in fact quite fine.

On Tuesday night we went up for an hour in a hot air balloon. This has been a dream for John for sometime – and a nightmare for me. It was quite terrifying but we survived the experience.

I have been using my French which is not quite as good as it used to be – particularly in pharmacies – but we have managed to make ourselves understood. John is much better at it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We are good to go

Cate is still in Saudi Arabia in her Abaya but goes to Bad Homburg tomorrow and can wear proper clothes.

The Hendersons arrived after a refreshing 30 hour flight on various airlines including Finnair and were in remarkably good shape – considering.

I got a dreadful dose of something from my Doctor – who last time I saw her was barking like a seal. I knew it was a mistake to be in the same room as her but I did it  - and suffered the consequences.

A few days later in America I was barking like  a seal and now feel terrible – even after a week.

Things are hotting up here.

The good news is that Spring has finally arrived and it is starting to get warmer.

Today we had a succession of people through the apartment. These included the owner, a painter, a cleaner and my relocation agent who is attending to all the business of erasing our existence in Vienna. More will come tomorrow. This is a bonus – I thought I would have to do this myself.

In six months time it will be as though we were never here – apart of course from my account with T-Mobile which will go well into the next century.

I recounted to the owner the long and sordid history of the non-functioning of the air-con and he was most sympathetic. He has waived the cost of the final service of the system.

The worst news so far was that it appears that the Nomad people – who are looking after our temporary accommodation in Indianapolis – have given us the wrong address.

I asked them to confirm the details – which they did - before I broadcasted it to all and sundry throughout the know universe but today they have come back with a different apartment number. Terrific.

It is likely that we – the cats and the air-freight shipment will end up in three different places.

But the good news is – we got our passports back from the US Consulate. We are good to go!