It seemed odd that the man from the removal firm would leave 25 boxes for the books in my study; it is now becoming clear why he did. The study holds no more than half the books in the house; 25 more will be required for the others when the lorry arrives tomorrow.
We moved house in 2006 – across the road, while the new Rectory was built. It took six men with a lorry a day to pack up our stuff, 160 boxfuls plus the furniture; then they drove their lorry to their yard. The next day they drove to the house across the road, and unloaded everything, leaving us with 160 boxes and hundredweights of paper.
It cost €3,512.60 – thankfully we were not paying. Our builder parted with the money without demur, he was far too generous.
A year later, it was time to move back across the road. No way were we going to allow that amount of money to be paid out again, and no way were we going to spend days unwrapping everything from five sheets of packing paper.
The move back was completed with one of the builder’s sons and his two Polish workers. Where the removal men took four people to lift our piano, the Polish guys, who were into bodybuilding, did it between them. No removal van, instead a builder’s van and trailer.
The operation was completed in a fraction of the time and there was a peculiar sense of satisfaction.
Forty years previously, on a Saturday in February 1967, my family moved from our house on the farm. My uncle was married and needed our house, so we had to go. We moved into exile, to a council house in a village about four miles away. It felt like forty miles, it was a different world.
The journey was heart breaking. Our furniture was carried on the back of Charlie Brewer’s coal lorry. It being Saturday, he wasn’t delivering coal. A friend of my parents called Dot came to help out.
Being the sort of person who prefers a builder’s trailer or a coal lorry, I didn’t take to the idea of packers and strange men filling my house. There was a delight, during the move back, in watching the furniture going down the dual carriageway on the trailer, with a Polish bodybuilder sitting on the sofa.
Tomorrow morning at 8.30, the lorry and the packers arrive, Kilkenny is too far for a ‘do it yourself’ operation. Packers tend to sort books by size, unless those 25 boxes are filled by the morning, stuff might disappear for weeks. Oh for a coal lorry or a trailer.