Our sofa was delivered on Monday morning. I managed to clear enough space to be able to wrangle it out of the box and screw on the legs. The box the sofa came in was the size of a double coffin. Written on the side was the message, “please keep the packaging in case you return the product for any reason”. As if. Where? Not having a spare house to dedicate to the packaging, I folded it up and, once we’d established that we were happy enough with the seat, took it to the reuse and recycling centre. Well, it would hardly fit in a wheelie bin.
I needed to do some laundry on Tuesday. I love to dry clothes out in the fresh air, but the reality is that I live in England, so I had my first opportunity to use the dryer functionality of our new washer-dryer. Up until then, I didn’t realise that a washer-dryer could actually dry clothes: years of suffering with landlord-grade machines had led me to believe that warm and damp was the best I could hope for. So when the clothes came out bone dry, I was dumbfounded. This will genuinely change my life.
I put the dog crate from the loft on Freecycle and someone arranged to come and collect it on Tuesday evening. They didn’t turn up and didn’t reply. I love the idea of Freecycle, but dealing with timewasters is a drag.
We had some furniture in the flat that doesn’t have a place in the house, either because it’s not needed, or doesn’t fit, or both. I arranged for the British Heart Foundation to collect the furniture on Wednesday. They arrived, and prompty said that they only had space for a couple of things in their van and I’d have to arrange another visit. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear when I needed to hand back the flat on Sunday, but I was able to arrange a second visit on Saturday.
In the afternoon, I went up into the loft and sawed the water tank into small pieces. Back in the day, British people preferred to bathe in water containing dead spiders and bird droppings and I don’t know probably asbestos and lead too, so had special tanks in the loft for this. These days, with combi boilers, the tank is superfluous. The tank in our loft was just a big moulded plastic tub, but when it had been decommissioned they had just left it in place because it was too big for the hatch. With the help of a carpenter’s saw and a podcast (The Lazarus Heist) I broke it into smaller chunks that could be removed. There’s now a lot more space in the loft, and, as a bonus, it’s sturdy enough for over 100L of water, or 100kg of stuff.
On Wednesday evening, a more reliable person on Freecycle took the dog crate. It sounds like it’s gone to a good home, and I’m glad. I’m also glad of the space.
With the extra space in the loft, I was able to free up a lot of space in the house on Thursday. It’s nice to have a place to put suitcases that isn’t the bedroom.
On Friday, I installed a wall anchor so that I can secure my bicycle. Impact drills make terrifyingly short work of brick. Now all I need to do is to prune back the overgrown ivy in the lane that leads to the back gate so that I cab more easily wheel my bicycle in and out.
BHF turned up at the flat on Saturday as scheduled. This time, they had space in the van. They took all the excess furniture away, and I felt relieved.
… until two minutes later, when they said that they couldn’t fit the bookcase in the lift, and brought it back, slightly damaged. I ended up breaking it apart and sawing it up so that I could take it to the recycling centre. An ignominious end for a faithful servant of a decade and a half.
I spent most of the weekend tidying and cleaning the flat ready to hand it over. It’s one of those Zeno’s paradox activities where you always seem to have the same fraction of work remaining. But I did it in the end, and left the flat with fewer holes in the walls than when I moved in. It was made slightly easier by the fact that they’re going to renovate the kitchen and bathroom, so I didn’t have to clean those areas quite so assiduously.
I knew that the landlord-grade hob and oven in this house aren’t great, and expected to have to replace them at some point. This week I discovered that that point is nearer than anticipated: one ring on the hob is dead, and, although the oven works, attempting to use the grill trips the electrics. Not what I wanted to find out right at the point where I intended to use it.
There are still boxes everywhere, but fewer than a week ago. That’s progress.
I’m looking forward to my first day off in about three weeks tomorrow.