And so we came to our last ever day at the old place. Dad was up early and nipped out to buy fresh milk - the fridge-less, sauce pan of 'cold' water method of keeping it cool gave out in the continuing heatwave. Then Mum's up too and the final bits of retreating from rooms and hoovering behind us could commence. The left over contents of each room were sorted into which car they'd best go in, or could they be left for the Angel B or the new inhabitants, or were they destined for the dump. The old king-size mattress was folded in half, tied with twine and shipped to the tip. It is too tired to be worth shipping to Ireland but was a useful stop-gap to give us comfortable nights 'camping'. A builders bulk bag is also filled with debris for dumping.
By 09:00 ish, Mum must leave for work so she packs the Fiat's share into the Fiat and heads off, knowing that after work today she will head for Diamond's, not back here. Dad must take the 2CV round to 2CV Llew's workshop just east of Wingham, where Llew has agreed to store various bits rather than leave them in the not-particularly-secure 2CV, with its canvas roof. Dad gets back by midday and has time for a last minute flurry of hoovering and sweeping before even the hoover must be loaded into a car. He texts Bev and Craig to say 'ready when you are' and retreats to the sandwich shop over the road for a bacon roll and a shop coffee, to await their arrival.
13:00 rolls round and it's game on. Dad passes them the keys, there are a few last minute instructions and questions (gas meters, wheelie bin days, water cocks etc) and B+C are pleased with a gift of fizz to see them well set up in their new home. Then it's finally dog beds and dogs into the car and we are off, watching the old place in the rear view mirrow. The run to Pud Lady's in Hastings is un-eventful, we de-camp into the house and I am let out for the usual charge around the garden (where I predictably vanish through the badger hole under the fence not to re-appear for 10 minutes by which time everyone's getting a bit stressed).
Dad is so exhausted after his ten days or so of moving house in a heat wave that he retreats to a cool bed and gonks out for an hour and a half. After that he's a bit more human and can spend some time chatting and catching up with family and then, when brother Tom returns from work, move all the stuff from the car to his old room. It is a bit weird to be back in your own childhood bedroom and look at the picture - there is still the buzzard "muriel" painted by Dad when he was a teenager (it was inspired by some display panels used as background in that week's Top of the Pops!). The room has been re-decotorated several times since but they always carefully paint round the buzzard.
We are now back on the internet courtesy of a Vodafone 3G card