Our final weekend at this current address and the pressure is on, despite the stupifying heat to clear the debris of the house move from the premises so that new owners, Bev and Craig, can move in to a nice, tidy, cleaned house. Mum attacks the kitchen, clearing all the cupboards and sorting the food and old ingredients into keep-and-take-with-her-to-Diamond's, give away to the neighbours, feed to the birds, and chuck. We don't like to waste food but there are, inevitably, bags of Iranian raisins at the back of that cupboard, or packets of semolina in the bottom of the tub labelled Chinese Ingredients, which have gone past sell by.
Dad's job is the loft, with its load of old University books and its boxes of pre-digital 'Truprint' photograph packets (remember those?). Dad has been as trigger happy for at least 40 years as he is now and, pre-digital this involved reels of 36-picture films which you'd send off to Truprint and get back with the glossy postcard sized pictures and the strips of negatives cut into fours. If you were lucky, says Dad, maybe half a dozen of your 36 would be use-able in photo albums. The rest, left in their packets, accumulated in shoe boxes, hopefully clearly labelled as "Bovington Tank Museum 1981, film 2 of 3" or some such, and found their way into the loft.
You were always going to do something with them and never did. Well, Mum and Dad have finally decided that what they're going to do with them is landfill, so they joined the old bread makers, lost shoes, Open University Law books, transparent push-chair covers, ancient PCs and Billy Joel LPs in the back of Dad's car on the way to the tip. Normally, Dad would stand at the loft hatch, Mum at the bottom of the ladder and everything would get passed down, potentially spilling out of dusty boxes and landing on Mum's head but not this time.
They found, fortuitously that at some point in the last years, they'd bought a wad of tough, transparent plastic sacks. Each lot, box or what ever, could be neck-tied into one of these bags and dropped through the hatch onto the landing where it would not burst, especially if it was landing on the stuff already dropped, and this way everything was 'got down' and 'brought down the stairs' to the car without anyone getting damaged. Dad is then (shock! horror!) able to hoover the completely cleared loft floor, a feat not possible for the intervening 17 years!
Also on the Saturday, the new owners wanted to move some of their stuff into the house, it being the weekend and them not being available to hire vans etc on the real day, which is Monday. We had three visits from them through the day (one in the middle of Doctor Who, which is never going to work as a method of making frineds with Mum and Dad!), each with the same hire van but each with different accompanying helpers. First up is Craig's mate in a big Shogun, and his Dad in an ordinary car, 2nd comes Bev's parents who are happy to sit in the garden talking to Mum and we dogs while Dad introduces Bev and Craig to the neighbours either side.
So by the end of Saturday, as the troops eat their fish and chips and drink Prosecco (the latter kept cool by leaving it dunked in the pond) sitting on the borrowed folding chairs or a 'blanket on the ground', watching Doctor Who, steamed through the internet, the screen propped up on an upturned wicker basket, a pedal-bin and a baguette cutting board, they are both knackered from the day's efforts but feeling like they are getting there. Loft and kitchen are cleared, rubbish is got rid of, most of Bev and Craig's stuff is in the living room. Only really the shed to go and some titivating. Then we're outta here.