WARNING: The title of this monumental tale may contain a teensy-weensy bit of exaggeration. The van bit is certainly accurate, and the woman most definitely so. That a journey was involved is beyond all reasonable doubt. Sticklers for appropriate adjectives, however, may just find themselves compelled to object to the term “epic”. Should this apply to you, may I refer you to the response given at the end. Thank you for your attention.
Go South, young man
Heeding the advice of that well-known Chinese proverb, “When in doubt, move to Surrey.”, my daughter and her husband recently relocated to a well-known commuter town within spitting distance (should you feel inclined) of the M25. (In order to protect her privacy from snoopers, cheats, fraudsters, ne’er-do-wells and cut-throats, I will not divulge the precise location, save to say that it begins with Wo and ends with king.) To effect this move at minimal cost a self-drive Iveco Daily van was hired. There was a sole named driver (again to keep costs down), my good lady wife.
I hereby now present for your wonderment and appreciation the unexpurgated itinerary of The Day A Lot Of Stuff Was Picked Up, Placed, Transported, Picked Up And Put Down Again.
06:30 Get up. (Hardly unusual, but as Julie Andrews says, one must start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.)
07:40 To Leicester by car.
08:10 Collect the monster truck, sorry, large-ish van, from the nice man at Europcar. Woman takes wheel and heads back to home town eating a Yorkie bar and chatting on the CB radio. Man, meanwhile, skulks back to home town in humble car and restores sense of manliness by using self-service petrol pump.
08:45 Iveco Daily arrives at parental home. Woman reports van as being laughably easy to drive. Substantial G-Plan wardrobe loaded.
09:30 Van & car arrive at daughter’s home. After thanking God for lack of rain, snow, fog or other pestilence, loading operations begin. Woman, as usual, excels at packing, arranging, padding and otherwise handling practicalities of said loading operation. Condensation dripping from cold steel roof of van is regarded with scant concern.
10:45 Sat-navs set for W*ki*g, vehicles great and small hare off down the M1.
13:00 After crawling through Saturday shopping traffic, keys are duly collected and vehicles assembled at new residence for disembarking of worldly goods.
14:15 Disembarking of worldly goods completed. Bean bag found to be wet from condensation drips. Van, woman and accompanying man depart for the suburbs of London. (Did I explain that my son and his wife were also relocating on the same day? No? Yes. From the London borough to sophisticated Guildford.)
15:08 Van enters relevant housing estate then encounters absurdly restrictive traffic-calming posts in road. Left-hand side of road presents impossible angle so van opts for right-hand side, thence leading to a successful negotiation with millimetres to spare. Prayer of thanks duly offered, swiftly followed by expressions of incredulity at said traffic-calming.
Since, I fear, the concentration may be waning (whether yours or mine I leave you to judge), let me take you through the remainder of our day at a somewhat brisker pace.
17:00 Boxes, shelves and exercise bike, etc. installed. Van departs, avoids evil metal posts, heads off up A3.
18:05 Second unload of the day begins. Tragic damage to flat-packed furniture is discovered.
20:00 Woman bids fond farewell to van after refuelling. Walks away shaking head and muttering something about a “big 10-4” and vowing to acquire HGV license within 2 weeks.
20:37 Son & spouse transport woman and accompanying man to daughter & spouse’s new home for lasagne previously prepared by the same van-driving furniture-packing woman.
And so the day ends. Next day new lives begin.
Woman. Van. Efficiency. Sorted. Shattered. Goodnight.
Note to readers who object to the term “epic”: Sorry you’re unhappy. You’re wrong.