"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Next week is the final push in ‘Operation Moving House’ for Dad.
All that remains in the house is what he will be bringing with him and it is noticeable how big and airy the rooms look now!
I’ll be going down there again at the weekend and we’ll get as much packing done as possible before Tuesday, when Eli and his team will be coming in to help finish it off and the stairlift company will  remove the stairlift. Hopefully, that will all be done in the morning so that Dad and I can set off on the journey back here. He will stay with us overnight and we will be ready to greet Eli’s team when they arrive with the removal van on Wednesday. On Thursday, a new stairlift will be delivered and fitted and Dad will be able to begin settling into life in North Wales. (What’s not to like!!)
Of course, with the best intentions, the last few months have been a bit stressful and hard work and I am impressed with how well Dad had coped with it. It’s probably in the genes, though, as his great grandfather upped sticks and emigrated to America when he was nearly sixty. No green cards and age restrictions then!
Looking around the house, I can’t fail to be reminded of the years we spent there when I was growing up. I was ten when we moved there in 1959, over half a century ago, and my sister was five. The family who had lived there before us, we were told, had only been there for six weeks. Then one day, the husband came home from work to find that his wife had left. Whatever the details, I remember being aware of a depressing atmosphere in the house, although the abundance of green and black paint probably didn’t help. Someone’s decorating tastes differed wildly from ours!
On the plus side, though, there was a garage, which I quickly commandeered as a museum. I remember displaying pressed flowers, containers of snails and insects and, in pride of place, a stuffed red squirrel that one of the neighbours had given me. There was a patio too, although such things were not common then and it was always referred to as ‘the terrace’. Being about eighteen inches higher than the rest of the garden, my friends and I performed concerts and plays on it, sometimes to an audience, if we could pressgang anyone to watch.
The back bedroom (dark green paint and yellow wallpaper) was mine - scene of many hours of homework and revision for ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels, primping and preening and much sighing and agonising over the total lack of curl in my hair. (Yes, we all have our problems, you know!) My dressing table was a huge Victorian affair which had been painted white but whose drawers had no handles. It’s a matter of note that handles were finally fitted when I was married with children! By then, of course, it didn’t matter much to me anyway, but there are two things to learn from this:
1. All things come to those who wait - eventually.
2. Not finishing a DIY job is a man thing and far more common than you might think.
So, there we are. The end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. Dad is looking forward to moving up here so I hope he won’t miss that house and its memories too much, but then as I have told him, the memories go with him wherever he is.


Cro Magnon said...

I spent a while living in N Wales (on the border with Shropshire), and I'm sure he'll love it too. Do you know any of his new neighbours? Maybe a small welcoming party would be fun.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You capture your attachment to that house so well Jenny. I do hope your dad settles in well in North Wales though I am surprised that his new place also requires a stair-lift. Surely a one floor apartment would have been advisable but hey - what the hell do I know?

Jennyta said...

Yes, but we wanted him to be nearby and his new house is only a few houses down the road from us. It's 18 years old, small, with a garden and easily maintained and heated.

Jennyta said...

He does know the area a bit from years ago, Cro and likes it. I'm sure he'll settle in well.

Flighty said...

Reading this bought back memories of my parent's house. I hope that all goes well next week and your dad soon settles into his new home. I bet that you won't miss the driving to and from Bristol. Flighty xx

Jennyta said...

Thanks, Flighty. No, I certainly won't miss that drive! :)

Helsie said...

It all sounds good and as he is moving near you I guess he will meet people quickly and settle in. No matter how well he seems to be handling it though it is a very stressful thing to do and he might fall in a bit of a heap after the excitement of the move is past so be ready for it. Having him so near will be so good for you won't it?

Jennyta said...

Thanks Helsie. Yes I am thinking that he may well fall in a heap when all this is over, which is why I have been trying to get him to relax as much as possible and not try to do too much.

ZACL said...

You've made more memories now to add to those you had. It's almost time to install a pensieve, (check Hogwarts via Harry Potter ). Dad sounds like the sort of person who will make interesting new memories. Even so,there may be a few ups and downs along this new path, for all of you.

Chapters in our lives have this odd habit of enmeshing us, don't they.

The Captcha was weird; it offered me a nearly black panel, which, if it had anything to read, was beyond the ability of my specs.

Dale said...

This post made me smile, Jenny. A kind of sad smile. I could almost see you there as a carefree school girl. So much has changed since then. You. Your family. Britain. The world. I'll bet you enjoyed writing and remembering as much as we enjoyed reading it.

Jennyta said...

I did indeed, Dale! And yes, a lot has changed in every sphere of life in the half century since we moved there.

Jennyta said...

I am amazed at how well Dad has coped so far, ZACL.

Yorkshire Pudding said...


John Gray said...

Dale is right... Slightly bittersweet
Nice to catchup


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