It is undoubtedly true that Young Faris's excellent account of his family's moving experience (see yesterday's Daily Blog) tells a good story.
There are, however, a few
additions I feel moved (please excuse the pun) to make in order to ensure that the day's events are also viewed from my perspective. This is important because the Daily Blog is my on-line diary and when I come to look back on yesterday a year, two years, three
years from now, I will expect a Full Picture to emerge.
Firstly, yes - the Middle of the Darling Daughters and her husband decided to move themselves. Had I been the type to proffer advice where none is looked
for I might have mentioned the one and only time Mr B and I moved ourselves - from the flat where we started out on our married life together fifty years ago to the very first home we owned. We didn't think we had many possessions at the time - but they looked
a sorry pile indeed, out in the front garden, soaked by incessant rain as we waited for the hired van to turn up. "Never again!" said Mr B and I wasn't about to argue with him.
The Middle of the Darling Daughters
believes in a minimalist approach to furniture, fixtures and fittings so she probably felt confident in her capacity - and that of her super-strong fella who comes equipped with a useful HGV licence - to handle All Things Moveable. This sunny optimism completely
failed to recognise the fact that no household can ever be truly minimalist when it includes a trio of littl'uns under the age of four. It took almost five hours to load the hired lorry with all the family's minimal possessions.
Meanwhile the Trio - Faris and The Twinkles - had been collected by their auntie, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters, and transported to her house. Out of Harm's Way, as Young Faris memorably explained. By the time I arrived, her house was in a state
of chaotic disorder and The Trio were reigning supreme. The floor was strewn with a strange mixture of multi-coloured dinosaurs and half-eaten fish fingers. My youngest daughter was gratifyingly pleased to see me, though I'm not sure how very helpful I was,
apart from projecting my own special brand of encouragement into any stressful situation.
Granddaughter Hazel, her boyfriend Harry and friend Zoë decided to take the Trio to the park for what was euphemistically
called "a breath of fresh air." The Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I waved them off ecstatically in anticipation of a bit of a rest and a chance to chat. Our reprieve was short-lived: the Trio and their team of carers were back in no time at all, chased
out of the park by a threatening shower. We had hardly had a chance to boil the kettle...
As helpers go, I am not sure anybody would place me top of the list. There was no way I could help unload the lorry
while my skills as a cleaner fall far short of the Middle of the Darling Daughter's exacting standards, especially given the dire and dirty state of her new abode. Hence, while the Strong Armed Brigade - grandson Jack and Harry, supplemented by the Youngest
of the Darling Daughters who doesn't have strong arms but is possessed of a determinedly helpful heart - went to help out, I was left (kind of) in charge of persuading the Trio to eat their dinner, have a bath and get dressed in their pyjamas. In these pleasant
tasks, I was assisted by Hazel and Zoë, meaning we could each give one to one attention to "our" child.
It was inevitable, I suppose, that it was "my" child - the Lovely Lilia - who tipped her spaghetti
bolognese over herself, the high chair tray and the floor beneath it, while the other two ate like little angels. And I it was who ended up at bath time soaked through so that I had to change into a pair of my daughter's checked pyjama bottoms. The bathroom
floor, to be fair, was even wetter than I was.
The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, returning to collect us all, took pity on me and found me a pair of more appropriate trousers to wear before off we went
to introduce The Trio to their new home. Here I need to explain that the Middle of the Darling Daughter's new house is exactly the same as her sister's house before it gained an extension and a conservatory. This meant that Faris and The Twinkles felt immediately
at home, knowing exactly where everything was with no need for an introductory tour.
In the Twinkles' bedroom a collection of soft toys decorated the windowsill, in Faris's room, a parade of enormous dinosaurs.
The Rascal selected a book for me to read before he went to sleep. Appropriately, perhaps, it was all about Christmas. The season of gifts and merriment.
Downstairs while the littl'uns slept, we ordered a
takeaway curry and toasted the family's new life in Prosecco supped from polystyrene cups. The Middle of the Darling Daughters said she felt like a student again. It was almost midnight before her sister and I, plus Jack and Hazel, wended our way back to the
Youngest of the Darling Daughter's house. It had been a long, long day.
Ah, yes, in case you hadn't quite twigged it - two of my Darling Daughters now live in the same village, within a ten minute walk of
each other. They have always been each other's biggest supporters but now they will be geographically close as well as emotionally. When the Empty Nest Syndrome strikes at one sister's heart, she will be ale to hug her tiny nieces and nephew and revisit old
times. When coping with a Trio of Rampaging Rascals has the other sister tearing her hair out, there will be a sisterly Rescue Remedy just down the road.
Me? I rather fear I'm not as much help to either daughter
as I used to be. I'm so very glad that from now on - rather like The Twinkles - they will Always Have Each Other.