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  • siobhanmdaniels

END OF AN ERA: Packing up the flat and leaving Tunbridge wells

I look around my flat and I am overwhelmed with just how much 'STUFF" I have and I know that I have chosen to spend the next twelve months living in a small Motorhome and I have to start packing and deciding what I want to keep and what I want to discard. To be totally honest I would love to be able to pick it all up, put it in a skip and get rid of it all.

But as I begin to look through drawers and boxes I am transported back to good and bad times in my life. I read and reread the letters that were sent from solicitors when I went through a particularly acrimonious breakup many years ago. I was shocked at how raw my emotions became, and I took great delight in ripping up the pages of correspondence and throwing it in the bin bag. It was quite cathartic. But I soon realised that I could not go at this pace because it would take me a year to pack the flat and I only had around three weeks.

Two of my former work colleagues were moving into a flat and wanted beds to I immediately took the opportunity and sold my beds to them. knowing that meant I would have to sleep on the sofa. That took a bit of getting used to, I would walk into the bedroom then realise I had not got a bed and had to make up the sofa every night. But I told myself it was all worth it because I would soon be free in my Motorhome! No pain no gain!

I was fortunate that the people moving into my flat wanted to buy many of my bulky items like corner sofa, sideboard, wardrobes and my dining table and chairs so I did not need to worry about lugging those into a van at a later date, and it added a few more pounds to the coffers.

I filled numerous bags to take to the charity shops, they got very sniffy about the amount of books I had.Some even refused to take them as they said they are overrun with books. so I was driving around looking for charity shops to take my books.

Just as I was feeling really stressed by the task ahead of me and the time was running out I got the most painful ear infection. I called the emergency doctor and ended up at Accident and Emergency department at my local hospital rocking backwards and forwards because of the pain! I left three hours later with ear drops and very strong antibiotics. for a few days I was in no fit state to focus on sorting through my things. I just felt sorry for myself and took lots of painkillers until the infection subsided. I really did not know just how painful and ear infection can be.

I was also easily distracted by my friends inviting me for dinner or to go out for drinks to say goodbye. This resulted in me having a week to get my act together.

I a so lucky my boyfriend is letting me store things at his house, and stay for two weeks before I hit the road in the Motorhome....I have had to reassure him that this is not a sneaky way for me to move in with him, but merely 'Transitioning'.

I have dreamt about doing this year in the Motorhome for many years. I had been single for eighteen years so it was perfect, but like life always seems to do, it throws you a googly. Eighteen months ago I went to a party and met a really nice fella. And one of the first things we talked about was me heading off in the Motorhome when I retire. But to cut a long story short I have become very fond of him and even more so because he is so supportive of what I am doing. And we will meet up as much as possible along the way to have our adventures.

But back to the packing....I was taking half my things to his and half to my fab sister-in-law in Leeds, who was married to a brother of mine who died, and who I have known since I was eighteen. (She will be the first guest in the Motorhome as well which will be a giggle.

I ordered a van to be delivered at three o clock, only to get a phone call from them saying they will deliver a slightly smaller one as they did not have the size I had ordered and PAID! for. Well you can imagine with my stress levels, I hit the roof! After many angry calls to various people I was delivered an enormous white van. The kind driver helped with the Chaise lounge, and the chest of drawers. I lugged everything else into the van with brut force. I was covered in bruises.

Four hours later than planned I headed off to my boyfriends, a two and a quarter hour journey. Oh no! as if my stress levels were not high enough I got caught up in an accident on the M25 motorway. the queues were for miles and the section of motorway was closed for over six hours. I eventually followed a diversion heading for Woking and rejoined the M25 further down. I was exhausted!

And It was so nice to see my boyfriend standing at his door when I pulled up in the van in the early hours of the morning, beside myself with exhaustion.

The next morning he helped me upload things into his garage and turn the van around for me because I was too scared to reverse it out of his driveway.

I was planning to head off to Leeds to off load the rest of my worldly goods.

I went to the local petrol station to fill the van and climbed in the back to get my phone charger from the back and I got stuck in the back of the van and could not get out via the back door. I had to clamber over all the bags and get out via the side door, much to my relief as I had visions of me having to shout to get help to open the doors to let me out.

Eventually arrived in Leeds and deposited the rest of my belongings with my sister-in-law Maggie for her to store.

All I had to do now was drive back to Tunbridge Wells in the morning to clean the flat and hand over the keys so that I can start the next phase of my life.

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