On this day

Photo by Sarah Trummer on Pexels.com

Regular readers and followers will have noticed that I do not write as much as before. This is a conscious decision because I do not want to write just for the sake of writing, and because I have suffered a little with writers block. However, this week I had an overwhelming urge to write about a childhood memory in my paper journal. When I thought about the date, I realised that the event happened exactly forty years ago. I know that at least one person (hello Mum!) likes reading my childhood memories, so I decided to blog about it too.

I was eight years old and we were moving house. We had moved house before but this was the first time I can remember. The things that I can’t recall clearly are the preparations. The packing up happened mostly as if by magic, but I do know we used some old tea chests, not the cardboard boxes of today. If you wanted a tea chest in these modern times they would cost you a fortune on Etsy.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

On the morning of the move, I was disgruntled because I didn’t want to go to school. I was worried I was going to miss something exciting; a condition known these days as FOMO.

FOMO ~ fear of missing out

Despite my protests, I was not allowed to stay home. I suspect this wasn’t just to do with me getting an education, but trying to keep me out from under the feet of the removal men. At eight years old I doubt anything vital to my future was happening at school, but I had no choice in the matter!

It was usual for me to walk to school with my friends, so before I set off to meet them, I had one last look round and I touched the wall saying “goodbye house” or something equally dramatic, and that was that.

As I got to the corner of the road, the brown and cream removal van drove past. I still remember the name – it was a well known local firm. I felt a pang of something – a catch in my breath. It was so strange to be going to school from that house for the last time, and thinking about going ‘home’ to the unknown later on.

The walk to school was along the appropriately named School Lane; a traffic free footpath that took us directly to school and the village beyond. Part of the route went along the end of the back gardens of our street. At the end of our garden I paused to peer through the hedge in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the mysterious activity. My eight year old self knew nothing yet my older self can imagine it clearly. The ant like procession of up-ended furniture and heavy crates as item by item a home is loaded with Tetris like precision into the back of a lorry, until the home is an empty shell, ready for the next family to make their memories. Eight year old me saw none of this as it was all happening at the front of the house, out of my sight.

My walk that morning had been the end of an era, as the new house was about a mile away from school and not really walkable anymore. I wouldn’t have known how to get to our new address straightaway of course. After an uneventful day at school, Dad collected me in the car and we went back home, where the unpacking seemed to have happened as if by magic too. All our belongings had been deposited in this new place, and the only item of mine that I never found was my poster of a tiger.

Over the years, I have moved house a lot. I could write a whole new series about it. I could tell you how I carefully transported a box containing one piece of frozen fish, putting it back into the freezer immediately at my new home, only to discover later on that the boxes had been switched and I had actually frozen my whole collection of mix tapes! Or that on another occasion I somehow left behind all my mixing bowls, including one of those retro brown Mason and Cash style bowls, which I have never managed to replace.

Photo by Sarah Trummer on Pexels.com

If you have any stories about moving home, funny or otherwise, please do share in the comments below if you wish. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post today. I am so very grateful for visitors to my space on the internet and it would be lovely if you could just leave me a hello so I can say hello back!

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12 Responses

  1. Abby Heird says:

    I was waiting for you to say you followed the removal van back home instead of going on to school. I wouldn’t have blamed you! I was so young when we first moved that I don’t remember it or its significance. But then I grew up in that next house and when my parents moved out when I was 20, it was actually quite sad. So many memories in that house and no matter how old you are, they stick. Thanks for sharing this story, it has me reminiscing now!

    • Marie-Celine says:

      Ooh yes I could’ve sneaked back but I was always a good girl 🙄
      I’ve moved house far too many times now and some homes were hard to give up. But I’m grateful to have somewhere safe and warm and dry to live 😊

  2. Chloe Chats says:

    This was a lovely post to read! I imagine it must have felt quite strange leaving for school and knowing you’d be in a new house afterwards. I moved once with my parents, I was about 15 so I wasn’t too young. I actually can’t remember much of it though, I remember feeling sad because I had lived in that house since I was born and I loved my neighbours so much, our neighbour had 2 kids and my parents had me and my brother and both my brother and the son of the neighbour and me and the daughter of the neighbour were the same age so we all became best friends. And to this day I am still best friends with her, and I’m actually her maid of honour for her wedding in may!

    Chloe xx

  3. alisonw30 says:

    Love this! Especially the story about your mixtapes, oops! We moved house in the exact same year. I was 7 years old. We moved from Bolton to Grange Over Sands in Cumbria where my parents had bought a post office and general stores which they were to run for 8 years. I moved schools as well which was pretty scary at 7 years old! My Dad had already moved a few days before to take the reins of the post office. Our cat Samantha went with the removal men and apparently howled all the way! I remember going in the car with my mum and some friends waving us off. My Grandad also moved from his house in Southport and he had two rooms in our new house. (The new house was huge, it had 3 floors, the top one was pretty derelict however. It has since become a luxury holiday let and they’ve renovated the top floor – I keep meaning to go back for a look!) I remember my Grandad looking a bit sad sitting in his new ‘living room’ surrounded by all his belongings! It was lovely to have him there though, he used to leave sweets in my room and Enid Blyton books. Oops, I’ve kind of written a blog post here instead of a comment, great to reminisce 🙂

  4. Vivid memories you are able to bring to life.

  5. ashleyleia says:

    I lived in the same house through my childhood and teenage years, but then moved a lot during my university years as I would live in dorms during the school year and move back home for the summer. Every September my poor dad was stuck with driving me 5 hours to the city where I went to school, we’d unload my stuff, and I’d be so excited to see my friends again I’d pretty much say “thanks, bye”, and then he had to turn around and drive 5 hours back home. I feel bad that I didn’t appreciate it more at the time.

    • mariexceline says:

      It’s difficult to appreciate things that our parents do for us when we are young, so don’t feel too bad. It’s when we get older that we realise the efforts our parents made, through our own experiences of being an adult.
      Thanks for commenting 😊

  6. Marie this was such a great read! I could almost imagine a little Marie trying to spy on the removal men 😂 Last time I moved house was sooooo stressful. We only moved ten minutes away so didn’t bother paying out for actual removal people. I remember getting caught in the rain pushing an IKEA trolley of my belongings along a horribly paved path, my boyfriend carrying my TV wrapped in plastic bags. I ended up hiding under a tree while he ran to the new house with the telly so it didn’t get too wet! Next time I’m paying people to do it for me no matter how close the new place is!

    • mariexceline says:

      Yes it’s definitely worth getting a van. I know someone who was only moving a short distance so they carried stuff between the two homes. Always more work than you think it’s going to be. He left some things on the driveway of the new place and they got stolen, so not a good start 😱
      The last time we moved we tried to get ahead by taking a suitcase of things on the tram. It was too much effort and achieved little in the long run!
      Thanks for commenting, I’m glad you enjoyed reading 😊

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