IT has been said that moving house is one of the most traumatic things in life after a death in the family and a divorce.
It isn’t. Moving house with twins, however, is right up there with those two. Actually, I’m starting to think it could directly lead to either one or both of them.
The idea was that we would move during my week off work. But first I just had to do a couple of days’ worth of decorating at the new house.
The trouble with decorating, of course, is that it is, by its very nature, self-perpetuating.
You see, once you’ve painted one horrendous purple wall or yellowing skirting board pristine white, it tends to make every other wall and skirting board look even more shabby.
Pretty quickly the whole thing takes on ‘Painting the Forth Road Bridge’ style proportions.
“Have you nearly finished over there?” the Missus would ask as I returned each night covered in white paint marks from my day’s rollering and brushing.
“I reckon another day ought to do it,” was my stock reply for three days running.
The fact that all this decorating meant I was able to listen to uninterrupted live radio coverage of the Ryder Cup had nothing to do with it, your honour.
Finally the decorating was done and it was time to move in. First, though, we had to pack.
The idea, again, was that my mother-in-law would come over and keep the twins occupied while the Missus go on with it.
Except the twins wanted to stay with mummy, granny seemed desperate to help with the packing and mummy was very clear that she didn’t want her to.
All of which meant that when daddy got home he was welcomed with a tangible air of tension and a noticeable absence of anything that could remotely be described as being ‘packed’.
Instead we worked into the wee hours each night to sort, wrap and box everything, with me shuttling them across to the new house in the dead of night.
We also took it in turns to occupy the children, preferably as far away from the house as possible, while the other tried valiantly to cram stuff we didn’t even know we had in the dozen boxes we’d managed to acquire from the local Tesco.
We hired Dan, a man with a big van, to help us shift as much of it as possible, but even now that we’ve finally moved in I’m still having to do a few more late-night shuttles once the kids are in bed. Our new neighbours probably think I’m a drugs mule.
The hallway is filled with boxes, the twins keep threatening to bury themselves by prodding teetering piles of things we’ve yet to find a place for and nothing – absolutely nothing – is where we think it is.
And do you know what? It feels as though the nightmare has only just begun.