This title seems to apply to so much in my world at the moment; parents, home, school, pets, children....
Let me start with the sale of Mum and Dad's 'holiday' house: the reallocation of furniture, the assimilation of furniture, the selling of furniture on ebay, the sorting of trash and treasure, the garage clean out......
Ma and Pa have been coming to visit us here for the last 7 years, staying at their nicely appointed holiday house in the suburbs. For the 8 months a year that they live in the UK, the house stands empty or is looked after by family friends. It earns them nothing and costs them money. This year they decided to sell it.
Fortunately it sold quickly, conditional upon sale of the buyer's property. Due to Mum and Dad's imminent departure to the UK, the date for completion was set for the 16th of April. We had less than two months to empty the house of an accumulated 7 years of furniture and life 'trappings'.
I became ebayer extraordinaire selling chairs, beds, wall units, and the like, to clear the house. Of course, I 'bagsyed' the best of what they were giving away; a fridge, a washing machine, some outdoor furniture (we had none), a set of modern dark wood entertainment units and coffee tables (similar to left) and a double bed for the Baby Angel. Once No1 Son had been cajoled into making time to empty the garage of his accumulated junk, decisions had to be made around the placement of new furniture.
Now, when we first bought our house in 2005, we were blending two families with all the attendant baggage and sentiment which that entails. Consequently, I agreed to let Himself furnish the front room with his old, sentimental furniture; notably an extremely worn and dated cream leather 3 piece suite and a battered sideboard, built by his father, which now has broken doors and dated handles. Himself had always promised that he would renovate the sideboard and clean up and repair the lounge suite but, sadly, this has never happened and so when the opportunity to replace some of the offending articles appeared, I began to formulate my plans.
I firstly convinced No2 Son that he needed another storage unit in his bedroom to prevent all that mess on the floor (cos why else would there be mess on the floor....right? :-D). I suggested the sideboard would be an appropriate item.
I then, single handedly, pushed the sideboard out through three rooms, onto the back verandah. The room was clear for the arrival of new furniture.
Once the removalists had done the deed I sat, on the old leather sofa, and planned my next move. I had a number of options in mind by the time Himself came home from work and I had toyed with placement of various items. In my fiddling I had placed the coffee table unit on top of the entertainment unit and put together two side tables to form a coffee table. Himself surveyed the chaos and noticed the same thing I had.
"We could move the TV over here and put it onto this entertainment unit and then we would be able to connect up the surround sound speaker system which has been lying dormant for 5 years!"
"So you don't mind the coffee table on top there?"
"Nahhh. I think it gives the unit a good shape."
"I need to take the legs off, I was just looking at it up there I..."
"Naaaaah. Don't worry, I can use that little space for something useful."
Against my better judgment I decided to let him put it all together and make a decision afterwards. If anything needed to be changed, then surely it could be?
After a lot of hefting, heaving and connecting of cables I was called in for an opinion.
Me: What's that thing?
Himself: That's the sub woofer. It's the thing which makes the floor rumble when there's a car chase.
Me: It's as ugly as sin and it sticks out like dogs b****.
Himself: Ah yes, but it makes aaaaallll the difference when there's an explosion in the movie.
Me: *insert a look which would wither a significant portion of the Amazon rain forest.*
Himself: No, really, you'll see, it will be worth it.
Me; OK well, could we find somewhere less obtrusive to put it?
To his credit (he really is a good stick after all), he found a more discrete spot to tuck away the mammoth boom box and continued to merrily plug everything in.
What happened next is difficult to delineate although I do remember having just come back into the room. Out of nowhere the floor began to vibrate and massive bass feedback seemed to emenate from all around us.
Me: Himself! You can't have that on so loud at this time of night! You'll wake the neighbours!!
At this, Himself looked panicked and guilty and hastily flicked off every switch in the vicinity.
To our surprise the noise continued and then intensified! We looked at each other for several seconds before I bellowed 'What the h*** is that!?' At this point the whole house was shaking.
"I think it's an earthquake," he gasped and we raced, logically, out onto the balcony to see if we could see any other reason for the continuing vibration. At this point, everything subsided and we were left looking at each other, slightly breathless and white faced.
We were still unsure as to what had actually happened. After checking on the BA, who sleepily thought someone had rolled the wheelie bins down our driveway, Himself went to check downstairs and I ran out into the back garden to see if the retaining wall had collapsed! A few quick phone calls confirmed that we had not been alone in our experience.
"I think we've had an earthquake," said our neighbour.
"But we're in ADELAIDE, I exclaimed, we don't have earthquakes in Adelaide!"
"Well," she said, introducing an idea which I was to hear repeated over the following week,
"we are on a faultline you know......"