Thursday (20th) at lunchtime I got a phone call from Nadia. I had received a letter from my solicitor saying he needed about three thousand pounds (for stamp duty, 1 month's advance rent & service charge, his and the seller's solicitor fees) to complete the sale. Since we had arranged to have removers come and pick up our stuff the next morning things were looking bad. After a bit of fretting and calling my solicitor to confirm the requirement, and the bank to transfer money, it was all sorted however. Co-workers were impressed with me coughing up that kind of money in such short notice, but I assured them that (unfortunately) it is not a party trick I can pull very often. It will be a very long time till I can do it again.
After packing boxes till late at night Thursday evening we had a good night's sleep before getting up early for more frantic packing before the removal men arrived. They managed to get everything into the truck this time (when we moved into the flat in Stanmore they I believe they had to round up a second truck). Quite frankly with all the things we've thrown away and given to charity lately I'm surprised we had anything to move at all.
After picking up a surprising number of keys in Clerkenwell we met the removal men at my new flat at 1:30pm. Nadia went off to Islington council to get a parking permission while I guarded the lorry with all our stuff so nobody would run off with it. I helped out a bit by moving stuff from the inside of the truck to the back for easy picking up. The removal men exploited this fact and ran up and down the stairs like demons, giving me no chance to sit down and take a rest.
The removal men left at 4pm, about the same time Nadia came back from the Council, parking permit in hand. She told me that before she left for the Council she had emptied a year's worth of "welcome new customer!", "you owe us money" and "we're coming to get you now!" letters from gas, electricity and TV licensing people.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent setting up our one piece of furniture, an oak dining table; unpacking boxes; trying to figure out how the hot water and heating worked; and clear enough floor space to fit our mattresses. Unfortunately our neighbours were awfully inconsiderate and didn't have an open wireless access point as I would have liked to check my mail…