Note conversation in <…> is in German
"Come on Drew, lets get started, there's a lot to get packed"
"Sure Dad" Drew replied.
It was finally here, pack up time. It really didn't seem that long ago that they had first discussed the move and here they were actually packing stuff. Things really had moved along quickly - the house in Germany was pretty much finished and after deciding to rent rather than sell the Warsop house they had a tenant waiting to move in. The biggest surprise there was that it was Helen and her mother who were moving in!
Dad decided that they would move themselves as they weren't taking much furniture so this weekend he'd arrived home in a borrowed Apollinaris van with a trailer. If it didn't fit in it wasn't going!
Drew followed the elder Bond out to the garage where there was already a scattering of cardboard boxes.
"You make a start on the tools, put them in those plastic crates."
"What like all together?"
"Use a bit of savvy kiddo, bike tools in one, saws an' stuff another and so on."
Drew set to work and was soon engrossed in thee project. Meanwhile Dave was busy sorting through the other stuff that seems to grow in garages, old tins of paint, bits of cars, old bike tyres - well you name it it's likely to end up here!
Father and son worked away with mixed feelings, Radio Two playing away to itself in the clatter of packing. Neither of them noticed first Jen then her daughter watching from the kitchen door.
"Leave 'em be Jules, tea can wait a bit."
"How much have you done?"
"The small wardrobe and my chest of drawers"
"I hope you've chucked some stuff out"
"Some" Jules allowed.
"Hmm" Jen noted - Jules was a right squirrel; it was only last year that she got rid of her Care Bear ™ collection!
"You can help me with the kitchen tomorrow morning."
Meanwhile out in the garage the boys were now sifting through boxes of old bike bits, looking for anything remotely useable.
"Some of this stuff ought to be in a museum,” Dave mentioned.
"We could sell it on Ebay" Drew opined.
"If you think I'm lugging it all the way to Ahrweiler just so you can sell it on Ebay you've another think coming."
"Tell you what, we'll drop it round to John, I'm sure he can find a home for some of it like those old screw on wheels."
"They're Campag hubs" Drew noted.
"They're still not compatible with the new stuff."
"I guess not."
"Dinner!" Jen called out.
"Sheesh, is that the time?" Dave hadn't realised how long they'd been at it. He surveyed 'his' garage, it was still full but instead of the clutter of his workbench and shelves full of junk, the walls were now bare and the contents occupied a pile of storage crates. 'I really do hope this all works out.' he mused to himself.
"Da-ad!" Jules shouted from the kitchen.
“You need any help in there Drew?” Jen enquired from the doorway.
“Nah, I've only got a few bits left.”
“Okay then, bring it down when you're done, your Dad and Uncle John are loading the van, I'm sure they'd appreciate a hand.”
“Yeah okay Mum.” Drew replied without enthusiasm.
Jen slipped away leaving Drew to his packing. For his part, Drew was clearing his desk of the clutter of a lifetime. Mum and Jules had already packed the contents of his wardrobe and chest of drawers so he only had his toys and books to pack - plus the desk. He'd been quite ruthless with his games an' stuff, most of the 'kid' stuff was waiting for Uncle John to take to Oxfam, everything else had gone in just a couple of boxes. But the desk, his desk, was full of his life and so far all he'd thrown out was a broken Airfix battleship, a Chrimbo prezzie from Clive two years ago, and some scrappy bits of paper.
Why the stack of cinema ticket stubs was so important he couldn't say but the thought of throwing them away - well it didn't bear thinking of. Then there were the photo's, pictures of the gang, school trips going back to junior school, birthday parties and more recent stuff including some from the Cons last year. There was a copy of the school brochure in there too, you know, the one Gaby stars in. another drawer had all his cycling stuff, programmes and stuff, the squirrel in him had even kept some purloined direction arrows from some of the big events he'd watched. Then there were all the daft bits and bobs you hang on to, some were presents, others things that had taken his fancy - it all got shoveled into a plastic carrier, well apart from his earring collection which went in his 'safe' along with his cycling - and cheering, medals.
He taped the big box up and scrawled 'Drews Stuff' on the top before adding it to the pile of stuff that included his Scalextric set and toy cars. That only left his PC but Dad was going to sort that out and like his sisters would be traveling in the Saab with him, Jules, Mum and several bikes when they left in the morning.
The atmosphere around the Peters' dining table was a little forced. Aunt Carol had excelled herself for the Bond's last meal in Warsop with a full roast job followed by spotted dick - not that anyone had much of an appetite.
“What time are you leaving Dave?” Uncle John enquired.
“I'll set off about seven with the truck, Jen and the kids will meet me at Dover so they're giving me an hours start, we're on the one o'clock ferry.”
“You going straight to the house Jen?” Carol asked her cousin.
“Yeah, Dave's gonna leave the truck at Apollinaris overnight then we'll move stuff in on Monday, the Pinger's said they'll help. We've got most of the furniture but I guess we'll be seeing the inside of Ikea before the week's out!”
“Kewl!” Jules noted.
“Can we go Mum?” Mad chirped, the shopping gene now activated.
“No Ikea silly.”
“Maybe.” Aunt C allowed.
“Yay!” her offspring exclaimed.
Uncle John had been busy topping everyone's glasses up.
“A toast everyone, to the Bond's and their new life in Germany,” he raised his glass, “the Bond's!” Mad and Aunt Carol echoed him before everyone chinked glasses and sipped their drinks.
Dave offered a counter toast, “the Peters for being good friends over the years, the Peters.” We repeated the ritual with the drinks.
“You daft thing Dave Bond, we're family, it's what family's do.” Carol mentioned giving Dave's shoulder a squeeze.
“Well I needed to say it.” Dad noted.
Our departure from the Peters drive was a tearful one but thankfully quite quick. Mad pressed a bag into my hand, ‘so you don't forget us, open it later.' after a round of hugs ‘n stuff we pulled out and were off. Yeah I know we'll be visiting and stuff but when I go back to school it won't be with the gang, it'll be some place in Ahrweiler, Germany.
We weren't in a race so for once Mum was driving a bit slower, after all the car was well loaded despite the truck ahead of us and there were four bikes on the roof too.
We headed out to the A1; it's quieter than the M1 according to Dad, somewhere down the road I drifted off.
"That's all we need." Jules voice cut through my dreaming.
"What's up?" I asked stretching and noting we weren't actually moving, "why're we stopped?"
"Roadwork's." Mum noted.
"But it just said there's an accident on the M25, they're closing the motorway to deal with it." Jules added.
"I hope your Dad's okay."
"Shall I ring him?" I offered.
"He won't be able to answer if he's driving dumbo." Jules pointed out.
"Here we go!" Mum advised, as we started moving again.
The traffic shuffled along and after some debate we decided to stay on the main road - at least for the time being. It was pretty frustrating though. At least we weren't desperate for the ferry - our ticket allows us to travel anytime today subject to space even though we are booked on the two o'clock sailing.
" And the latest on that accident on the clockwise M25. The Police advise that the motorway will be closed for at least another hour while the accident is recovered. The accident, involving a foreign registered commercial and up to four cars, has resulted in at least one fatality. So if you can avoid using that stretch of the M25 please do but roads in the area are already heavy with traffic avoiding the smash. "
Maddy Bell 15.08.07 © 2007
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