Anyway, here's how things went...
On Thursday morning we went to the house to meet a representative from Connells to go through the inventory. This was supposed to be at 10.15 and take no more than half an hour, so we told David to meet us there at 10.45 as he'd offered to drive us home. The agent ended up being 45 minutes late because of traffic and David came around to do the inventory with us.
This included everything - the curtains, lampshades, radiators, furniture, cupboards, plus all and any cracks and dents in the walls. Very thorough indeed.
After that we went to Currys, and subsequently Comet, to look for fridges. Managed to get a frost-free fridge-freezer by Hotpoint for £300 (saving us £100), plus £25 delivery charge, and saw a very nice matching toaster and kettle set whilst in there which we need to go back for.
David then dropped Paul off near Kings Heath high street so he could get the bus to work, and drove me back to the flat to dismantle a bookcase, after which I finished packing the clothes I could, filling another suitcase (having already filled one the day before) and my rucksack.
During the course of a phone conversation with Connells on Thursday morning to ascertain where their rep was, we learned that in order to get the keys we would have to traipse to Wolverhampton to fill out the paperwork on Friday. Initially this was supposed to be at 12.00, but we moved it to 10.30 instead. (Why Wolverhampton, you may ask? Because Lee, the bloke who took the call when we rang about the house, was covering the Birmingham office at the time and is actually based in the Wolverhampton branch. Irritating, but an unfortunate necessity.)
As a result of this we opted to stay over at my mum's on Thursday night as it would be easier (them living near the Wolverhampton Road), and we took them out for a meal at the Kings Heath as a thank you for all their help with the move.
Friday's appointment went smoothly (my expired passport was not an issue as I had my birth certificate with me just in case), and we were handed the keys. Then we took my mum to see the house as well, and headed over to the flat to get some more furniture dismantled and things put in boxes. At this point David started stressing us all out because he thought we hadn't done enough (Paul was off sick most of last week so I was essentially trying to do it all on my own).
We stayed over at my mum's again on Friday because our bed had been dismantled, and got up early on Saturday to get some more packing done before Mark, the man-with-a-van, arrived. Everyone else (Darren, Patrick, Lloyd and Dan) turned up shortly after 11.00, and by forming a human chain to get stuff into the van, we actually managed to get moved in about two hours. And it was actually pretty stress-free, despite David's panic the day before. :P
We got some of the furniture re-assembled (a bookcase, the cube unit, the bed and the daybed, which is still in the guise of a sofa for the time being) and then they left us to it, after having pizza anyway. ;) We put fresh linen on the bed, Paul subsequently went out to a wedding, I went out to investigate the local chippy, and then had a strop because Paul came back late and drunk from the wedding, offered a bed to his mate Justin even though there was nowhere for him to sleep, and argued with me about going to bed for ten minutes. Good start. :P
Sunday we had a little bit of a lie-in, at least, before heading out to Ikea at about 10.00ish. The reason for this early start was that David wanted breakfast there, but as they're in the process of refurbing the Wednesbury branch they were only serving cold foods and we didn't bother. Spent another £385 in there (or thereabouts) and got all the stuff we went in for plus some extras. We now have a very funky white folding table with drawers in it for the kitchen, some more boxes for the cube unit (I'm going to store bed linen in it), a nice faux-leather office chair to replace the two threadbare ones, a brand new 'best' six-setting crockery set (duck-egg blue and square!), and some other bits and bobs for the kitchen. I think Ikea's tag line should be "Selling the stuff you didn't know you needed!"
We had brunch at Burger King (we all had the Angus meal deals, which were very nice) and then headed home again to build the new furniture. Paul and I popped out to the local shop to get some soup and bread for tea, as we'd figured out how the hob worked but not the oven (and had no fridge at that point anyway). We have the Best Off Licence EVAR around the corner from us - they regularly have Faustino VII (red, white and rose), V (all three again) and I (red) at reasonable prices, as well as various liqueurs and cordials which will be perfect for cocktails. :D
Monday morning (8.30ish) the fridge arrived, although we couldn't actually use it until about 10.00pm as it had to stand for four hours before being turned on, then left for six hours before anything could be put into it. So we decided to go into Dudley for a look around, and to get some bits from the big Wilkinson there. We had breakfast in the market cafe, which was quite nice, and then got some keys cut in a nearby stall. (At the card / game shop next door I got some Nightmare Before Christmas greetings cards!) We were only partly successful at Wilko, though, as they didn't have any big rubbish bins.
Got back just after 1.00, whereupon I had a nap for a couple of hours, to be rudely awoken by the bank ringing me up to hassle me for an appointment. I went downstairs to find Paul also asleep, and then he went upstairs to sleep some more. We didn't do very much at all really, which is hardly surprising considering all the early mornings. Once he'd woken up again we went to the chippy for tea, then he went out to Broken Amp and I moved a chest of drawers from one room to another because I am STRONG! (Actually, without any drawers in, it was quite light. :P) One suitcase of clothes (and the rucksack) has now been put away, at least.
Oh, we also left a chest of drawers at the flat because the middle drawer is half-broken - it still opens but the bearings have fallen out so it's not as smooth. There was a chest of drawers and a big wardrobe at the house already, so with that and our drawers we should have more than enough storage (hopefully).
Aaand back at work today, in the first morning of testing buses. I left the house just before 7.45 and got in for 8.30, which wasn't too bad considering the Hagley Road traffic. I expected nothing less. I may experiment with maybe changing at Oldbury instead to get the 87 as that goes a different way, in case it's any quicker...
So that's that. There are still loads of things to sort out, like utilities and figuring out how the oven works, not to mention the rest of the kitchen stuff and the various things left at the flat, before we can even think about a house-warming, but with any luck we can get stuff sorted out soon. Considering how smoothly the actual move went, I'm not complaining. :)
Pictures coming when the camera's charged - I intended to do a 365 project of the new house from moving day onwards, but completely forgot in all the activity. But yes. Photographs soon.
PS: I haven't checked FB in ages - if you've done anything of note let me know, as it takes ages to check at work...