The Great Canadian Adventure – Is it really four weeks already? (Originally posted Apr 4/09)

We’re into our final week here in the Apartment, so tomorrow we’re hiring bikes and cycling round Stanley Park, because it’ll be harder to do that once we move out. Today was a day I’d been dreading, because a) it started at 7am and b) I had to drive a big truck.

Now I know to many of you the 7am bit doesn’t sound too bad. Thing is, we were getting up at 7 so we could be fed, dressed, brushed and at the Car Hire place for 8.30. We’d arranged to collect a whole load of furniture from a number of different places, plus drop in at Ikea, and capacious though the new car is, it couldn’t hold all this stuff. So I got nominated to drive the big truck, but Mrs Dim hired it. It was HUGE. A one ton truck. And I had to drive it. On the wrong side of the road, with no sat-nav and no copilot. The plan (for we always have a plan on days like these) was that we would collect the first bunch of stuff ( a double bed, a two-seater sofa and a three-seater sofa), then Mrs Dim would go on to meet the rental agent at the new house and do the walk-round while I drove off to appointment number 3 to add a cabin bed to the loot in the van, then we would meet up at Ikea to pack the remaining gaps in the back of the truck with more Scandanavian junk and, if necessary, roll-mop herring. But I wimped out, and followed Mrs Dim all the way to the new house, and while she did the walk round, I unloaded the truck. By myself, using mystic powers granted to me by a guy I met in a pub. And the roll-out ramp at the back of the truck. That meant we all hauled off to Ikea and grabbed lunch before throwing a double and a twin mattress into the truck, along with a boxspring, which is a device invented by bed companies to make you spend more money and sleep higher up in your room. Then it was away to the next location to collect the cabin bed, which had to be dismantled before we could put the pieces in the truck. We did the traditional dance of taking off a piece at a time and then trying to get the reduced version out of the room, but we eventually admitted defeat and took the whole thing apart. I’m now dreading Monday afternoon, when I have to put it together again. We drove back to the new house one more time to unload the new stuff and met the neighbours. They’re a cheery lot, and mention was made of barbeques in the street, kids playing together and shortcuts to school. Life is looking good there, but we couldn’t stay long. I was itching to ditch the truck back at the depot and be done with it. We picked up an easy tea on the way, and booked the bikes for tomorrow’s jaunt round the park. On Monday morning I have an appointment with Customs to convince them our container has nothing in it of any taxable value, and then if I succeed it’ll be delivered on Tuesday. Wednesday we officially move in, but unofficially we’re off to Whistler to play in the snow as a surprise for Largest Weasel’s birthday. Don’t tell her!

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