So, the simple solution is, if you live somewhere, don't move, in the world, anywhere, ever. Just stay there, go on holiday a lot, stay in hotels and have someone else do the hard work. The stress factors involved with moving house are just so great that it is not worth it. However, for a variety of reasons, I had to do it. Bit like a salmon jumping up a waterfall - stupid but, the shit had to be done.
Thus, that shit decided, everything was packed and shipped across europe. Welcome to the craziness that is Belgium. First, you find an apartment, which can't be on the ground floor as that would be way too easy. So you end up with an apartment that exists on floor 300 (or so it seems) that you can only access via a lift, which fits 3 slim people in (or one really fat one) but no furniture in it. An external lift must be hired, one which basically hoists your shit up the outside of the building to be taken in through the window.
Simple enough? Is it buggery bollocks. For the lift to access the window, it needs to have the correct position and to ensure that position, you have to pay the police to put signs outside 2 days before saying "Don't park here or else" and funnily enough, no one takes any notice of them. To be fair to the po-lice in Belgium, they don't have anything interesting to do, so stealing cars is a passion.
Arrived at the apartment at 8:00 in the morning, when truck and lift-truck are both due and, cars are parked in the way. Now, if you phoned to complain about an armed robbery, rape, sodomy or gommorah, I doubt the response could have been quicker. The po-lice arrived, prompltly broke into both cars in under 5 seconds and they were towed away. Hooray - didn't pay that fee for nothing then - and it was entertaining for the lads while we were waiting - "fucking scouser couldn't have done it that fast" "naw, bollocks! fuckers left the wheels on".
Lift-Man could then position himself and 'hoick' his ladder track up to the window. All that was needed now was for the weather to hold, i.e. no rain, no snow and for the guys to work together in a team and we're done. So, we wait (for the lorry to arrive), and we wait, and we wait, and we wait. An hour and half later, the truck turns up - fucker got lost - DOH. He'll be getting GPS when I win the lottery then!!!!!!!
Meanwhile, Lift-Man was laughing through his silly moustache as he is paid per hour, so he's getting paid to sit on his arse drinking coffee. Twat (but, not his fault to be fair).
Time to organise, me and E at the top, S and F at the bottom. Twats down there making it awkward by loading stuff toward the back of the plate on the lift, E cursing because he hates heights but has to climb out to pass stuff into me (and no, I'm not going out on the precipice - I'm bloody paying). I must admit though, I felt slightly guilty at the look of terror on E's face when the lift started to move down whilst he was still on it. "Fucking hell - I shit me fucking pants then" pretty well summed up his feelings.
However, what was planned to take 2 hours actually took 63 minutes. Good work guys. Not a single thing was broken, not a single thing was carried upstairs. No thanks to the measuring tape of a certain person who shall remain nameless.
Now, all that has to be done is the unpacking shite - boring!
The moral to the story - don't move, far more stress than it's worth (and too bloody expensive).
ps congrats guys - you know who you are S, E and F (and thanks for everything)
pps well done Mariposa - top job on all packing, organisation and love - besos y te quiero XXXX