Yesterday we received our "everything" - all our possessions that were so efficiently packed and sent from Tokyo to Germany by boat.
At 8am on the dot, a large lorry with two shipping containers arrived. Surely we didn't have that much stuff? No, only one container was ours. Tim went out to greet them, but "them" was only the driver.
"Who's going to unpack?" he asked.
"You and me!" joked the driver...
Thankfully he was joking. About 20 minutes later two men turned up to unload our 107 boxes. Only two! It took an army of about eight to pack it all in Tokyo.
I made myself scarce by taking the dog out for a very long walk. It wasn't long enough though and they were still unloading the lorry when I returned. In all, it took about 3 hours to fill our house up with boxes. It was done with a great deal of huffing and puffing and thumping down of boxes marked 'Fragile'.
While they were unloading, I tucked myself into my corner with the PC and before long I was one box away from being trapped in my own heavy box-fort!
The view from my desk.
Tempting as it was to stay there, Tim took it upon himself to start unpacking the kitchen stuff and putting it randomly into cupboards. I had no choice but to assist. He left me to it and went to set up the TV and build some cabinets. Rhiannon enjoyed rediscovering all her toys and other forgotten items.
Remember, we haven't seen this stuff since before the earthquake as it was all packed on 1st March. So much has happened since then.
My predictions for where all our stuff would go proved pitifully inaccurate.
I thought there would be heaps of spare space in the kitchen and nowhere near enough bookshelving. Thankfully, the books all fit with room to spare (for new books!) - we'd found some more bookcases in the basment and they are widers than our ones in Tokyo.
But the kitchen is a nightmare. We have far too many drawers in all rooms and not enough cupboards or surfaces.
At the time of writing (well past midnight on Thursday) we've only managed to unpack about a quarter of it all. The kitchen took me the best part of the day with lots of rearranging of everything. It's still not right - at the moment there's no cupboard space for food. A rather important ingredient in a kitchen, don't you think? And I still haven't discovered all my "for best" crockery and serving dishes. Goodness knows where they will go. In the hallway cupboard perhaps?
As for the books.... well, I'm a bit anal about my books. Tim asked if he should unpack them. I tried not to screech "Noooo!", but failed. He should have learned this from last time. I'd rather he unpacked my clothes than my books. Why? Well, in my mind, they all have to be put into categories; travel, history, anthropology, specific favourite authors, classics, antique classics, gardening, hobbies etc. Once I've done that, I can place my hand on a specifically required book in a matter of seconds. A friend asked if I filed them alphabetically or by ISBN number. Well that's just silly... isn't it? Hmm... maybe another day.
I have to say that the Japanese packers were absolutely incredible. We've spent the day buried under mountains of wrapping paper discovering items packed neatly within other items, like Russian dolls. So far (and I hope I haven't jinked myself here) absolutely nothing has been broken.
There have been some funny moments. Like unwrapping a mysterious object to find it was a lonely and lowly coat hanger! And unfolding wraps of paper to find a handful of very miscellaneous items from our kitchen drawers which I forgot to go through before they got packed - clips, a bottle opener, a spoon, and a single plastic toothpick.
Today will be spent doing much the same.
This time my predictions are:
- There will not be anywhere near enough 'display' space for my many ornaments,
- I will need to utilise another room's wardrobe space,
- I will end up rearranging the kitchen yet again,
- Some items may have to disappear for our stay here due to lack of display space. That's OK, it's good to have a change of view.
And I hope all my surprises are good ones. I packed a few little presents for myself somewhere in the midst of it all so I'm looking forward to finding those again.