Made a quick foray from N Wales to Devon this week for an overnight stay with parents-in-law, who moved on Monday from a 5-bedroomed house to a 2-bedroomed bungalow on the edge of Dartmoor. This is downsizing on a grand scale, and various family members have been helping with packing and re-homing items of furniture over recent weeks. I volunteered to arrive on the evening of the actual move to do some of the multitude of jobs which always arise in the immediate aftermath.
I'd been tipped off about the need for shelves in the utility room and bedroom, an extra rail in a wardrobe, a sticky handle assembly on the garage door, and the need for some safety rails around the property. I always find the business of loading the necessary tools and bits and pieces into the car to be a tense (and time-consuming) affair - difficult to remember/imagine every item you're going to need in a day's work.
At last the car was packed and, rattling a bit, I headed off on my 6-hours drive, fortunately able to take a break near Crewe to visit an old school friend who, coincidentally, is also preparing for a move to smaller accommodation and kindly offering lots of his old books to school. Given the state of the car, I had to make alternative arrangements for the actual removal of the books, but we enjoyed looking through them.
The following morning the jobs started before full light and went on through to dusk. Numerous holes were drilled, plugged and screwed, fittings were lubricated, many items fixed to walls. The up-and-over garage door was a bit of a problem. It turned out that the handle assembly was broken, but in any event offered hardly enough grip to allow the locking mechanism to be turned. In the end, I fixed a mole wrench onto the spindle to provide additional leverage. Not an aesthetically pleasing solution but, for the time being, one which works. And luckily I have more than one mole wrench 'in stock', so it was no great hardship to leave one behind when everything else went back in the car.
As darkness fell I said my farewells and headed north. By good fortune, I was able to break my journey north near Kidderminster to pick up a significant load of recycled cast iron guttering bought the previous week on Ebay. It will all need stripping and re-painting before it can be fitted to our cottage and outbuildings to continue my program of replacing the plastic rain water goods wrongheadedly installed here over the years. So ... some stock items were left in Devon (I almost ran out of the rawlplugs I'd seen fit to take) but new ones came home with me as I arrived just before midnight. Glad to see my bed!