The weather forecaster was predicting 100km/h winds and rain as I left home at 7am. Drove out to S's new home (31km), picked her up and drove her to her old house (115km) where we spent the next few hours cleaning as the removalists emptied each room.
By 11.30 we were back in the car and returning to the new house. This place is on two acres, with a very steep driveway up. Passably navigable in dry weather, it was a horrible mess by the time we returned. I could only make it three quarters of the way up - unable to gain traction in the mud, eventually I reversed back down then spun the car out in a muddy kinda Scandinavian flick to get it pointed back down the drive. Parked on a piece of near-level ground near their gate, grabbed a couple of boxes out of the boot and began the trek up to the house.
Turns out I wasn't the only one having trouble. The removalist truck couldn't make it up the hill either, and had gone for the day. So there's my friends with no bed, no furniture - we had a remote control but no TV; we had a key but no china cabinet; S was freaking about her freezer on the truck as it was still full of meat plus one dead cat. (Probably sounds gross to the uninitiated but other cat breeders will understand!) Her 22 year old cat had recently died and she didn't want him buried at the old place, so she popped him in the freezer until she could bury him in the new yard.
We spent the afternoon unpacking those boxes that were in my car, and planning where everything was to go. At 5.30 we decided to get ourselves some pizza for dinner so once more made the muddy hike down to the car. I managed to slip in the mud and came crashing down on my arm and hip, badly jarring my bad shoulder and neck, and covering myself with mud. Fortunately the worst of the mud brushed off, and we set off a second time.
So there we were, sitting in the near-empty dining room on a couple of camp chairs, with an upturned milk crate serving as a table, adorned with a placemat for tablecloth. It was peaceful, at least!
Got home at 9.45pm after a wild and windy drive, to find an "urgent" message on my answering machine. It was 11pm before I got off the phone and was able to drag myself into the shower, and thence to bed.
Friends. Couldn't do without them though.