Monday, August 6, 2007

Normal service resumes

The Womud - courtesy of Karen Williams
You can find more images of Womad 2007 at Efestival

It's been a manic couple of weeks away from the Ministry as I took a fortnight's leave. I spent 4 days at the Womad music festival in Wiltshire in a series of very, very, very muddy fields. I camped with Kit Kat and the lovely Loobie Lou, along with a whole group of other Womad favourites and a huge teepee. The music, as was the case last year, was amazing and the company made the whole event perfect. We even came to love the mud in all its diverse, shiny brown glory.

When I got home from Womad, I faced a week of moving from the Heights to the Loft. This has been one hell of a job, carting boxes and furniture down six flights of stairs and then up another three. I could not possibly, at all, in any conceivable way have managed this without the help of a whole bunch of people who gave of their time, vehicles and consistent good cheer - though the latter cannot be strictly said to be true of me at all times, I'm afraid! - and the roll call of angel troupers is as follows - in alphabetical order, so I don't have to worry about prioritising:

The Bean - who despite feeling like he wasn't contributing anything, made sure that the Heights was finally emptied of the remaining detritus to be given away, and without whom, the new estate agents would have had to get a skip for

Handsome, talented and clever Ben - who simultaneously combines the abilities of comedian, actor, raconteur, interior designer and all round style guru with effortless finesse and one of the most mischievous and filthy senses of humour I've ever encountered after mine

'Koala' Chris - who helped us move on the very first day of transferring stuff to the Loft on one of the most beautiful days of the year, when there must have been so many other things for him to be doing that were more pleasant, and who will haunt Kate's nightmares for years with his rendition of a German porno soundtrack - Ach ya.....

Gorgeous and universally fancied Dan - who leant us his sack truck (why, but why do they have this name??!), sat and teased me on the grass and has yet to fulfil his promise of finding me a nickname that equals the one I've given him of 'Spoon' (because he's a little stirrer)

The ever wonderful G - who has painted my new front room already and displayed tenacity beyond the call of duty in her attempts to move furniture and boxes despite everyone's protestations not to, and who always managed to find just one more 'little thing' to do before leaving the Loft each night at some ungodly hour

The gorgeous, bubbly and ever-faithful H - who leant of her van, her time and her partner with endless generosity, and who kept me laughing and singing at points when I thought my head was going to spontaneously combust

The man of peace himself - no, not Jesus - but James, who kept us all in coffees, me in green teas and had enough distance to gently suggest when I really needed a night off. Never has the sentence "You seem a bit stressed" been more understated

The endless energy force that is Kit Kat - who wowed everyone with her ability to run up and down stairs in flip flops whilst carrying impossible loads and who never failed to chivvy us into managing 'just one more' load

Charming, helpful and beautiful Lainee - who made the kitchen at the Heights cleaner than it has ever been in the whole time I lived there, on the very last day we cleared it, who stayed up late with me in the Loft watching episodes of Black Books even though she had work the next day and who always has a little dance to share

Beautiful and calming Loobie Lou - who cleaned two rooms in the Loft, provided constant good humour and never failed to make me laugh like a drain with her repertoire of facial expressions. My particular favourite has to be the 'I know I'm not meant to say it but I've thought it so here it is' grin

The big Bro himself, Matthias - who defies belief with the speed with which he can carry heavy objects up and down stairs without complaint and with the stamina of an Olympic athlete, even though he would much rather have been in a pub garden with his mates. Love ya BB.

Good natured and strong armed Phil - who lifted more than all our combined weights over a period of three days without complaint, and who sat through an hour and a half of Ntl's technical support hotline with unyielding patience until my home internet connection was sorted

Strong man Steve - who dragged himself away from a sunny garden and several cold, cold beers on one of the hottest days of the year to drag boxes down from the Heights into the waiting car, and who kept us all laughing with his and my brother's endless battle of wits

To all of you, the very, very, very biggest of thank yous. Moving house, like splitting up with a lover, is one of the most stressful times of your life and I really couldn't have done it without all of you. Moving house, that is, not splitting up with a lover. You've all made me feel like one of the luckiest women on the planet with your dedication to my move and reminded me that people are good, kind and capable of some of the most remarkable acts of generosity. I am starting to believe that altruism does exist after all.

Finally, a big welcome home to the Chief, who I have sorely missed over the past two weeks. He came to visit me this morning at the Peace Cafe for my volunteer shift and complimented me royally on my latte skills, which set me up perfectly for my third shift here. He's back off on his travels for the next week, so I will have to continue to miss him for a while longer yet. Have a great time, Chief.

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