Moving on UP


I'm back! 

Apologies for my absence - I have been moving flats and let me tell you, it hasn't been easy. 

Whoever said that moving was one of the most stressful things you could do was 100% right. And then some. 

From mid-January onwards, my flatmate Rachael and I spent most nights looking at flats online or actually going for viewings of flats that even my student self wouldn't have lived in. 

Then we found THE one. A beautiful, top floor penthouse flat with views across London. 

Actual view!

The deposit was paid, the packing began. 

We lived in a smallish two-bed flat. 'So I haven't got that much stuff,' I told my mum earnestly when I enlisted her help in helping us move. 

That turned out to be a little white lie. I did have a lot of stuff. A hell of a lot of stuff. It is amazing what 
you can accumulate in three years. 

Despite selling over 30 items on eBay and giving several bags to the charity shop,  still had enough books to run a library and probably more kitchen utensils than even Jamie Oliver has in his own kitchen. 

Anyway. Moving day arrives. I've recruited my Mum, Dad, auntie, uncle, cousin and my boyfriend, the Soldier, to help us. My uncle is designated van driver, my dad is here to crack on with the painting of the old flat, the rest of us will move the stuff from one flat to the other - just a mile up the road. 

'Too easy!' I say. 

We'll shove the boxes into the lift, load them into the van, drive to the new flat, load the boxes into the lift and send them up before dropping them into the new plan. 

'It will take a couple hours at the most!' I say confidently. 

But best laid plans and all… 

Firstly, it's raining. A lot. And when we start to load up the van with the first loads of stuff we discover we have a parking ticket. Oh and my dad's car has one too. Fabulous start. 

We arrive at the new place and start to unload. It's still raining, the boxes are becoming nice and soggy. 

We're in the basement and our new flat is on the sixth floor, remember. The top floor. The penthouse. But it's OK! There is a lift to take us up there with our boxes, suitcases and furniture… 


The lift is out of order. I repeat. THE LIFT IS OUT OF ORDER. We live on the sixth floor. We're in the basement. THIS IS A NIGHTMARE. 

After we gawp like fish for a good few minutes and make mental gestures with hands, we take action and head to the building manager's office. 

'The lift! The lift is broken!' we say in complete dismay. 

'Yes, I called the engineer yesterday but he hasn't got back to me,' the building manager says. 

'But the lift! The lift is broken!' we repeat. 'We're moving! We're moving today! We have a lot of stuff! We're on the sixth floor!'

The building manager shrugs. It's not really his problem. 

We walk away, the excitement of moving into our new place, slowing ebbing away.

The enormity of what we have to do hits us. We need to move our stuff into the flat. We're going to have to climb the stairs with said stuff. Did I tell you we were on the sixth floor? 

I take a deep breath. 

'Let's go,' I say, finding a relatively light bag to start off with. 

The ascent starts to sixth floor. Half-way up I'm already out of breath. As I reach the top I barely glance at the view which had sold the flat to us, I'm too knackered. 

Rachael and Soldier follow me in to drop boxes into the flat. We're not talking. We're too out of breath. 

We walk back down the stairs to collect more things, our neighbours from the other floors giving us pitying glances (but not offering to help.) 

We grab more stuff. We start the ascent. 106 steps to the top. 106 down again. That's 212 steps. The Millennium Dome has 320 so in just one go we almost walk up the equivalent of the Millennium Dome. 

We carry on. The sweat dripping from us, our hearts beating wildly in our chests, our breathing is shallow and our legs ache. 

For two hours we climb up, we climb down, with heavy boxes or bags in our arms. 

The nice view is forgotten as I curse and tell myself next time, next time we shall have a basement flat. A flat with NO STAIRS involved. 

For three hours we move stuff. Two full van loads of stuff. And we still have the really heavy things to go. 

It's still raining and some of the boxes break as I've overloaded them. My cousin wants to kill me. Hell, I want to kill me. 

My arms feel like they are about to drop off. We've easily climbed the Sydney Opera House (425 steps), Big Ben (632 steps) and even Canary Wharf (1,600 steps.) To be honest, it feels like we've climbed Mount Everest (58,070 steps.) 

To say we're flagging is an understatement. We feel like we've run a marathon. A marathon that not one of us has actually trained for. Even Soldier is worn out, and well, he is a soldier. 

Then we see a shining light. A white van. A white van with 'Lift Repair Man' emblazoned on the side. 

We run to him with open arms (We didn't really. But only because we weren't able to run anywhere.)

The Lift Repair Man does his job and after just 10 minutes the lift is back up and running. A working lift!   

The final van load of stuff is thrown into the lift (we're beyond caring about if something actually breaks) and we empty it out within the hour. 

We're finally in. We're too exhausted to chat. We've been awake and moving for 14 hours. My family are ready to disown me. I certainly don't blame them. 

We're surrounded by boxes and a lot of flat-pack furniture to be made up. But we're so tired we all have to sleep. 

The next day the new flat finally starts to resemble a home as we put our stamp on things and I learn a few things. 

1) I have a pretty amazing family. I don't think heaven hired removal men would have stuck around to trek up those stairs 
2) Never overload boxes. You'll only regret it 
3) Stop hoarding stuff. You don't need that skirt that actually hasn't fitted you since 2006
4) When picking a flat with a view, check the lift is actually working before moving…

So we're in now and we can actually chuckle about the horror of moving. We won't be moving in a hurry that's for sure. 

Oh, and this is our view from the sixth floor. Kinda makes not being able to walk for a week worth it. Kinda... 


  1. Ugh, I absolutely HATE moving! I hate packing, I hate moving boxes up and down stairs, I hate unloading boxes just to load them back up some stairs - BUT I love unpacking, so that kind of makes it all OK. It must have been awful for you - I've only moved 3 floors max before!

    1. You're wise - I think 3 floors max will be my limit next time!!