Date Posted: 20th Aug 2012 at 10:17 AM
We had a 3-piece suite given and had to go and pick it up, so we hired a van to do so...what could possibly go wrong?
Well, first of all, my hair colour had taken not quite as I had expected and went bright ginger! I'm not averse to ginger hair, in fact have always been rather jealous of women who have it naturally. It's just I'm dark-haired and mine was kind of a black-red before this.
So there I am, standing out like a sore thumb (or imagining I was). We picked up the van, which was much bigger than I expected, and as my tiny daughter was to drive it we felt a few misgivings, as did the manager of the hire company!
Poor Sophie had to have the seat jacked up so she could see out of the window, which meant that she had to practically bend double to set and release the handbrake, which was a little unnerving to say the least.
Anyway, she did really well and soon began to enjoy the ride. It was at this point that we realised we had left hubbie and kids far, far behind. They had been following us, but we had been so intent on manoeuvring the van that we'd forgotten all about them and ended up losing them altogether. As I'd forgotten my mobile and Sophie had changed her phone the previous day, there was no way to get in touch with them, nor them us, and hubbie didn't have the address of where we were going, so couldn't even meet us there!
I won't go in to the details of finding the house, squeezing the huge settee out into the street, me falling flat on my face in the process with everyone laughing at me and half of the street watching, but if you have ever seen Laural and Hardy delivering a piano, you'll have a basic idea of the farce involved!
I'm a strong woman with feminist tendencies, but on that occasion men were definitely needed!
Okay, we made it back home. Now came even more heavy lifting, but this time hubbie and son were there to help. We hauled the old suite outside, unloaded the other from the van, I fell over yet again, which caused more merriment and NO sympathy yet again!
We then loaded the old suite into the van and Sophie and I, along with #1 son, transported it to the local tip. There we were informed that because we had a van, even though it contained just household waste, we would need to obtain a permit before we dumped it. That meant we would need to drive the stupid van to the town hall, obtain a FREE permit, then drive back to the tip. This would mean missing the half-day deadline for the van hire and having to pay double.
Sophie put on her 'poor-little-girl' act which made the 'gaffer' tut and say gruffly: 'Oh, just tip it, then!'. We hauled out the suite (with the 'gaffer' and his minions just standing watching) and threw it over a fence into the skip, with me almost going in after it! (I should mention that I'm a tad clumsy!)
More hilarity from my ever-loving children, then back to return the van. The manager worridly gave it a microscopic inspection to make sure we hadn't broken it, then gave a sigh of relief. However, he was a tad confused when Sophie complained that the sun-visors had no mirrors! The poor man was probably glad to see the back of us.
We then drove to the local chemist, purchased a slightly darker red for my hair and covered the ginger. I'm actually quite thankful I had such noticeable hair...now if anyone from the horrible day sees me again, they may not recognise me!