Thursday, September 02, 2004

Moving house..

I helped my friend Jake move house the other week. After a few years 'up Narth' in Sunderland he can resist the calling of the Fatherland no more.

It was a few weeks ago but after undergoing an intensive course of therapy I've just found that Im able to talk about this experience. I was told that it would help. The physical scars mend, the mental ones....hey.

Jake, being the tight arse he is wanted to move house on the cheap. He responded 'ha' when quoted a sizeable fee for a removal firm to move him and his bits back down here. Why spend a fortune when I can get my Dad and my mate Watski to take a couple of days off and help me do it? He's a web developer and has promised to help improve the look of this blog in exchange for help, if it doesnt change then you know he's dodgy. There's pressure Jake.

I was actually looking forward to it, I now realise that this was my sadistic nature. Jake knows exactly how to appeal to my boyish side:

"why dont you come and give me a hand and there might be a drive in a big lorry in it for you"

"Lorry you say?"
I was trying to be cool about it. So the bargaining power was with me.

"Wow. Yeah, yeah. Where, when, what do I have to do?" Too late. You need to be imagining a big slobbery dog chasing a stick now.

Its amazing what the thought of a bit of 'men work' can do to the psyche of a man - when the day arrived I'd made myself a flask of coffee, started saying 'love' after every sentence and bought a copy of 'The Sun' especially to put in the part where the dashboard meets the window. I was in full part. I was all for getting a registration plate with 'Watski' on it to stick on the front grill but I thought that might be going a bit too far.

Jakes Dad drew the long straw and got the first drive of the big lorry up the motorway, sticking my big union jack in the cab and then fiddling with all the dials and buttons diverted my attention from my initial sulk of not driving it. Jakes Dad, for his part was letting all the lorries overtake us just so that he could flash them in and see them signal their thanks to us. It took us 5 hours to get 150 miles.

We eventually got there about 6pm, the plan was that we would stick all the stuff in the van within a couple of hours and be back in blighty for tea and crumpets before midnight. At midnight I was hanging out of my arse over a wall, what we thought was going to take a couple of hours took about 6 in all. We were knackered by the end, which was ok for everyone else, but a midnight finish in Sunderland meant that I couldn't enjoy my turn to drive as much as a freshly recharged and ready to go Watski would have done.

Never mind, I was going to enjoy this no matter what.

Before long we were on the open road trucking, I was Kris Kristofferson in Convoy, except I didnt have the big truck, the air horn or the busty girls. All I had was 2 people yapping away at the side of me wanting to stop for coffee every 2 minutes. I bet Eddie Stobart never had this problem. Couldnt they see I was a man at work

They felt inclined to stay awake so that they kept me awake. I wish they hadnt.

No wonder lorry drivers have all got strong arms. This signalling lorries in and out is a real game. Everytime you pass a lorry they flash you in, so you have to flash them back when you've been flashed in, then when a lorry passes you, you also have to flash them in too. It was great for the first 10 minutes as I was initiated into their gang by association. They didnt know I was new at this, how could they tell? I nearly stopped at a service station to buy a CB kit.

But my arms were going ten to the dozen, it was like Blackpool illuminations up and down the A1. I got fed up of it after about 10 minutes, but I couldnt stop doing it because I didnt want to be highlighted as a non-trucker. I was a trucker, I was driving one. When in Rome, etc..

We got back in the early hours, and I was absolutely dead on my feet. This trucking business is hard work. But I slept soundly in my cap and overalls dreaming of the open road.