Take three abodes; in order these are a one-bedroom flat, a two-storey two-bedroom townhouse and a two-bedroom house. Starting conditions are one person lives in the first, two people live in the second and both the first and third are full of furniture — in the case of the town-house heavy, obscure, antique wooden furniture. Our mission, which we did in fact volunteer for, was to assist in moving half the furniture from the flat to the new house, half the furniture from the flat to the town house, and half the furniture from the town house to the new house. Two people move from the townhouse to the house, and one from the flat to the townhouse… simple really.

To add to the complexity, the townhouse was full, years of skilled packing had left not an inch of storage space unused, so nothing could get in without something coming out first!

Seven adults and one half-adult assistant, one truck, nine hours and it was mostly done. A great deal of good natured cursing, many bruises, and the skin off quite a few knuckles, but it was done.

The electricity company had stuffed up, the power that was meant to be connected on Friday hadn’t been, so the last load of furniture and a monstrous man-eating wardrobe were delivered by candle-light, but it all added to the atmosphere of the post-house-moving bottle of red wine.