Despite the snow, sub-zero temperatures and the trans-atlantic distance between England and Canada; our goods which were last seen being packed into a container back in mid October, have finally found their way to our new home in Edmonton, Canada.
The removal agents were keen to keep me updated on the progress of our items throughout the entire journey. For the ‘small’ trip across the Atlantic, I was readily informed that the container had been loaded onto the ship and was about to set sail (on a ship called ‘Sandra’ no less). Once arrived in Canada, and being transported from East to West by rail, I was provided with regular updates on where our items were during the long trip – the updates being the equivalent of the ‘container diaries’ as they slowly progressed and undertook a rail trip across a huge country that many would pay a fortune to experience.
That said – and slightly later than originally expected, I finally heard the news of their imminent arrival in Edmonton. Even when they’ve arrived, you have to seek clearance by Customs so off I trundled to the Customs Cargo depot to seek the required stamp of approval – rather like the one in Calgary for collecting my cat (see previous blog – who’s settled in very nicely, thank you for asking). They don’t make these buildings easy to find or in any shape and form, welcoming, so I took my youngest kid along as a source of sympathy should things start to go pear-shaped.
There was a slight altercation in the fact that the shipping contact details on our goods were in the name of my husband, and despite having a marriage certificate and no end of documentation to prove my identity and linkage to our worldly possessions (see previous blog topic), they wouldn’t accept me as the one to sign for ‘our’ goods. So, a hastily requested email from said husband arrived at the customs front desk, and this appeased the process. Once I read, agreed and signed against all the requirements that I can/can not do with any of our possessions, they gave me the sought after ‘stamp’ on the documents and our goods were cleared.
You may be thinking, they’d get delivered at this point? Alas, no. Getting clearance means the rail company can release our container to the removal company, who can then schedule us in for delivery. A few nice words and a sob story about having no furniture or clothes for the last 8 weeks plus the fact that Christmas is coming and at this rate, we’ll be depicting a modern day enactment of ‘Tiny Tim’s’ family, from the famous novel, ‘A Christmas Carol’ – the removal firm agreed to deliver the following day.
To say I was excited to see our ‘stuff’ again, would be an understatement. The removal firm arrived as promised, complete with actual container on the back of a lorry. I’m not sure what I expected to see, but I could’ve sworn it looked smaller than the one we originally sent. My eyes deceiving me, probably down to the sheer size and scale of everything Canadian, I was asked to stand outside and witness the ‘seal’ being cut from the container. I guess this is to show there’s been no tampering with the items in transit, but I’ve got to say it was a slightly surreal experience, watching them slowly open the doors of the container and seeing the familiar UK removal firm boxes in the back. A small sigh of relief too, as I’m not sure what I’d have done if none of the items looked familiar to me at all!
It’s surprising the things you are pleased to see the most, are not always the items you expect.
My piano (an upright, not a grand), which was an inherited gift from my Grandpa, had the removal firm chaps staggering in under the sheer weight of it. Not massively large, but extremely heavy, they did a wonderful job amidst the snow and ice. I was expecting it to sound off-key and in desperate need of a re-tune, but it’s fantastically still holding a tune and satisfactorily complete! In fact, all our items – bar a wooden picture frame – made it in entirety.
One factor I hadn’t even anticipated but how on earth we didn’t have any more breakages I’ll never know, was the degree of cold everything had clearly gone through. In taking out insurance for our possessions, I was of the mind that it would cover any fateful sinking of said ship, or the container being ‘dropped’ from the huge cranes used to load and unload shipments. It never occurred to me, that cold may be such a key factor, and I’ve got to admit, we’ve been extremely lucky to get away so lightly.
Everything took a few hours to defrost and come up to temperature. Our bathroom items had all frozen in their tubes, old (and well-used) casserole dishes were showing cracks in the pottery, so we unpacked and left things to acclimatise in their own time. Only a glass ornament suffered from the glue not being able to withstand the frozen temperatures and had a clean break – which is now fully restored.
Everything is unpacked out of boxes, but with limited furniture as yet, it looks more akin to a jumble sale in many of the rooms than a welcoming invitation to sit down and relax. That said, everything is here. And judging from the Canadian scale of things, we’re going to need a lot more items to fill this house!!!
On that note, I’m just off to the shops – back later …. 🙂