Thursday, 15 April 2021

Moving stories #3 - Loo Rolls And Tea Bags

Back in my first teaching job, I worked with a woman who always bought her loo rolls from Harrods. Her reasoning was this - in the sale, Andrex luxury paper was reduced if you bought in bulk. She lived in a large house, so if she bought a year's supply at a time, it not only worked out cheaper than Sainsbury's budget brand, but she also had a Harrods van arrive outside her front door, and it amused her to see all the nosey neighbours twitching their curtains.

Christmas 1984. Bob was in his third year at college, Steph had just been born. One of his fellow students had become an agent for "Traidcraft" - a new charity supplying fairly traded goods. She needed to sell a minimum amount for the first month, so urged the students to buy the stuff. I decided we should buy a year's worth of loo-rolls to help her reach her sales target

We'd recently acquired a small undercounter freezer- but we couldn't afford to fill it. I had read that freezers need to be kept full - even if it is just bags of water, or rolled up newspapers. My experiments had shown that you can use tea bags straight from the freezer. So we also bought 1000 teabags.

Then things went pear-shaped. Out of the blue, the charity which ran the Housing Scheme restructured things and we had to leave. The Manse at Crofton Baptist Church, Orpington, as empty, as they were between ministers. One of Bob's tutors told CBC that a poor student family were being made homeless- and these lovely people said we could live there. By now I had a toddler, and a 3 month old baby to feed. So again we used a removals company. They were very good - but as one chap unloaded ninety six loo rolls he asked me if we had health issues. And then when I told him the 1000 teabags were going straight into the freezer, I think he decided I really was strange.

We gradually used up the teabags and worked our way through the loo rolls. We were so happy in that house, and the church folk were really kind to us. But I have never felt the need to buy teabags or loo rolls in such vast quantities again!

And by the way, as we gradually unpack and settle in to Cornerstones, I feel I ought to point out that it is exactly twelve years today since we first took possession of this bungalow [pictures here]

UPDATE Wednesday went well - van loaded and on the road soon after 9am. We arrived mid afternoon and unloaded ( much faster than before - considerably fewer boxes) The planned fish'n'chip supper was late. We went to FIVE places before we found one that was both open and willing to take payment by credit card! Today we take the hired van back to Dorset then return in Bob's Skoda. And we will be properly, finally here! Unpacking is another story... 


  1. I am really enjoying these stories - and would love to have seen the look on the moving mens faces!
    When I moved to my current apt. I did it in stages - employees a small moving company twice - the first time for mostly my bookcases and books! Like your Bob I had many, many boxes of just books - I too got a lot of looks!
    Good luck with the last trip.

  2. I am loving the moving stories. We moved multiple times as a young family with 3 children. Sometimes for my husband's work and later for mine. Finally we settled in our current home and no one was more surprised than us that we have managed to stay here for over 30 years in the same house. When we first moved here I had a many boxes that had been packed up and never opened during subsequent moves, so I decided every one should be opened and examined . Much to my surprised one large box was a case of toilet paper that had followed up around for almost 8 years. Needless to say , it was put to good use. When we lived in Northern BC (farther north than we are now), my dear sister would send us case lots of necessities as it was cheaper than trying to find it locally. Your loo roll story brought back that memory. Happy unpacking and organizing. Stay safe.
    Barb from Prince George BC

  3. You are a marvelous storyteller, Ang! What a delight these moving stories are and am so glad to read you and Bob will soon be at the unpacking stage with all of your bits and bobs inside Cornerstones with the cars just outside.
    We also have a whole lot of books, wonderful books, delightful books, and helpful books. :)
    Has the wee rose (housewarming gift) grown impressively during the intervening years?


    1. Yes, the Absolutely Fabulous rose blossoms every year, thank you!! I will try and post a photo this summer

  4. try Eric's in Holt (onFish Hill). You can order and pay on line and then collect. Also, it is delicious. I would not recommend any of the takeaway outlets in Melton alhtough I know that others find them fine, and have yet to try Barney's (in Barney)

  5. Thank you. Always grateful for Useful Local Information.

  6. Dereham to Holt is about 20 miles, 40 miles round trip.

    Carry a little cash from the nearest cash machine. It helps.


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