Seven to ten days after the ship docks is when you'll get your stuff, the shipping company said. We'll let you know as soon as the ship has actually docked, the shipping company said.
But it turns out that saying and doing are not the same thing.
What actually happened was that we got an email, out of the blue, from the shipping company telling us that they were going to deliver our container in two days time and they hoped that was okay with us, as if they had to keep it for any longer, we would have to pay them rather a lot of money.
So the week we thought we had to redecorate our bedroom, turned into a day and a half - which was not a bad thing, though slightly stressful, considering our incredible joint gift for procrastination. And it is great to have our stuff, though it didn't turn out quite as I had imagined.
In my imagination, our stuff arrived in the morning, I had a lovely couple of hours hoovering and mopping the floors I have been itching to get to for the last few weeks and in the evening we sat down together at our dining room table and toasted ourselves with champagne. We then retired to sleep in our very own beds!
What really happened was that by the evening, the whole house was crammed with so many boxes we couldn't move, the floors were covered in a thick layer of mud from the boots of the delivery men, our bed was in pieces, as we had had to call someone out to take it apart before we could get it upstairs and the sofas were in the garage as they hadn't managed to get them through the door. My back was in agony from all the bending and carrying and Rupert was sneezing and swollen eyed from all the dust.
I know we are very lucky and I know that life could be an awful lot worse, but I have to say it has been quite an emotional journey, unpacking our lives here, our Australian Citizenship certificates, our maps and books about Brisbane, everything, of course, covered in a thick layer of black dog hair.
However, three days on and I am sitting on the one sofa we managed to get into the house, my feet up on one of our own footstools. We only have about fifteen boxes left to unpack and the house is now looking likes ours and is almost clean. Ish.
But here's the thing - to quote, as I like to, Mr Bryson. Back in Brisbane, I thought I had been ruthless about throwing stuff out and only bringing the essentials. So why then, have we brought case-loads of swimming costumes – when we now live in the village that is furthest from the sea in all of Great Britain? Why have we brought boxes full of old soft toys of both Rupert's and mine – toys that we never even brought out for our kids because they were stuffed at the back of the cupboard-under-the-stairs and we had forgotten about them? Why have we brought Rupert's old skiing outfit and boots (“The kids might go skiing one day”. “Yes, dear, and I am sure they will want to wear your old '80's style ski outfit.”) Why did we bring boxes of dreadful paintings I did, back in the day when I thought I might be able to learn how to paint, Early Learning Centre percussion instruments for one year olds, boxes of cards and letters that have languished in a box, unopened since we left England 15 years ago? Why have we brought books and CD's belonging to my cousin Meg and a sock belonging to the Reeves? And what on earth, pray tell, are we going to do with all this stuff now?