December 8 – Take-down day at The Grand Jury Room, Oxford

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

We made a very early start leaving Bolney in West Sussex at 5.30 am as we had to get to Bletchingdon to pick on our trailer and on to Oxford for just after 8 am. As usual, you can never be sure how the traffic will be on the motorways and so we had allowed plenty of time for that. As it was, the traffic was light but still a surprising amount of vehicles about considering the time of the morning.

We arrived at Chas’s place just after 7 and soon had the trailer on the car. We didn’t like to knock on the door in case he wasn’t awake but he heard us anyway and made us a nice cup of tea which we appreciated as it is a very frosty morning.

We arrived County Hall just after 8 and proceeded to get stuck into taking the mosaic down. We had hired a company called AnyVan to carry the stands to Woodbridge for us while we took the mosaic in the trailer. They were due to arrive between 12 and 2 pm so we had a time constraint. Chas arrived about 10 which was great as it is good to have three of us breaking down the exhibition. By 12 we had the mosaic loaded into the trailer and the stands loaded by the front door awaiting the delivery van. We were a little worried about the weather as there had been several snow flurries during the morning and Chas said that the snow was even laying in Bletchingdon. We hoped it would stop to allow us to get to Suffolk without any problems which luckily we did as it was clear all the way with no snow or rain.

The AnyVan vehicle arrived just after 2 only for us to find that although I had been very clear that it was to be picked up today and delivered in Suffolk tomorrow, they were still going to deliver today. That caused some anxiety as we did not know if we would be able to get any keys. Some frantic phone calls to Clare followed, none of which were answered. The boys said they had some other deliveries and pickups to do on the way so hopefully, we would be able to get there ahead of them and sort something out. Also, I realised when we got near to Woodbridge that the postcode that I had given the delivery boys was not correct and was going to take them out into the ‘wop-wops’. I rang them and they had gone to Reading, not exactly on the way to Suffolk, and they were about an hour behind us which gave us some leeway. We drove straight to Clare and James’ house. James took us to Melton and we had just been able to completely offload the mosaic when the boys arrived with the stands. So everything was safely locked inside and it all worked out for the best. They had several more deliveries to make and estimated that they would get home about 1 am.

Then we drove out to Hacheston to our self-contained cottage where we will spend the next two months. Charlotte was there to greet us and show us around. It has a small kitchen, a nice bathroom with a big shower, a queen size bed and a lovely lounge. We will be very comfortable there. It is about a ten-minute drive down the A12 to Melton and Woodbridge but out in the country where we like to live.