Melissa Keighley: Happy New Home

Melissa is never moving again

However bad you think moving house will be, believe me, the reality is much, much worse. Having your life boxed up, jostled and dumped in a new place, where nothing fits, nothing works, nothing makes sense, is simply horrible.

“Happy New Home!!” scream the cards on the new mantelpiece, in cruel scathing mockery; you gaze back at them with stupid loathing, wondering how on earth you’ll ever be happy again in this mess of boxes and junk, without telly or wifi, with a shower so complicated you’re scared to touch it.

‘I just want internet’

The removal men dumped all the stuff they couldn’t squeeze round the stairs on to my drive and scarpered. They had also helpfully packed all the duvets and pillows into a box I’d labelled “office equipment – unimportant”, so for three nights I had to sob myself to sleep under an overcoat. And I couldn’t email to complain, or even beg for help, because I had no internet.

Why, why, is it so flipping impossible for them to sort your broadband when you move? Every other utility – water, gas, electric, council tax – you just tell them, and they rub their hands in glee, concoct a gargantuan final statement, and amend their records accordingly. Ring your ISP to give the happy news, and the conversation goes like this:

Me: I’m moving on the 19th June. Would it be possible to transfer my broadband?

Them: (Stunned, incredulous silence).

Me: Um…hello?

Them: (Clears throat, whispers) This, my child, is your only hope. When the new moon is in Jupiter, slaughter a sheep under a poplar tree just beginning to blossom. Scoop out its brain, then carefully pack the skull with dill pickles and quince. Gaze at your reflection in a slightly scummy pond while reciting this poem five times:

Riddle me ree, riddle me roo

(Why are Talktalk such insufferable idiots?)

…after which we might be able to hook you up again in July 2022. Now, would you mind answering a few questions about our customer service?

I run a business from home. Every minute without internet is a minute I’m not earning. Every minute I’m not earning makes me irritable and panicky. It’s a terrible combination.

‘I’m not a hoarder (honest)’

And why do I have 45 boxes of junk? I’m not a hoarder. I love throwing stuff out. Why did I leave all my furniture behind for my buyers and just take all my junk? Why do I have so much Christmas wrapping paper, so many pairs of tights? What kind of apocalypse have I been envisaging where these items might save me?

As the removal men sped into the distance and left me sitting on the floor in my old house, waiting for The Phone Call, I concocted a lengthy fantasy they were not removal men at all, but unusually slick burglars, who’d taken all my guff.

Still, if you’re reading this I guess I got wifi from somewhere, so that’s something. Probably a McDonalds car park. Before a clown starts hurling apple pies at me, I shall leave you with this final thought.

Never again. Never, never, never again.