AS if the festive season wasn't enough of a Bear Grylls-esque survival experience at the best of times, this year I decided to add in a thrilling extra layer of difficulty by moving house last weekend. After all, nothing says Christmas like living on the edge of your wits, right?

The morning of the flit dawned. Things didn't get off to the most auspicious start. Particularly when the movers rocked up having been told by their gaffer it would be "an easy job" only to be confronted with piles of boxes stacked in various rooms like a giant game of Jenga.

Alongside was a hotchpotch of furniture that wouldn't look out of place in an episode of Hoarders – including my embarrassingly large collection of side tables – to heft down from our second-floor tenement flat to the waiting lorry.

Barely half an hour into proceedings three of the four-strong team schlepped back up the stairs to impart the news that their colleague had walked off the job. "He has only been with us a few days. You have broken him," they chorused.

To be fair, the remaining trio were cracking lads and took it all in their stride. Even when calamity struck after I forgot to empty the reservoir in the tumble drier it didn't faze them. The tenement close resembled a flume at a water park. Wahey! Where did I pack my arm bands and goggles?

A running commentary echoed through the rooms keeping me abreast of the ongoing decanting progress. "Are you taking the tiles off the roof?" they joked at one stage. A beat. "Wow, these boxes are light. That must be you taking the fresh air out the flat …"

On and on it went. At one stage I'm sure I floated up out of my body and looked down on the scene below while imagining I was doing something far less fraught or gruelling. Like negotiating a Brexit deal.

Slowly but surely the rooms were emptied until one final adversary remained: the books.

How many books is too many?

"HAVEN'T you heard of e-books?" asked one removal guy, clearly wishing he was carrying a Kindle aloft on a velvet cushion rather than contemplating the cardboard mountain containing a personal library amassed over four decades.

I mumbled something about "reference material" hoping that the boxes wouldn't split open and reveal the entire back catalogue of Jilly Cooper and Spice Girls biographies. "Google is amazing," chipped in his colleague. "You can look up anything in seconds."

Oh dear. And they hadn't seen the Big One yet.

A few years back I did some writing for a football-themed book. The publishers were kind enough to send me a copy. It is a hefty tome weighing 40kg – that's almost 90lb in old money. A beast. It had slipped my mind it was there until we were cleaning out under the bed a few days before.

I decided it was best to confront this head-on. And duly tasked my husband with breaking the news while I hid behind a curtain in the living room.

A sharp intake of breath out in the hall told me that his mission was go. "40kg!?" came the cry. "Is it the f****** Domesday book?" Matters weren't helped by the fact that its subject matter pertained to a particular football team and at least one of the movers supported a rival club.

Eventually, though, the Big One was carted down the stairs, into the lorry and off to its new home where it will spend many more happy years lying forgotten beneath a bed. I'm never moving again.

Let the wild rumpus start

THEN comes the joy of doing it again in reverse at the other end. For days now, half-unpacked boxes have filled every available millimetre of floor space. Navigating your way around is akin to conquering the super round of the Krypton Factor, necessitating mental agility, physical strength and nerves of steel.

Even going to the loo feels like the equivalent of Antarctic explorer Captain Oates venturing out into the blizzard. "I may be some time …" Crash, bang, thud. I have already put my foot through a lampshade and stepped on more sharp objects than my frazzled nerve-endings care to remember.

There came an unexpected visitor to blow away the cobwebs when the previous owner's cat decided to make a break for freedom at their new home and hotfoot it back. She was rather indignant to find interlopers swanning around her former house.

Having squeezed in through the tiniest of gaps, the disgruntled moggy hid behind the dishwasher, emitting a resentful burst of meowing every so often. It took four of us, half a tin of tuna and a tub of Dreamies to coax her out again.

Anyway, it's almost Christmas. And guess who is hosting all the family on Tuesday? Yup! By the time you read this I will have assumed the mantle of domestic goddess whipping up culinary delights – or be rocking in the corner clutching my childhood teddy. It really could go either way at this stage.

Anything from the drinks trolley?

THE sole purchase for the new home so far: a bar cart. Which is perhaps all you need to know about my state of mind at this juncture. Particularly since I remembered mid-move that with all the endless paperwork and packing, I had completely neglected to do any Christmas shopping.

Thankfully, in a burst of organisation, I had pre-ordered a turkey back in October otherwise it would have been instant noodles for dinner. Although there may be some edamame beans at the back of the cupboard. Maybe a rusting tin of Royal Game soup from a festive hamper yonks ago.

Still, it matters not a jot because my bar cart is a thing of beauty. I have loaded it up with booze. There is something wonderfully soothing about the clinking of bottles. Almost like a lullaby. I'll just rest my eyes for a second. Wake me up in time for Hogmanay.