Moving house would make the most laid back of people score high on a stressometer. I am not the most laid back of people. If Jeremy Vine was recording me right now he would be getting very excited. In fact he would most possibly be exhibiting signs of stress too. Wakeful nights, palpitations, tears, are just some of my symptoms. You don’t really want to know the other ones.
In two days we are moving out of the house we have lived in for ten years. During that time a lot has happened:
We had one mega extension and the worst cowboy builders.
Our three children have had their teenage reign here and several rites of passages – some that we know about, some that I suspect we don’t.
Our dog Millie gave birth to seven Tibetan Terrier puppies (one sadly didn’t make it) right where I am sitting now. We kept one of the puppies, Susan, and she is sitting on my feet as I write this.
My husband has had three jobs and a year of no job. He now works in London.
My three novels were written here and the most recent Bright Stars was written in my beloved room of my own, a.k.a. the shoffice (shed/office).
I am learning to let go. I’ve had to de-clutter on a massive scale, prioritising pieces of the children’s work, pictures, clay diva lamps (there were eight of those and I could only relinquish the one that was furry). We gave our family tent to Calaid and have had numerous trips to the tip and charity shops. (The dartboard went to the tip but came back again. Just in case I take it up as a hobby.)
DS1 went to university in September. All the way from Devon to London, to SOAS, to study Japanese and Linguistics. He is a hoarder and I have had to deal respectfully with his collection of Manga books, Pokemon cards and every single train ticket he has ever bought.
DS2 who is on his (second) gap year has had to be held at gunpoint to clear his room. He’s done very well at the eleventh hour, but is hanging onto the pretty much complete collection of Harry Potter lego that we bought so that one day he might sell it on eBay.
DD1 has deforested her room and we can now see the carpet which had to be replaced a year ago as you could still smell the bottle of vinegar she spilt during her ‘shop’ years. ‘I’m going minimalist in my new room, Mum,’ she said. ‘We’ll see,’ I thought.
And what about the stuff I left behind at my mum’s when I left for university in 1986? She gave it back to me when I got married and it has stayed in a box. The box has followed us from house to house and I look in it every time we move. And every time we move, I think about getting rid, but I can’t quite do it yet. Though I did make some progress: I binned the legless Sindy doll with the bouffant 70s hair and the normal sized boobs.
There are some things that cannot be taken to the tip or recycled. Memories. And the bodies buried in the garden (two guinea pigs and one puppy under the cherry tree). The cat’s ashes are coming with us.
See you on the other side.