For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground…

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The above pictures show two lists that Clover made this week – the left is what she’s looking forward to on our trip, and the right the people and things she’ll be sad to miss. I’m hoping the obvious numerical imbalance is addressed as we go along.

As for the sitting on the ground: we’ve lost the sofas. With apologies to Shakespeare (and Richard II of course – who I can’t help thinking wouldn’t have sat around so long despairing if he’d still had the Cambodian visas and the removal people to sort out), the sad stories of the death of kings are optional, although I admit we are having to make our own entertainment around here at the moment.

We are trying to clear out a home that has been all-too lived in and all-too-little cleared out, and every day is a little more like camping.

There’s still a lot to do. I blame the basement. Seven years we’ve lived here, and thanks to all of the space underneath the house we’ve never really needed to consider throwing anything away. I’m trying to see the current rather painful process rather like an Old Testament Jubilee – a sort of seventh-year reset of our whole way of life that means we’ll come back somehow more sorted. Or just with a whole load of new ‘ethnic tat’ to add to the current collection. I fear the latter. The children are already talking about the ‘souvenirs we will be allowed to buy in every country’.

That doesn’t mean that Daisy and Clover are allowing me to throw anything away.  As soon as I try to get rid of anything they want it back. They are pretty fed up with our attempts to clean out the cupboards and freezer as well. Here in the worst-ever episode of Ready Steady Cook, they are eating some truly terrible meals. Paratha and baked beans, anyone? Cheese and salami pancakes?

When I’m not involved in the culinary version of George’s Marvellous Medicine I’m becoming embarrassed by my own continuing presence in SE23, which is a bit more Banquo’s ghost than Richard II.

I know I’ve said goodbye already, so I’m sorry I that I keep bumping into everyone on the way to the station. No wonder no-one really believes we’re going when they’ve said a tearful goodbye to me three times already this week.

I’m beginning to consider ducking down a dark alleyway every time I see a friend, just to spare them the need to do the whole farewell thing again, but I’m still delighted to see you all.  I just wouldn’t advise coming for dinner at the moment. Haagen Daz omelette? Frozen pea and Heinz tomato soup fritters? The possibilities are endless.


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