In the last nine months, two of my close friends have packed up, rented their flats and moved to Hong Kong. In the last nine days, another great friend has landed a job in London, so that he and his wife will also be packing up, renting their flat and buggering off. As we made our last van run today I pondered the fact we were all still standing. And slightly envied the fact that none of them had had an inquisitive toddler unpacking, climbing on and pouring juice into their boxes.
I’m quite proud of myself.
Apart from last weekend and today, Rod has mostly been working his socks off in Aberdeen. I’ve been meeting the financial advisor, showing round letting agents, auditioning builders, making tea for the handyman, chatting to the electrician and dragging my mother-in-law to B&Q on pensioner Wednesdays.
On the occasions when it’s threatened to overwhelm me, strange things have happened. One Tuesday, as I stomped up to Beanscene with the wee man mercifully strapped into the one place he couldn’t cause trouble, I bumped into the barista at the door with an armful of cardboard.
“Are those boxes?!” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“Can I have them?” I asked.
He looked at me strangely. “I’m moving house,” I explained, to his relief. The charming chap even kept them and brought them out to my car later. That, and other odd coincidences like a neighbour’s friend turning out to live two streets away from me in Aberdeen, have made me wonder if they were fateful signposts that I’m on the right path.
I’ve enjoyed the growing feeling of space, in my house and in my head, as I’ve binned, recycled and donated carloads of stuff. I even got up at 5.30 on a Sunday morning to go to a carboot sale. I should actually write a whole blog post on that – the characters I met and the banter we had made standing in a freezing warehouse for four hours totally bearable. I sold every single thing and made £110 to boot.
Today we took the last of the furniture, pictures and kitchenware to the place we’re storing it. We loaded the van with the clothes, TV and Wee Man Equipment for our rented Aberdeen house. On Wednesday I’ll pack what little clothes and plates remain and leave this house. At some point we’ll need to go through an abbreviated version of this process, when we buy a house. But that may be a while. I’ll have recovered by then.