Sufficient unto the day is the paperwork thereof

Thursday February 9, 2006

“There you go, Dolly,” I said, sticking the last piece of tape on the big envelope. “That’s the last of the legals all done and dusted.”

She looked up from the remains of the slowly disintegrating catnip mouse I got her yesterday and said nothing. Had she been of a mind to voice an opinion I suspect her response would have been along the lines of: “About perishin’ time.”

She’d have been right, too. I’ve procrastinated, dillied and dallied to an unconscionable degree on this task. Not from any reluctance to move house again but from a growing dislike of paperwork of any kind. I loathe filling in forms. I detest filing. No matter how diligent I may be, and that’s never very diligent, there seems always to be a stack of paper waiting to be filed away and another needing to be shredded. And that’s despite the glee with which I make the shredder my first port of call when the postman has visited so that I may destroy the junk mail without ever opening it.

I suspect that the contents of at least one major tree arrives in my mailbox each and every year. I recycle just about all of it in as responsible a manner as possible but even so it’s a horrid thought. Especially when I consider the likelihood that I’m not in the least unusual and that this pattern is repeated in the vast majority of homes across the world.

But, there you go. My part in the conveyancing game for this house sale is just about finished.

I passed the packet over the post office counter, dismissing the clerk’s dismay at the cost with a cheery: “It’s worth every penny.” And, outside, standing for a moment in the icy wind that whistled across the carpark, past the Co-op and round the corner by the post office door, I rejoiced.

On my way back to the car, I popped into the Co-op and bought a newspaper, starting the merry paper chase off all over again.

Each time we pass through one of these significant milestones on the path to our house sale I experience a further detachment from Lincolnshire, as though it is fading away around me like an old photograph. I feel neither regret nor joy at the prospect of leaving. I like Lincolnshire, and its people, but life moves on and you have to move with it. If this sale goes through, and I do have the feeling that it’s all clicking into place nicely, I shall drive away with an easy heart.

Meanwhile, down in Somerset, Graham made a last pass over the estate agents in Williton and Watchet, and gathered yet more paper as they pressed house details on him. We conferred as he was on the ‘bus to Taunton, and to Starbuck’s, and came to a mutual decision that there’s nothing more he can sensibly do. He’s sounded out the market, got a good feel for what’s likely to be available out in the villages, beyond his reach on foot, and now we’ll put the whole house hunting issue on hold until we’re both of us down there and free to search out that little house in the countryside that’ll do us nicely for the next few years.

Back home I contemplated the mess of documents left over from my reluctant clerical exercise, sighed, stacked it and put it on one side for attention tomorrow.

“I’m going to have eggs on toast for lunch, Dolly,” I said. “And then I’m going to have a long afternoon nap. I’ll sort this lot out tomorrow.”

Half an hour later I was sleeping happily, Dolly the Mega-cat pressed firmly against my legs, and the day was more or less done. Sufficient unto the day is the paperwork thereof. Leastways, that’s what I reckon.



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