Thursday April 20, 2006
6 days to M-day
I ticked off the last of the items on my task list today. No great sense of achievement I’m afraid—I’ve done these things out of necessity, not inspiration, or much dedication, even. I’ve gone over the plan for our departure and now I have two days to get the place clean and tidy one last time before Graham returns on Sunday.
On Monday he’ll hit the joint like a mini-hurricane, sweeping everything up into cardboard boxes and black plastic bags. My tasks for the day include a last visit to the doctor’s surgery in Spilsby and a provisioning trip, which will need careful planning, to see us through the remaining time here and to our first night in the caravan.
Tuesday will be a repeat of Monday, leaving us ready for 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, when the removal van will pull up and, to the encouragement of a constant flow of hot, sweet tea, our goods will be loaded into containers to be carted off to safe storage.
That will leave us somewhere around mid-day with an angry Dolly, who will spend the time safely but not happily in her travel box in the quietest part of the house and who will step out to find the place empty apart from two camp beds, two folding chairs, and two exhausted humans.
After lunch we’ll all have a siesta and then Graham and I will spend as long as it takes to scrub and clean the house ready for the hand-over. That done, we’ll have our dinner, watching a DVD on the laptop for relaxation, and then we’ll hit those camp beds in an advanced state of exhaustion once more, to spend our last night here. Dolly will have to choose between the beds for her night’s sleep.
As early as we can manage on Thursday morning we’ll pack our travel stuff into the car, lodge Dolly safely in her travel box behind my seat so Graham can comfort her on the journey and, with a cheery wave, we’ll set off on the six hour trip for Somerset, and the caravan.
Somewhere around mid-afternoon we’ll arrive, unpack, give Dolly her delayed brunch, and settle down for a well-earned siesta. When we wake we’ll have started the second Somerset period of our lives, dinner will be preceded by the nice bottle of wine Graham tells me is already standing in the fridge, and we’ll raise our glasses to the future.
How do I feel about it all now that we’re entering the last stretch? That’s a hard one. There’s some excitement in me, of course, along with happy anticipation. A great sense of relief, and gratitude, to have made it to this point. Mostly, though, I’m tired. I’m looking forward to some good long recuperative sleeps when the job’s done, and also to the return of time to think, and to create. Not much of the contemplative or creative about me just now, I’m afraid. My vessel is not so much empty as squashed flat and squeezed dry. All, in all, though, it’s quite exciting, really.