all change at Barnes

-- October 3rd, 2015 --
last heather Will any­one who doesn’t live on a Lon­don train line under­stand my post title?  It’s what they say when you come to the end of a line.  “All change at Hammersmith/Waterloo.”  So we do.  All change, that is. You know how everything’s about “mind­ful­ness” these days?  Our local book­shop is filled with tomes on the sub­ject of mind­ful­ness, liv­ing in the moment, appre­ci­at­ing life as it hap­pens, BEING there, focus­ing atten­tion on the here and now, and beloved­ness of the ordi­nary.  The book­shop owner even com­plained to me that she had lost valu­able children’s pic­ture book space to the new genre of adults’ col­or­ing books.  Because appar­ently when you’re col­or­ing, you have no choice but to be “mind­ful” and live in the moment. I think I, by con­trast, need to write a book on “mind­less­less.”  If I appre­ci­ate things any more, if I live any more in the beloved moment, my head will explode. It’s finally come to this: Avery’s last day at home before start­ing uni­ver­sity. We are all a bit like peas on a hot shovel today, to quote Lord Peter Wim­sey.  Full of last ques­tions about things to take with her — cut­lery and tow­els, push pins and a copy of ”The Great British Bake-Off,” our com­fort telly-watching these last few days.  The inevitabil­ity of depar­ture hangs over the house, a com­bi­na­tion of excit­ing, exhaust­ing and not a lit­tle of the Great Unknown. Clothes have been sorted, her books put into piles of “Take to Oxford,” “Take to New Apart­ment,” and “Oh, God, I have no idea.” oxford book stack The church jum­ble sale lady has come with her sta­tion wagon and car­ried away all the things no longer needed before this big move out into the real world: sweaters and potato ricers, Avery’s pho­to­graphic white box and my pasta machine, nov­els I have two copies of and mis­matched drink­ing glasses.  Quite over­whelm­ing, the clob­ber.  “Jum­ble” was just the right word.  I was too trau­ma­tised by it all to take a pic­ture. It’s really the com­bi­na­tion of Avery’s going and our impend­ing depar­ture later this month that’s made it all so over­whelm­ing.  Either one would be enough to make me a bit crazy, but together they form a per­fect storm of ner­vous ten­sion that is hard to describe.  And yet per­haps it’s eas­ier this way, leav­ing the home where the three of us have been so happy, to set­tle our­selves into a per­fectly new empty nest, a pris­tine place with no mem­o­ries, yet. Although I’m excited about what the future holds (a bit), it is a wrench to drag myself away from the safe, cosy cocoon of Barnes (where I’ve been hap­pier, really, than any­where since we left New York) and to the urban, edgy, cool and rather intim­i­dat­ing world of South­bank, our new home. Leav­ing behind my beloved ring­ing cham­ber and the friends I’ve made over the past nearly five years…  How I will miss them! saturday learners7 Comments | Read More