-- October 3rd, 2015 --
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.”
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!
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