The Grey marked up: SIS (Suddenly in Suffolk) 12 on the blackboard the day after we got back from holiday. As each new day dawns the current number is rubbed out and replaced with a new number minus one day. This way we’re in no doubt as to how little time we have to pack our whole life into boxes. Day zero is the day we move out of Risden.
Sad to be leaving…
A note on that. Our home at Risden Clockhouse is elegant and beautiful with spacious proportions making it a lovely place to live. The sole reason I have to leave is the excessive road noise which rules out sitting in the garden in the summer or even opening a window in the house. Kent is becoming increasingly overcrowded and the roads congested and this has pushed up house prices so that for any house we would consider on a quiet road is now way out of our reach.
We have chosen Suffolk which is much more rural. There are few dual carriageways let alone motorways and so it forces a slower pace of life. It also means that there are many more detached houses in peaceful settings sometimes with lovely views.
Anyway, back to packing. Even though
I’ve been here before I obviously haven’t learned the lessons. A big house equals lots of room for possessions which quietly and slowly accumulate over the years. To be fair we have had a lot of downstairs at Risden, ideal for entertaining, and have bought furniture and many objet d’art to fill it. The prospect of getting it all into the Wendy house is not one I relish.
Packing started calmly, carefully marking up the boxes with their contents and intended room at its destination. We even had the neighbours round for a farewell party which was a great fun evening; they don’t make it any easier for us to leave!
I had one of my ‘Who needs possessions? They are so overrated; I’ll become a Buddhist monk and meditate in an old T-shirt every day,’ moments. Meanwhile The Grey adopted the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall approach, namely don’t ever throw anything away – even mouldy fruit can be made into jam. As if I have time to make jam!! Needless to say the two philosophies didn’t gel together particularly well. But to avoid argument The Grey simply hid everything he knew I’d want to chuck while I slung out any item that didn’t pass the: ‘what the hell is this and will we ever have any use for it ever again?’ test. Believe me, not a lot of thought came before the answer was ‘No!’ and the item gone.
The process ended fraught, exhausted and carelessly marking up boxes ‘stuff’ and ‘garage’ before reaching for a glass of wine. Our fate was sealed or at least the fate of the garage at the Wendy House was.
Gracie, the cat, meanwhile found it all a bit disturbing at first but as she got used to it she decided sitting comfortably on the highest possible box and surveying her domain wasn’t bad.