You may have been wondering what I’ve been up to in the last ten days. On the other hand, you may not… but wonder no longer. These are moving times, and in a sudden cataclysm we have had to vacate the premises, put all of our stuff into storage and decamp to Loughborough. The actual moving day was in the end quite straightforward although I had a total meltdown in the morning due to being left on my own with a hundred boxes and a thousand things still needing to be done: but help was at hand, in the shape of Tom, our daughter’s excellent boyfriend, who spent half the day (and half the previous day) helping. The removal men proved to be cheerful and helpful and got everything into the store room while I sat on my swivel chair and wrote my diary (one must always have something sensational to write in the storage-room).
But wow. Have you ever been to one of these places? It’s like the Dr Who of the seventies, and I kid you not: endless branching corridors with steel doors to right and left, all closed (hang on, I know what it reminds me of – the nuclear bunkers in my first novel) and all containing who knows what; and what’s worse is you can hear the trundling of trolleys, the whining of the lift and the howling of the damned as they try to wrestle their belongings into position – but you never see anything. It’s a totally freaky place.
Actually I did see one poor woman: she was totally unprepared, had packed everything into crumbling bin-bags instead of boxes and was haemorrhaging bottles of shampoo and shower gel as she trundled to her locker, wailing ‘I’ve got so much stuff!! I’ve got so much stuff!!’ I, too, was horrified by the amount of stuff we had but also quietly smug about the fact that it was all snugly wrapped in boxes.
As for where we are going to store our actual bodies, we are first of all staying in Loughborough with family, and then I shall be house-sitting in Wales until the end of November. After that, we shall see…
Now all of this might look like disaster. We have no permanent home, no foreseeable future and half of our stuff has been given away or recycled. But it doesn’t feel like that – and no, this is not just me putting a brave face on things. It actually feels quite liberating, getting rid of crap that has just sat in boxes for years; donating clothes you no longer wear and books you no longer read: it’s a way of defining yourself differently. And as for the uncertainty about the future, that too feels exciting and liberating. I have no clue what’s going to happen and it feels great.
So don’t cry for me, Argentina. Because life goes on – and life is good.