Too much life goes on in this house. Remnants of birthdays and homework clutter every surface. A pretty pile of Greengate tea-towels here, a cardboard car with working wheels there.

And so much more. A bag full of Richards clothes in the dining room. Three new light switches next to the TV. Cath Kidston wallpaper  tacked to the wall. A teachers award for my little boy on the mantlepiece. Upstairs a bottle of my favorite perfume wearing Buzz Lightyears head in lieu of a lid and the rocking horse on the landing draped in clothes destined for the Charity shop.

Everything is changing. All a sudden we have plans. (Plans SPOOK me). Richard is being made redundant in May. He will move in here when his world has been turned upside down and I will have to sacrifice my laundry room to make space for a tiny little home office for him. There is talk of a new kitchen. New white plastic scary double glazed windows and new bed linen we can call ours. Everything is changing. And I’m not good with change. Change, my Darlings makes my skin crawl. And yet it is much anticipated. Necessary. So very, very welcome.

So every weekend now is given over to making space. To offering  drawer-space to man-sized socks and head-space to somebody else’s ideas of  what home should be. To diy, gardening, painting and preparing Finley for the kind of changes he has no say in: to laying the ground for a future we cannot predict. A future with a man in it…

But not tonight. Tonight we rest. Tonight there will be syrup sponge pudding, and custard speckled with vanilla. White wine. A bag of Hershey’s Kisses.  The tea-towels will be safely stashed ready to decorate the kitchen I have already chosen, and the child kissed for being brilliant. There is a set of pretty new bedding on the bed and a gift wrapped in stripes on the pillow for Rich, who is dealing admirably with more change than anyone should have to tackle within the space of a year.

He’ll be here soon. Calling at his own house to feed his cat’s and calling in at the care home where his Dad now lives, to squeeze his hand, as he does daily, on the way. Arriving here exhausted after a long day and looking, always, for the sanctuary I sometimes am, in a house that thrums with life and scatters it on every surface.

Have a lovely weekend Housekeepers.x