And so after a trail of men in sharp suits and flustered ladies have inspected every inch of my little house, I have chosen an estate agent and any day now a sign will appear in my garden telling the world that I want to move on.
Odd then how easy it is to fall in love with my little house again when it is so primped and polishedAll the flotsam of a life well-lived away or boxed and only the bare minimum of personality left on each surface. For people do not like personality. Apparently they can cope with a little mildew but a family photograph will stain their imagination.I have opted to allow the agents to do all the viewings for me, so that I do not have to bear it when strangers frown at my wallpaper and ask too many questions about my life within these four walls.
And I have delayed the photographs so that I can strip yet more of me from each and every room. So that when the house eventually appears on the home buying websites I will be selling just the bare bones: the big, fat lovely original floorboards and the pretty fireplace. the unusually large bathroom and the ceilings higher than those usually to be found in a cottage as old as this.
This then is the right way to untangle myself from the feelings of possession I am so prone to. To undress the house bit by bit and pack away emotion ready to be displayed elsewhere. It is healthy to strip away all my puttery nonsense and see problems I have long ignored and must now attend to or be ready to explain. To detach.
There is, I think, a button called detachment in my brain that I press when emotion looks set to derail me. I press it and grief and fear are suspended so that only plans for my tomorrows take up head-space. This has after all been a year of goodbyes.
Today then I will continue with my excavation of a life abundantly lived. Throwing my nonsense on to Ebay and trying to remember to buy the roll of bin-bags I have quite forgotten to purchase for over two weeks now. The dog will trot at my heels as I wander around the house and the smell of a garlicky concoction keeping warm in the slow cooker will pervade every corner and drive him half-way to wild.
Later I will take a brush to the leaves determined to carpet my floorboards. Wet leaves that blow in every time I open the front door. I will wrap myself in the huge grey cardie I now think of as a hug from my Mum, for it was once hers, and stand in the front garden pointlessly brushing away leaves that will wander back within minutes, and remembering what an absolute blessing it has been to have lived in this lovely lane for fifteen years.
I have to leave here. I understand that. I just hope I remember to pack my heart when it’s time to go.