Saturday – ten days till we fly

Youll have to excuse me for being quite plain and informative. Im just trying to keep a record – both to remind me of this time and because my therapist once said that it was important for me to keep lists of things Id achieved in a day as well as things to do for the next day or the next week: something to do with realising I achieved things as well as always feeling like I was running behind. I dont know. He put it in more fancy therapist-speak than that obviously. Anyway. This is where we are at ten days before we fly.

There are boxes everywhere. Mainly in the living room, where an area the size of our storage unit has been carefully measure out in the floor – if we cant fit everything in there, its just not going to be stored.

Upstairs are four large suitcases and two small ones. The large ones will come with us on the flight and have to contain all the clothes and books and pictures and knick-knacks we cant do without for the next wee while – the two smaller will come out with family members in a few months time. Thats all were moving with. Oh, and a poster tube. I hope theyll take it as hand luggage. Things are stupid-expensive to post.

Yesterday I packed two of the suitcases. Allowed 23k per case, they currently weigh in at 22.9, which I think might be chancing it a little, but at least thats two done. One has a DVD case, an enormous one, containing pocket after pocket of TV box set discs. The ones that wouldnt fit in are in envelopes at the bottom of another, with a stack of books packed in tightly beside them. The similarly-sized film -filled case went over with My Beloved when he went to find a flat. Im worried everything left wont fit in the remaining cases, but theres time to repack, if not. I think. I hope.

Back to today. We ordered all our furniture from the US online site of those crazy Swedes with their crazy names in bed this morning and ordered it to hopefully arrive at the flat the day after we do. This was a triumph of global consumerism: wed gone and sat on sofas and bounced on mattresses and picked out what we wanted at their Bristol branch a few weeks ago, down in Somerset for a wedding and driven there by a lovely local blogger after a hungover breakfast in Bath.

I vacuumed upstairs and stared dolefully at suitcases while My Beloved went to buy the ingredients for tonights ultra-British dinner of sausage and mash and gravy, then packed up the last of the things for the clothes recycling thing while he made a bread and butter pudding with marmalade I made last week at my little mothers house.

Then, when a lovely Brightonian friend with a little car arrived, the two of them took seven ginormous bags of clothes and a big sack of barely-worn shoes to the charity recycling place, and I started throwing out things in the bathroom.

The rest of the day: we cleared out the garden, Miss Tickle and I – she having some mysterious affinity for plants, and I having none at all. How small is my plantaffinity? After more than a year of being here and discovering that the planters wed so hopefully planted all the lovely things in had no drainage at all, followed by a rainy rainy summer and an even rainier winter, I have busily been growing mainly buckets of mud with a small dead stick sticking out of the top. Trying to work out both what she could salvage and how the hell you could get rid of 8 buckets of mud in a town centre patio garden took up most of the afternoon. Buckets of mud that really smell, may I add. Another thousand years and they might have been peat, or mud, or coal. But I think you might have to sit on them first.

The cats did sit on them, of course. They have been helping. Widget, mainly. Shes sitting in every suitcase you want to pack, every box you want to fill, and in every bucket of mud you otherwise have no idea what to do with. She is helping. Squirrel has been jumping to the top of any stack of boxes we make, and watching carefully and suspiciously as her house gets deconstructed around her.

I cleaned the bathroom, scrubbing all the grouting and the tiles on the floors and the space behind the toilet seat. Its the thing about leaving a rented house; you have to leave it perfect, and the earlier its done, the less chaotic I feel, and then I just have to wipe over it next week and its done.

In the bathroom, lotions and potions are lined up to be used, years of random Christmas presents and impulse-buys – we may both smell like a cross between a fruit-market and a whorehouse from up close this week if you come near us, but well be cleaner than possibly ever before.

That will be the theme of meals for the rest of the week, eating all the things in the cupboard in increasingly random concoctions before whatevers left over becomes a grab bag for any lovely person in Brighton that wants it.

Friends will arrive in a minute for their Very-English dinner. Im even going to make them play board games after it, though they dont know it yet.

In the meantime were sitting in the emptier garden, drinking a bottle of champagne to celebrate the fact that there happened to be a bottle of champagne in the fridge.

Everythings going ok, I think. Though theres a very low-level anxiety still present that just comes from being me. But everything seems to be ok. Sorry for a boring post.

I promise you, something calamitous *will* happen to spice things up over the next ten days.