A pause between house moves

Well no. No gardening.

More like this:

Trying to get the contents of a four storey house into a one bedroom apartment… via the shredder, the recycling bin, the charity shops and the garbage bin.

If we still had a car it would also involve taking things to the tip.

But there you go, one small mercy.

My entire exercise life involves trundling with my trolley – crammed full of books for the Oxfam charity bookshop – up and back, up and back. Quite enjoyable as the autumn weather here in London is glorious. But really. Too many books are not making the move.

This is the absolute trimmed to the bone library that is travelling to Downsize World. Thank goodness we have a whole wall of books back in France – saying goodbye to so much reading material was a dreadful experience. Even if it all went back to the charity shop where I bought them over the past five years.

There has been endless admin. There has been waking just after 0414 am worrying about the online booking for the charity collection in November for the furniture that is not coming too. There has been wandering about with random objects wondering why on earth I even own a potato masher or so many vases. There has been sitting on the steps of the spiral staircase just sighing.

The spiral staircase is a stunner. Perfect for sitting and looking out at the garbos hauling away huge wheelie bins of your junk..

Seeing this picture reminds me that I need to have another go at the neighbours who own these encroaching trees. They seem ‘uninclined’ to pay for a gardener to prune the buggers. So I might have to book up a tree surgeon next month; do the drastic deed, and then return all the plant material to their side of the fence. Preferably on the steps of their immaculate front entrance.

Is that gardening? Neighbour wars in Hampstead? Another chore to add to the list.

In the meantime, have some pictures of our glorious solar jars. Made by women in Soweto township in South Africa. Our neighbour and friend Solene put in an order for quite a few of us friends and I am so glad I joined in. You can fill the jars with anything you like to give added reflection to the bright light on the lid. Agnes has bright shiny buttons in one of hers (three years old and still working brilliantly).

But I decided that the only bright shiny thing in my repertoire are the dried honesty flowers.

And they work a treat.

This is the brand if you are keen. They are not cheap. But as we all know, cheap solar lights don’t last a season.

And these last years.

And they are a reminder that my rural life is there, patiently waiting.

We go back this week. Hurrah. I can leave behind the unfinished horrors of the house move for a few more weeks. But the end is nigh. The date is booked. And I have been painting like mad in the new home to get things elegant and ready.

Boring laminate doors on the kitchen we inherited (installed in about 2000 I think) have had their SEVEN coats to turn them Sap Green.

And the mighty Phil is replacing white laminate stuff with lovely wooden chunky shelves.

The new kitchen worktops will turn up when they finally come off the shipping container and someone is able to drive a truck to a distribution hub and then to us. (The Palaver of Brexit and Pandemic and all the lorry drivers deciding to go ‘back home’ … don’t get me started.)

Pause for another deep sigh of frustration.

Here is someone I will be keen to see.

She had just discovered this ‘fun trick’ to get my attention while weeding in the kale patch.

I wonder if there will be any kale standing when I return. She has been neglected. Fed by neighbours, but not getting any play.

Sounds like me.