The television has gone from the corner of the sitting room. The rug, the pictures, the clock, the big table, the armchair, the cushions, the colour, the mirrors, the atmosphere. The room is very big and beige. So big that without my glasses I can’t see clearly from the door to the windows.
But I still managed to step on the only glass in the flat.
It made me shriek.
The colony of moths that took residence in the red rug are now homeless and bothering me by flying into my hair. Pesky varmints.
My blood sugar is as high as an elephants thigh and my eye continues to weep for Wales.
After breakfast in the square, an Aero Chocolate bar at East Croydon Station and butter mints in the car, its not surprising I feel sick.
For the last two weeks I have been getting up at 6.15 readying myself for Vanessa’s show, getting back to the flat and packing. I put the packing in the hall, in boxes, bags and suitcases, trip over them then prepare for the following morning.
As the days passed the shows got easier and the hall got fuller.
Now I have an empty reception room (estate speech), and a full hall full of different things. Pictures, weights, boxes of jars and condiments, lamps, hangers, plants and a hockey bag full of bedding.
No car, I came back on the train, and no raincoats should it rain….. This morning I had Dan the man and B the free. They rolled in last night, separately, very very late as I tossed and turned in my bed. My temperature raging, my throat grating and my body fighting with the mattress which felt like barbed wire. By 6.30 I was feeling a little better.
Then the ‘oosbind arrived with the hire van.
Gods Gift, Paul, the best neighbour in the world, and Dan, the best nephew in the world, loaded the van with the very heavy stuff. And by 1.30 we set off. B, me and the tv in her car and Jim with everything else in the van.
We arrived within twenty minutes of each other. The cottage was bathed in sunshine, the apples on the tree are so heavy and abundant the boughs are even too low for me. I have to bend double like a Japanese warrior to get under them.
I swept the garage free of leaves, laid the tarpaulin with Gods gift then the 3 of us set about unloading the van without swearing, shouting or busting our backs. Jim organised the furniture so neatly that B and I have put him up for Ravensburgers jig-saw puzzle awards, there’s even room for my little red car. Jim then drove me to the station.
The station is extremely quiet, two lines, a waiting room, a ladies lavatory. Trees wave their greenery just as they have done since the fifties. There were 9 of us standing silently waiting for the 6.51, which came bang on time. I counted the minutes between stations, and the turn round time, I watched the people come and go, the baby gurgle as her mum fed her from a little jar of pre-cooked vegetables, then the arrival of a rack of ramblers. The noise that ramblers make when they climb on the train with their rucksacs, nuts and rasins and hearty talk was enough for me to want – to quote Alexander Armstrong – ‘Kill Them’.
Got out at East Croydon and ran to platform 1. No train so ran back to platform 4. Bought a cheese and something sarnie and a bag of crisps, no wonder my blooody sugar has hit the roof.
Got back to the flat within the hour and started to hoover and dust.
Tomorow I have a wonderful show with Dreda Say Mitchell a briliantly articulate crime writer, Paul Roseby a brilliantly articulate director of The National Youth Theatre, Ann Mann, and Joe McElderry. His operatic album sold out within minutes….tune in and hear why…
After the show its back to the flat, more packing, another London night then the arrival of Jim with another van on Monday. You may wonder why we didn’t move everything in one go, you may wonder, why we didn’t hire somebody to move it for us. It never occurred to me to get somebody else to do it and had I done it in one go it would have been even more of a nightmare than it’s been. I have been able to let go bit by bit which has helped.
I really am putting one foot in front of the other, and as is the way with life nothing stays put. So I, and it, and all the stuff is moving on footfall by footfall.
That’s it for tonight. I’m sliding into my bed, drinking hot water and honey to ease my scratchy throat, read both books for tomorrow then it’s ‘lights out’ – although in London its never really ‘lights out’, when you say ‘lights out’ in the cottage it really is ‘lights out’. The only thing you can see is the white of my eyes – which at the moment are more a drowsy pink.
Sleep well and thank you all for your strong support….I won’t say I couldn’t do it without you because of course I could, but you don’t ‘alf help.