I’m struggling to blog really but at the same time really wanting to capture these last days of a ‘normality sandwich’ such as it is.
Life is fraught, stressful, filled with anxiety. It’s hard saying goodbye to people we love, even people we just like! It’s tough to keep realising that popping out to pick up some forgotten groceries or toiletries won’t be so simple any more. It feels callous to be itching to get away like a little kid squirming away from a whiskery kiss from an elderly auntie knowing that we’ll be missed, that for us each passing ‘last time we’ll see you before we go’ is as exciting as opening another door on an advent calendar for the person we’re waving to they are sighing and holding back a tear. I hate that my standard breezy ‘see you soon’ when I lean in to hug a friend goodbye is actually now a lie.
Ady and I are frustrated with ourselves and with each other for not knowing the answers to all the new questions each day brings. Why would either of us know about siting static caravans when we’ve never needed to know before. How could we possibly hold the knowledge inside us already that we’ll be needing concrete slabs, wedges of wood – no one told us, google doesn’t help, in Willow it was just a case of winding down two stabilisers and deciding it was the spirit level that was faulty if the bubble wasn’t in the middle and you had to hold your mug of tea at an angle – we’d be moving on again in the morning anyway!
More things are being crossed off our job list each day – today I crossed off ‘redirect post’ and Ady deleted ‘find tenants for house’. Woohoo. Unfortunately I had to add ’email Royal Mail to add our new address onto their database as it doesn’t actually exist’ (post will be going to my parents instead) and Ady ended up with ‘arrange carpet fitter to refloor bathroom’ to his as our prospective tenants have requested that be done. So the list is not actually reducing by much. I have a driving licence with one address, a vehicle registered to another and an insurance policy for yet another, all technically my address, just none of them actually home right now.
I distinctly recall a very similar last minute slump before we left to go WWOOFing. The mechanic had Willow for weeks on end and then told me I’d be mad to take that campervan out of Sussex let alone all around the country. We didn’t have a tenant for the house, people at work kept looking us me with pity and Ady with blatant horror at the very prospect of what we were planning to do. Dragon and Star kept wobbling about leaving toys behind, saying goodbye to the chickens, whether the tooth fairy could still find them in a campervan!
This morning I had a chat with my elderly neighbour, she was telling me how fabulous she thinks our plans are, how wonderful Dragon and Star are and what a credit to us they are. She’d caught up with them the other day when they were out playing and they’d given her the full story of our planned new life and told her how ‘cool’ it was all going to be.
This afternoon the mother of our friend was telling me about how she spent the first year of her marriage living in a tiny caravan while their farmhouse was being built and it was one of the happiest times of their life. How beautiful Scotland is and what an amazing adventure we’re going to have.
This evening I replied to an email making arrangements to collect a puppy on the way up to Rum next week.
Right now we’re bogged down with the details, the last minute stuff that couldn’t have happened any earlier but always means you have too much to do at the end. We’re saying teary goodbyes, packing things up, heading off with uncertainty. In one week we’ll be over a third of the way up the country on our way, in two weeks we’ll be on Rum, awaiting our static delivery the following day. In three weeks I am very hopeful we’ll be in that static calling it home. We need some friendly hellos, some unpacking and some deep breaths and space to sit back and enjoy the view.