My neighbour's increasingly frail old black Labrador came to inspect the pear tree that climbs up the south facing wall of the cottage. He likes pears but I don't think he'll be around to see the crop that will arise from the blossom I've photographed. I won't see them either, I've just signed the contract for my new job and I have to be in my new country of residence for the 1st August.
The pupils at school suggested I just get rid of everything, pack a single suitcase and head off. It is tempting. I'm not at all attached to material things in a sentimental way. However, it is a bit too foolhardy. I might as well move wholesale and take what possessions I need with me rather than start again from scratch. I'm aiming not to have to put anything into storage, either it is coming with me or it is to be re-homed or dumped.
There are plenty of things to get rid of. It is a satisfyingly lenten thing to do, to scythe down what I own. I'm not used to thinking about the things in my possession, it is an interesting exercise. My mum wants my car. I will be in an apartment and I have a shed full of soon to be redundant gardening implements. There are 6 bookshelves of books and I'm currently sorting through what can be kept and what can go, I want to reduce it to filling just the two smallest bookcases. What happens to the university standard Physics texts? What happens to the extensive (but unopened since university days) collection of the writings of Peter Kropotkin? What happens to the obscure theology books I've read, digested and feel no need to keep. What happens to my cassette collection? The cassette deck is not coming out with me so I presume the tapes will find their way to the tip. I don't suppose anyone else would be interested in my collection of tapes of Sudanese pop songs sold to me by a travelling Sudanese bathroom fitter in Manchester. Tapes have not kept their sound quality unlike my vinyl which sounds great. Not everything that will be kept will be kept for reasons of utility. I'm going to be slightly frivolous. The turntable is going out with me: my little luxury. I'm hoping that there is a whole wealth of ageing Eastern European vinyl to find, collect and enjoy. The priceless (because they have no monetary value) heirlooms will come out too, my set of 7 Chinese immortals (there should be 8, but one of them wasn't), the old brass jos stick holder from my great grandfather's grave in Ipoh, my grandmother's dented silver teapot and the portrait of a great great aunt from the Wirral, but nobody can remember her name. I also ought not be without my two bears (Pinkers and Oliver) who are most certainly up for the adventure.
It is all slightly ludicrous. I could forget the lot, but I'm not entering a convent, I'm simply starting a new job, that it happens to be in another time zone is irrelevant. Life and the things of life are to be enjoyed, but always remembering the source of everything and giving thanks to God for it all and letting go of it all when it is time to do so.
And the weather is glorious and doing it's best to keep me attached to this obscure bit Wessex, but it is time to go.
And if you don't believe me about the possibilities of great Eastern European vinyl, have a look at this: Funked Up East