I am moving house. I am leaving Leeds and the fates are conspiring to take me to a new life in the country complete with my own small-holding. A house where I can live with my whole family as the property I am moving to has an annexe for my Dad.
I read an article recently that described what I am doing as the ultimate middle class dream. I an not sure if that is true or not. I don't really identify as middle-class having never quite lost the pride in claiming to be working-class that my parents held.
So a week today, me and my old man will be packing a van, people carrier or summat like that and heading to our new home, field, orchard and paddock.
So in the middle of the school holidays with my terrible trio rioting merrily around me, I am trying to pack up boxes and seem to spend my life with my head in a bin liner.
Him Indoors has spent the last three weeks like Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh screeching "We need a plan. We need to pack" whilst ironically doing very little actual packing. I, on the other hand, with my non-life, have packed a million bin liners and several boxes.
I spend my days snalysing individual items to see if they are for the new house, the charity shop or the tip. Examples include ...
A teddy bear whose head hangs on by a thread and whose stuffing is escaping through his bum. This is the first gift my eldest brother bought my youngest child. It means a lot to me but realistically, my son has never played with it and my brother won't remember it. We see my brother very rarely usually around the birth of a baby or the death of a mother. So I let it go.
A blackboard and clock both in Fifties style with the legend saying "One more job till gin and tonic time". These speak to something in my soul so I keep them.
Countless dvds and videos - I work out that you can get most of these on Sky at some point now so let them go to the charity shop.
Home-made cards from the children and romantic cards from Him Indoors. Non-negotiable, these are going wherever I am going.
Menus from Law Society dinners at college. Too many memories and too much nostalgia to consider losing yet. They may even generate a blog post very soon.
My adoption paperwork. I keep these because on bleak days they make some sort of sense of who I am. Also when one of my children appears on "Who Do You Think You Are?" on the telly, these will be a useful starting point.
Do we redefine ourselves a little each time we move house I wonder?
What do you keep, send to the charity shop, freecyle or tip?
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye.