Il fait un temps de chien

So… we’ve started packing boxes. Wine boxes. I’ve had the pick of Sainsbury’s finest wine box rejects, and I’m slowly but surely putting our whole life into them. A couple of boxes of CDs. To take the boy band CDs or not? I seemed to go through a mid-twenties crisis in which I spent a lot of money on Hanson and the Backstreet Boys. Steve’s never had such a dalliance with pop, being metal to the core. A couple of boxes of vinyl. The fruits of my labour as a 16-year-old, Guns N’ Roses, Megadeth, Metallica. Surely Steve and I have many duplicates, and many on CD, but I’m not parting with them. I had to give up my Kerrang! collection and my tapes are now in the loft, so my vinyl is the last memory of what it was like to be 16 for me. They’ve been through all of my life, up and down the country, and they’re not going anywhere. Sets of magazines. I’ve got lots of back issues of Conde Nast and such like, which I’m loathe to part with because they were as expensive as books, and they remind me of my mid-twenties’ dream to live like a young Rajah, as Gatsby would have said. I had such high aspirations. The last hotel I stayed in was a fairly bland one in Marrakech. Certainly not one of the exclusive Conde Nast ones.

And I’ve started packing up Steve’s Haynes car and bike manuals. They’re his bibles, so leaving them behind would be like telling Moses he couldn’t bring the Covenant on his exodus. I don’t know when he owned half of these cars and bikes, but surely, engines are engines? Still, if I’m not throwing my Conde Nast copy of Mauritius away, I can’t force Steve to part with these. To be fair to the old Steptoe-alike, he is doing well throwing ten things away a day. I figured this was a sensible amount to start with and he’d become more savage as he went along. I was right. 10 things isn’t a whole house in one go. It’s not a skip outside where you can’t bear to see all of your treasures depart. It’s just a couple of extra bags in the bin every week. Barely noticeable.

Even Jake’s got in on the act, asking for his own boxes (which will as sure as eggs is eggs be unpacked many a time before April) although he was slightly disappointed we don’t have to drink all the wine in them in order to use them. I even got a:

“When we move to France…” from him yesterday. So it’s a when not an if. It’s all good. At least it’s determined in his mind now. I have a sneaking suspicion he might not live that long if he asks Steve to go and get him a can of Irn-Bru from the shop at 10:20 at night again, though. We had quite a gleeful conversation about Coke rations and not having a shop to go to this morning.

“Just think, we’ll be able to say ‘but the shop’s shut!’ knowing full well that this will get us out of any of Faunters’ demands for pot noodles/Irn Bru/Coke!”

“And we can ration him… he hates coming shopping!”

“And we can tell him there were no crisps left!”

“And that there was no chocolate!”

Steve wondered if Jake would soon catch on when he saw everyone’s lunch boxes at school, filled to the brim with crisps and chocolate, but I soon put him right. I know full well that French canteens serve lots of haricots verts and other vile things. I feel like it might be a war, but the sight of all those other children enjoying(!) a plate of runner beans might make him feel like he should as well. He likes radishes, so you never know. I can’t see La Maman buying bottle after bottle of Nutella and worrying whether her petit enfant will eat the snacks she’s put in, so hopefully Jake will soon blend in.

Or else, he’ll make all the other children go on lunch strike.

I’d tentatively looked at house prices, and it hurt. I don’t think I’ll get what I was expecting. I’ve also been worried by the amount of houses that look like they’ve been professionally dressed. Immaculate kitchens, photo-free lounges, pristine bathrooms and bedrooms. All in lovely shades of cream and brown.

Luckily my house is mucho cream and brown, but even so, I’ve booked some storage and I’m planning on paring the house down to ‘best-dressed’ House Doctor style. I’ve watched enough lifestyle t.v. to know how to sell. October 1st is the date I’ll start filling it. Here’s to a quick and lucrative house sale, though I doubt it.


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