Posted in Writing

Moving On

Mary Pickford writing at a desk
Mary Pickford at her writing desk (Image via Wikipedia)

Though I’ve lived in this house for 21 years, every so often I feel an irresistible urge to rearrange the furniture. While new neighbours and their furniture vans have come and gone all around me – never more so than just now – I’m acting as if I’m still settling in.

This weekend, the acquisition of a new bookcase was the trigger. Once that was in place, I felt compelled to move the sofa to a different spot. Next an armchair, then a rug and a table – and before I knew it, I was upstairs rotating my bed 90 degrees. Realising this new layout provides a much better view on waking, I wonder why didn’t I use it before. Then I remember that I did, at least once, about ten years ago. I repositioned it during a subsequent feng shui phase when I discovered it was unfavourable not to be able to see the door from your pillow.

But no matter how much I move things about, I still never arrive at the perfect layout. It drives my husband mad. It’s bad enough when he can’t find his car keys: not being able to find his armchair is far worse.

A psychologist would have a field day with my restlessness. Is it all just displacement activity to avoid the things I know I really ought to be doing? That unfinished manuscript calls….

One thing’s for certain: I could never be one of those people who moves house every couple of years. I’d be in a constant state of exhaustion.

Fortunately, relocation is not on my agenda. Which means I’ve still got time to get the house straight before I die. In fact, that could be the title of my autobiography: “I’ll get it right before I die”. (On my gravestone will be “At last! An uninterrupted lie-in!”) That’s if I can ever decide on the best place to put my writing desk…

(This post was originally written for the Hawkesbury Parish News, November 2011)

Posted in Personal life

I’ll Never Leave…

You'll never leave
Image by Libby via Flickr

Spring may be a traditional time to put your house on the market, but suddenly it’s getting out of hand.  “For Sale” signs are popping up all over the village.  By the time you’re reading this, even the house next door to me will have fallen under the auctioneer’s hammer for the first time in two generations.

Is it time to take down the famous boundary sign at the Monument end of the village that says “Hawkesbury Upton – You’ll Never Leave”? (I’m never sure whether this is a threat or a promise.)  Or is it all a grand game of musical chairs?  Maybe the sellers are just changing places within the village.  In the last few years, three families in my street have moved only a few doors down.

I for one intend never to move house again – and not just because my daughter’s got dibs on the house when I die.  (Even the kindest children can be chillingly matter-of-fact about death.  She asked Grandma the other day to leave her a particular handtowel in her will.) What really puts me off moving is the thought of having to pack.  I’d need to wade through so much paper to decide what to keep and what to chuck – boxes of letters from family and friends, piles of magazines from my journalist years, brochures and newsletters that I wrote in my days as a PR, not to mention the odd half-novel tucked away here and there.  Oh well, at least Laura will have plenty of material to light the woodburner with when I’m gone……

(This post originally appeared in the Hawkesbury Parish News, June 2011)