Wednesday, September 23, 2009
We are packing. Some packing is of things to take back to UK, some is of things here so they are mouse, spider, frost and dust-proof during the winter. But, for the first time since I've been coming here, just before we leave we are not only packing. M is still occasionally attacking a patch of brambles at ground level so that in the spring the old, dead stuff will be easy to remove and the new growth which will be bound to happen will be relatively easy to kill off. I'm preparing my vegetable plot for next summer's vegetables. These are things we might be doing if we weren't leaving. Ordinary jobs but they have an eye on future seasons.
This summer I've been painting the downstairs windows, doors and shutters. They certainly weren't looking their best, but repainting woodwork is as much about protecting it for the future as it is about how it looks now. Not that I'm not happy with how my work looks, mind you! Most things have been stripped right down to bare wood and M has replaced odd rotten bits with new sections of wood in invisible joins. I've got through tubes and tubes of wood filler. (It doesn't seem to be available in any larger quantity, though we've looked.) You really can't tell which bits we've repaired, apart from my re-puttying. It's not yet my best skill, though M says it's no worse than when he does it. I stop painting for the winter with ideas fairly fresh in my mind about what I'll tackle next summer. There are a few more photos of the work we've been doing here if you're interested. (Friends who visited earlier this summer might notice the difference!)
Living here has, even more than before, become in a way just living. Of course I return to making pots, going to the Farmers Market and other sales events instead of spending all my working time making cards and working with textiles. The shape of my days won't be the same as it has been here. In between here and there lies a long journey, tiring for me as I don't sleep well on the overnight ferry. But over-riding all of these things is the sense that in some way life on the other side of the channel can be a continuation of this one.
Unlike other trips, which have been more like holidays for me, I leave this time without the traditional case full of dirty laundry. I've been on top of these sorts of chores while we've been here. There'll be no endless washing loads after this trip.
Not having finished the new pieces of textiles work has it's upside too. I'm so much 'in the middle of stuff' that I hope it will be possible to unpack these pieces and continue with them from time to time over the winter. It doesn't have to be a complete change of lifestyle just because it's a change of scene.
Having enjoyed fabulous swimming weather in July and August, we've both resolved to take up swimming again in the autumn. I'm planning on returning to the Early Bird sessions, starting at 8.00 a.m. Watch this space to see if I keep to my resolution.
This summer looked in advance very much like a self-contained event. Now, though, it feels more like one season in a constantly evolving life. I'm looking forward - to continuing life in the UK, to continuing life here.