My husband and I are moving to a nice new home in nearby town just outside of Paris. I call it Sex in the City meets Jean de Florette - a modern loft in the heart of a market town.
We have lived in my beau's previous family house for the last two and half years. I have battled the ghosts, reclaimed the space, swapped the energy, burnt sage but it was never our home.
Just before Christmas when I got pregnant I felt the absolute need to create our own nest, in our own pad. I lost the baby but found our perfect home.
It was indeed like a birth and we have thoroughly enjoyed the rosy honeymoon period, visiting it, showing off the photos to friends and buying new furniture.
Now reality has hit and moving has turned out to be, well, a pretty moving event.
First of all I had to deal with French removal men. It was like being Inspector Cluedo. They saw me coming. One quoting as much as a family car for six. The second lot came earlier than the scheduled time when I was mid-shower and hollered it was now or never. Third time lucky we hope, with the cheesily named Challengedemeco. Let's hope there is nothing challenging about their service.
They are supposed to pack and move all but I could not of course let them loose on my crystals or Jimmy Choos.
So this weekend was spent bubble wrapping my amethysts and heels. In fact everything I care about is in two small suitcases. I really couldn't care about the rest. O and my babies, my little sweet pea shoots, my hydrangea and jasmin. My husband is under strict instructions to take them all in the car.
He meanwhile was digging out old papers and photos. Bittersweet feelings. Pictures of his mum who passed over a year ago and his kids who have grown up so fast. Most of my history is in my house in Suffolk but I do have some stuff from my Dad. The pot of lavander balm that he used for his hair, with his finger imprint in it still and some touching letters from when I was at university. I did not spend much time looking at them but somehow they got to me this weekend.
We had put Beethoven on and all of a sudden tears started to fall. I missed my Dad desperately. It was as if moving home was another milestone in between his life and the present. He never knew my home in France and only knew my beau in the last months of his life. Everything came flooding back. His unbearable pain, his haunted eyes that knew his end was nigh and the indignity of the treacherous disease. Yet he kept his spirit up to his last breath, combing back his hair with the balm and flossing his teeth to look ship shape.
Perhaps the most glaring obvious learning is that I am finally growing up. This is the first move I have done with someone I love where we want to build a proper family home. I have always moved into rented places or other people's pads and have tried to make them mine. I failed miserably with my ex-husband who would not let me put one photo up.
This time our home will be equal and shared. For us and for his kids it's a brand new start. No more tripping over the past with comments like "the salt and pepper belong here".
In fact I was bowled over by my youngest stepdaughter who recently texted me that she had seen lovely stuff for our house in a new store. Bless her cotton socks.
They say change is as good as a rest. Energies need shaking up and boosting. Memories and stuff are great but they are all part of the past. We would have sat on the fence had I not been pregnant. Let's hope we are doing things the right way round. Nest first and sproglet after.
To be continued...