Week 22: Valediction
We said goodbye to Lincolnshire. We didn’t have to say goodbye to Mum; we had already waved her off the day before on her own journey to North Carolina to see my youngest sister. Our small car – no roof rack, no trailer – took a lot of packing. In the same way that work expands to fill the time available to it, our possessions have expanded to fill the space available to them. This is a total of three months’ worth of no-fixed-abode living, with a portable office and a portable bakery among our requirements. The car reached ‘full’ as we got the last thing in.
Ah, not quite. We realised we hadn’t packed the crutches. They are awkward, unbending, uncompromising things. So we left them behind.
Then we had three wonderful days in London as the guests of friends. We squeezed a lot into a little time. A lot of imbibing and a great many goodbyes. Or perhaps I should say, ‘Até logo.’ (Entry-level Portuguese.)
The weather was unseasonably warm in London even to our last day. This morning I got on to the tube in late summer: mild air, pleasant sunshine. I got out of the tube in autumn: wet streets, grey skies, a chill in the air. It seemed a tiny, story-book storm had broken out over the city while I’d been underground and it had changed the season. It was the outer reaches of a hurricane, according to the meteorologists, and although a few flights and ferries across the UK have been cancelled, it doesn’t seem that we will be affected. But we will know for sure tomorrow when we arrive in Portsmouth, from our current stop-off with friends in West Sussex, to catch the ferry to northern Spain.