so, car’s gone, TV, old bike, bin liners of old clothes, rugs and assorted other household debris. Old furniture has found new homes, new beds are assembled and in place (thanks Dave A) – impressive given that when I asked what time beds were due last Monday,  they were not in country. Place still looks a tip but it is evolving, with fewer objects in each room each day. I am subtracting myself, piece by piece.

Said good bye to most people now, with smashing gathering at local tapas bar last weekend – loads of friends from work, local life, women’s group and even old chum from London as well as  niece Leah. Much loved old friends came to visit in the week too.  This temporary separation (hardest from Leah) shows me how deeply connected I am to other people: when I was young I used to leave the country slamming the door behind me. It was all about escape. This isn’t. I like my life here. But suspect it may be a while before I rejoin it  – so much effort in organising departure demonstrates what a big event this is – or perhaps distorts that perception. It felt like a short visit until I started the paperwork. Spent last week v anxious that I’d arrive without the right codes or passwords to Australian bank account – a reasonable fear given it took two days to get money out of UK account and several phone calls to ANZ to acquire the info necessary to make a deposit. Now HMRC tell me their previous advice was wrong, not a P85 but a NRL1. So much checking & chasing, really looking forward to the long flight – a welcome interval in organisational duties. No tenants yet but can’t worry about that. Odd to think of someone else in my bed, my bath, but the house will wait for me. I will be back.

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