Grey skies. Rain. Autumnal feel. 1st September. No more summersafari.
Short sentences. Ha.
Well, it's actually not so bad. It IS nice to be home - the house left wonderfully clean and tidy by our guests, the garden a little bit the worse for growing untended but the grass neat and tidy. (Thanks, Jonathan White!).
We are semi-unpacked. We've emptied the motorhome and started on the laundry, but there is still much sorting out to be done. I'm going to go at it slowly enough to declutter on the way, I hope. #needsmuchstrengthofmind
And I'm SO looking forward to catching up with friends: one today, another tomorrow and a beach barbeque already arranged with a group of us, then church on Sunday.
I've come across part of a post I wrote right at the beginning: about packing. Interesting now that we have lived with the packing for nearly two months and are busy demolishing it...
"Regarding ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’, much of our deliberations around packing consist of maximising the space available in every way. I am constantly amazed at how much can be fitted in when Put In The Right Way Round, or Squashed, or Rolled Up, or even just Piled Up.
Clothes packing is relatively easy, really. It is a case of looking critically at one’s wardrobe and choosing garments appropriate for weather and/or activity. Then looking at the space available and deciding whether there are either a) too many garments, or b) not enough for the space. Why not fit in more, if you can, is our motto?
Yes... it worked. Although there were many garments which never saw the light of day: the weather was simply too hot. What didn't we have enough of : SHORTS! Richard managed to buy another buy, I made do with the same pair, washing so many times that the fabric is now quite faded...
So you pack for every eventuality. Walking boots? Of course. Our trip includes the Pyrenees.
Nope. Didn't use them. Trainers worked well, though perhaps might have used the boots for day long hikes.
Swimming costume? Naturally. Never travel without one - you never know when a swimming opportunity might present itself.
Yes - and bought another in Decathlon. The strap buckle on my expensive M and S suit broke - corrosion and lack of wear since last summer.
Warm tops, cool tops, sweater, fleece... casual wear and a prettier top because you just never know when you might want to feel smart and not look like a Forever Camper... and, the ultimate in luxury: pretty sandals.
Yes, the pretty sandals emerged once or twice. Wore the fleece once - on the boat on the way home. Bought another sports top because of all the cycling we were doing in temperatures of around thirty degrees or above.
Not to mention at least three scarves, because they are multi-functional. I could feel the need to wear one as a sarong, adding another round my neck for warmth with the third covering my hair...
Yes: but will pack another couple of kangas/kikois which function as tablecloths, picnic blankets, beach towels...
The motor home lends itself to innovation and creativity in the Packing Sphere. The Master has made multiple adaptions: storage nets on the inside of cupboard doors, towel rails on the outside. A simple but elaborate ‘cage’ above the front seats which enables ‘stuff’ to be piled up without fear of falling down providing three times as much storage as before.
The cage was brilliant, storing useful items which we didn't need very often. Cat and Andy's tent (our old tent, rewaterproofed, mostly) took up quite a lot of hold space so Richard fitted the Buddyrider into the wardrobe with a bracket to clip it into, which worked well, especially considering that we had to take it in and out every day."
So, what to do for next time? Devise a better system for holding bottles - olive oil and vinegar mainly: packing a wine carrier will be a place to start. (Might be moving on to wine boxes, though...)
Meanwhile, Pickle sits in the Beast every chance she can. She's not too impressed by being Back In Torteval: hasn't reacclimatised yet...