Drowning in things to do and having developed an acute phobia of paperwork I’m procrastinating beyond belief when it comes to filling in forms, finding essential documents and making phone calls to scary grown ups. I go about the day mumbling positive affirmations to myself in an attempt to steady my nerves whilst dealing with the potential sale of the flat that was home for nearly twenty years and the big question of where the five of us will live next. The house we’ve rented for the last two years is also on the market and I honestly do my best not to scowl at potential buyers as they wander from room to room but am secretly pleased that the three cots lined up in the triplets bedroom don’t exactly create a feeling of space and that, so far, there have been no offers on the place we now call home. Strangely, the viewings always seem to be scheduled for around tea time-how perfect! Three high chairs cluttering up the tiny kitchen and spaghetti hoops squelching underfoot do a great job of ensuring another month passes without me having to book a removal van. Okay, so I’m not deliberately trying to put people off – have got a lovely landlord and believe too much in the law of cause and effect (don’t want the tenants in my flat hiding prawns in the linings of the curtains) but I’d be lying if I said I wanted the house to be seen at it’s pristine best. The bottom line is we don’t want to move. It’s not the prettiest house, certainly doesn’t have the space we desperately need or a style that reflects mine but it’s been home during a time of such craziness that the thought of having to relocate just at the point when as a family we’re getting our breath back, has me reaching for the Rescue Remedy, willfully ignoring the four-six drops on the tongue rule and pouring a whole bottle of the stuff down my throat.

It’s thinking of Jake that keeps me awake at night. He’s got the most idyllic little set up here. Living on a quiet, leafy cul-de-sac means the front door is always open, he’s building secret dens with the best friend who lives next door and experiencing a taste of the kind of Just William childhood that I thought could only be found in storybooks or the heart of the countryside. Certainly not in grimy, noisy London. He sobbed his heart out on the day the For Sale sign went up outside. I felt like a tigress protecting her young and had to suppress a primal desire not to let out an almighty roar, rip the thing out of the ground, break it over my knee and toss it over my shoulder. Luckily, a couple of days later an anonymous good Samaritan from the Residents Association did the deed for me, quietly though and in the middle of the night. Estate Agents signs not allowed on our close, I came downstairs one morning to find it gone with just a little mound of soil left as a reminder of it’s brief, unwelcome stay. Jake was ecstatic as he took this to mean that the house was ours forever more. Sadly not. So, while working out our next step (and please don’t tell) I’ll continue to employ my mini army to deter any unwelcome visitors. You have been warned…

Emma Campbell

Author Emma Campbell

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