Thursday, 13 September 2012

Homeless and hotbedding

Homeless! Well, not exactly homeless per se, since we are looking after Sophia and Vincent's house in Chelsea for a year while Vincent goes through his midlife crisis late-onset gap year. (Yay! Thank the Lord for midlife crises gap years, otherwise we really would be on the streets.)

We are, however, country homeless. After much angst and deliberation, we finally quit our Mistlebourne shoebox. No more jam tart bake-offs for the Mistlebourne Flower Show! No more bacon butty breakfasts at the Saturday market! No more staggering back in the dark from drunken dinners at Jemima and Hugo's! No more breakneck drives down narrow lanes to reach The Manor before chapel! Which is why, having taken Lily back to school yesterday, and wishing to loiter until the weekend so I can watch her first hockey match of the season, I am hotbedding.

Last night, it was at Sal's. Tonight, it's chez Emily, Mattie Butler's mum from school. Tomorrow night, it's Franny's. (Dan, naturally, has drawn up his drawbridge and is pretending nobody's home.) It really is marvellously social being homeless!

After we've downed a couple of G&Ts, and a gammon joint and roast potatoes are sizzling in the Aga, Em goes to fetch Mattie and Flo. 'Shall I ask Lily if she'd like to come back for supper too?' she asks.

'You can try,' I say. As if my child would like to be prised away from school to see her mother!

Twenty minutes later, Em returns empty-handed. 'Look how well I did!' she remarks, removing three place settings at the table. 'Nobody wanted to come back with me. Flo said today was the best day of her life!'

We make happy/sad faces at each other. 'It's good, though, isn't it?' Em adds, smiling to mask the little catch in her voice.

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