AUTUMN-END frost has sprinkled down onto our hills these last few days and the evening sunlight of early November shines through the chimney smoke in the village as we go out sporting thermal undergarments to collect coal. The house is a pile of chaos with little bundles of saved cardboard and bubblewrap stuffed in corners in preparation for more wrappings. We have been packing up and throwing away, there are bin bags for charity shops stacked around the rooms and we had a bonfire of old bills. (the bits of paper asking you for money I mean, not a burning of police forces!) A good lot of books have been sent off and bits of furniture too.. and I think I might have accidentally thrown my wits into one of those bin bags as well because I am starting to go a little bit mad!
The wheeled home is nearly there... not yet full of our things but sporting a brilliant second hand hobbit-sized oven and lots more excellent Tui-cupboards. We still need to stop the icy wind creeping in a few gaps and add another window or two, but it is almost ready for its journey I think. We have even bought a brass galley pump tap to adorn our rustic little kitchen. It will pump water up a pipe from a tank below and round and out the spout, into the sink and down the newly piped-in plughole.
There are endless things to think of before we go.. we have to organise mobile internet, buy a small and quiet generator for power until we sort out a solar panel arrangement, rip the music from 100s of CDs so as to leave them behind, parcel up and send off an enormously heavy singer sewing machine table, sell my little car, work out what to do with all my old work, buy 7 new wheels for the truck, and ready it for MOT, sort through yet more stuff... and nip out when the sun shines to make a little money. And amongst all the upheaval, I have dropped the printer! Now it makes clankings that it shouldn't make and refuses to print at all. This is very annoying with a capital A and it is headed for the bin bag corner too. It's not entirely a disaster though because it'll mean we'll have to order all our prints from the printing place now, which, tho a bit more pricey, is easier, better quality, and saves both space and late night cursings when bits of blue ink spurt all over the place for no earthly reason other than to try you.
The book sale was a storming success for which I'd like to say a big thank you to you all.. it took me two whole days to wrap them all and the faces of the post office ladies were a picture when we trundled in with our armfuls of bundles this morning. I must say that I have made rather a silly underestimate with many of the postage costs overseas.. books are so heavy. So a few of you might be getting little garbled emails from me asking for a pound or two more! It is very nice I must say to know that the books are going to places where they'll be enjoyed.
In these remaining four weeks I am putting away paintbrushes.. so clocks and other such things will be put on hold (as if I take hold of some imaginary painted pendulum and stop it swinging). I also (rather insanely) have a stop frame animation to finish before we go. Only Rima would leave such a slow artform to the very last minute to complete. I think I can do it though, and it is looking lovely so far. It appears that something switches in me when a deadline approaches and a new kind of desperate creativity emerges. Here are a few snippets of the paper pieces I am inching about under a camera up in the animation attic. I am enjoying it, and listening to Tui's beautiful and intricate finished Orla Wren album while I do it. Both album and animation will be unfurled early next year if all goes to plan.
So surrounded by big brown wrapping papers and little cut-out whispers of animation papers we approach our big and exciting journey. I shall try to keep news here, but forgive me if my visits to your blogs are less frequent and if my emails are spelled dreadfully or make little sense at all. I think it's time to light the fire now, Tui's just home from an afternoon of cupboard door makings and I'm back off up the attic ladder after removing from the carpet a nasty little cat present.
I leave you with a cold dusk tree shivering without its leaf coat growing up on the hill behind the village at the end of a stone wall.