It's been a hectic time these last two weeks. As soon as I got back from my holiday I had to set to and clear space in my garage to store the last of the boxes of stuff from my late husband's house, until such time as the family can get together to go through it all. Also needing storage is the stuff waiting to be packed and dispatched to my eldest son in Sydney.
The buyers of the house were getting very impatient for a date for vacant possession - you have to wait for probate before the sale can be completed - and when we finally got that it was a mad scramble to settle the matter before they lost interest in buying. By last Saturday the garage was still full of furniture and boxes awaiting collection by No 2 son, but by Sunday that was dealt with, and on Monday we finally handed over the keys of the house. I paid a last visit on Sunday, and said my goodbyes to Michael yet again, almost a year after he left there himself. Stripped though the house was, it was still his place. Here are two pictures of him, aged 16 months and 83.
I have taken advantage of all this house clearance, to get rid of some furniture of my own for which I no longer have a need. When the auctioneers came to collect my husband's unwanted furniture, I said a sad goodbye to this child's cot-bed, which I have sent to the auction house as well. It was bought for my mother in 1902 from Heal's in London - I had the receipt to say so - and I and my children have also slept in it. To my regret, I never got a grandchild here to use it though, and now they are all too big. I wept a little before letting it go. I kept my teddybear however. He is not quite so old as the cot, but almost as old as me.