Progress – What Progress?

ImageSo, this is the point in the month when I would normally look back over the previous four weeks, reflect on what I had read in that time and then project forward to consider what I was intending to go on and read in the coming days.  However, in order to do that I would have to have read something recently and feel that there was any likelihood of my reading anything in the immediate future. At the moment I am not sanguine about either proposition.

I started the month with the best of intentions and indeed could truthfully say that I made progress, but two weeks ago everything ground to a crunching halt.  I have had it in mind for some time that I would sooner or later have to downsize.  I love the house I’m living in now, but it is really too large for one person and where it is sited would be very impractical if I was unable to drive.  So, for the past couple of years I’ve had my eye on some apartments in a local market town where I already have an established community of friends. Two weeks ago one came up for sale. You can imagine the chaos that has since ensued.  I have to sell my home in order to buy the apartment, so I have to have a buyer before anyone else has an offer accepted. It has been as if a whirlwind has hit.  Three estate agents came round.  One uttered a brazen laugh at the end of every sentence; I would have killed her before the end of the week. Another made the fatal error of sitting on The Bears; she was lucky to walk out alive.  So that just left the third one.  On such things do vital decisions turn!

Then on Thursday ‘Ben’ came round to take the photos. As you can imagine, The Bears clammered to be included. Photos of three of the rooms will now prominently feature assorted groups of Bears waving wildly in a possibly (probably!) vain attempt to entice people to come and meet them.  Just as long as nobody thinks that they are part of the furniture and fittings. Last time I moved I had to extracate Josiah Bear from the pocket of one three year old viewer who was about to take him home with her.

On Friday morning I received a copy of ‘Ben’s’ deathless prose designed to tempt all and sundry not only to come and view the property but also to put in stupendously over the odds offers for it.  On Friday afternoon, pointing out that I do have a Ph.D. in English Language Studies, I went into the office and rewrote it for him.  ‘Adjacent’ is now his word of the day.

Inevitably this has meant that not only have I done very little reading but I have also been neglecting other people’s blogs. I apologise.  I hope that things will be a little less hectic now at least until (if) I get a buyer and will try and catch up with you all over the next few days. The last time I did this I was working full time and also sole carer for my eighty-three year old mother.  However did I manage it?  (The truth is that I very nearly didn’t and it was only a very supportive head of department who saved my sanity.)

What it does mean is that I am not going to set myself any reading goals for February.  I have a couple of pre-written reviews which will go up during the next week, but after that you may find that I am only around sporadically until, one way or the other, matters are resolved. The only book I will definitely be reading, and it is a re-read, is Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, which is this month’s book club read.  With luck, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, in the meantime I am adopting the war time slogan and doing my best to keep calm and carry on.


27 thoughts on “Progress – What Progress?

  1. Good luck – moving is always stressful, and as one gets older even more stressful – at least that’s my experience. But, as Harriet says, it will be lovely to get the place you want. I hope The Bears will not get too excited.


    1. Because it is a retirement complex and there will be other people around The Bears are hoping they will attain celebrity status. They are planning to hold ‘at home’ afternoons and have ordered a silver platter on which their visitors may leave their cards. I knew watching re-runs of The Forstye Saga was a bad idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I bought my first house in 2017, and that was almost more than I could handle – I wasn’t trying to sell one at the same time. And then moving, that’s when I really start to wonder why I have all these books (or else I’m reading all the books while I avoid packing). I will hold good thoughts for you and the Bears, that all the pieces fall into place in their turn.


      1. My library got bags and bags of books, the ones I decided I didn’t really need – and didn’t want to pack into boxes. I still take an armful into them at least once a month, either new books that aren’t worth keeping or older ones that I’ve decided I don’t need any longer.


  3. An agent sat on the bears! How dare they. The only suitable punishment for that is incarceration in some remote island never visited by any ship.
    Seriously though, I hope all goes smoothly. House moves are incredibly stressful and having to do everything to a timetable makes it even worse.


    1. It’s the uncertainty of everything that gets to me, Karen. I’m someone who plans out tomorrow over tea today and the week ahead over Sunday breakfast. Now I can plan nothing! The Bears thank you for your understanding. They are very excited this evening because, as someone is coming to view the house tomorrow while I am out, they are coming with me. They love car journeys.


  4. Oh gosh! Downsizing is something we’re going to have to face sooner rather than later, and I dread it because of having to deal with not only the books but also the clutter the offspring have left behind (and an OH who is a worse hoarder than I am…) Good luck – I do hope things go smoothly for you!


    1. I still have everything that came out of my office when I took early retirement ten years ago. I knew I should have done something about it before now but there was room for it in the garage so I haven’t bothered. Learn from my bad example and start moving stuff out now!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my, I HATE moving (and being a ne’er do well tenant, I’ve never had to deal with buying and selling which must be even more stressful). I hope that it’s all swiftly and satisfactorily concluded, and that the cull isn’t painful. I also hope that the Bears are helping you out with all the uncertainty…


  6. Oh wow, this sounds like so much change! Hang in there, friend — I will keep all fingers and toes crossed that everything goes smoothly for you. And at least you’ve got a reread of The Secret History on the horizon! One of my all-time favorites.


    1. I’m finding it very hard to concentrate on even something as good as The Secret History, Jenny. I have a new resolution: I am going to pretend that nothing is happening on the housing front at all other than that I am undertaking a serious and much needed declutter. Every house is the better for a good declutter.


  7. Late to the party and wishing you luck. I always think of what C.S. Lewis says in Shadowlands when Joy is moving and he says how difficult it is. She asks how long it’s been since he “moved house” (this always strikes me as a charming British-ism) and he replies that it’s been 25 years but he remembers it like it was yesterday.


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