I spent this morning sorting out our spare room, in the attempt to turn it into an office.
Since we moved into our house four years ago, Rog has worked every night on the kitchen table, leaving books and files behind him in the morning as he sets off to work. And for four years it has driven me demented. It's not his fault - until we finished our loft conversion, we needed every inch of space to squeeze in the children we kept producing.
The spare room, which used to be Martha's room until November contained a shameful secret. Behind the soft toys, and general child accoutrements hid storage boxes containing piles of papers, letters and statements. For a time they had a colourful rug thrown jauntily over them in a futile attempt to disguise them. But they remained there glowing under their cover. We just did not have any room - every corner of our house has been bulging with stuff that needs to be sorted, discarded, recycled or stored properly.
When Martha moved out of her room to share with her brother, we were finishing decorating the other rooms. So this little room became the repository of all sorts of 'stuff' which temporarily or permanently needed to find another home.
Pah! Anyone with me here?
And while the rest of the house, due to mammoth sinus-y effort over Christmas was finally finished, this one room remained full to the brim of all that hadn't been rehoused.
But - no longer is it like this! This week while being snowed in - forced to suspend my normal life for something much slower, I've been working on that little room. This morning I spent two hours while the baby slept sorting through boxes, creating piles for recycling, shredding or keeping.
These boxes were mostly full of things from my single life, before I'd met Roger and before I'd had my kids. I spent the morning transported back to another life. I found photographs which I'd forgotten, in which I'm smiling unconcerned little knowing what the future held. And of course it held both good and bad. But I look at my skinny pre-child, pre-cancer self and the nostalgia at times is almost too much to bear. The past 10 years for me (my thirties) have been truly eventful - by far the most eventful decade of my life. And I kind of feel exhausted for myself.
This January 2010 I'm hoping firstly that I'm around for the next ten years - something which didn't cross the mind of my 30 year old self - and secondly that the next ten years are rather more peaceful.
And now that little room is tidy and sorted - waiting for its desk and Rog to move in with all his work clutter. And I can reclaim the kitchen table at last.
It was on the... 18th January, actually
23 hours ago