Monday, 8 September 2014

The big barbie

Yesterday we had a bunch of friends around for a farewell barbecue. Kate wasn’t convinced it was a good idea as we’re rapidly running out of time, but she managed to fit in a very successful trip to the car boot sale in the morning, so that mollified her. I was keen to get everyone together for one last bash as I thought it would give us all a bit more of sense of closure.

We had a great time – the deck was absolutely heaving with people, through whom I kept having to thread as I made my way between kitchen and barbecue. I was too busy to take any photos at the time, but got a few of the aftermath this morning.

The ulterior motive for getting everyone together was to get some help drinking down the cellar and from that point of view, it was a great success.  

A lot less wine to worry about

Of course, most of our Winchester friends are parents and the house and garden took a bit of a beating as hordes of children ran screaming from point to point. The poor old medlar tree ended up with one of its branches twisted into an odd angle. One of the ice tubs also got a nice big crack in it as the kids all nominated each other to do the ice bucket challenge (cue much shrieking and laughter).

Our newly twisted tree

Kate and I spent a lot of the time answering ‘I don’t know’ to people’s questions, causing more than a few concerned and even slightly panicked looks from our questioners. The most common question was, ‘When are you leaving?’ To which the short answer was the good old ‘I don’t know.’ The longer answer is that we were aiming for 15 September, but have now shifted that back by a few days, partly because we almost certainly wouldn’t have been ready by then and partly because we recently discovered that we moved into this house on 17 September 2004, so if we can get out on the 17th, we’ll have lived here exactly ten years.

The next question was, ‘When will you be back in the UK?’ Yep, ‘I don’t know.’ As we haven’t managed to find a tenant yet, we’re not sure how long we can/want to stay in Europe, so we don’t know when we’ll be back. The type of tenant will largely determine the length of our stay (six-month versus holiday let), although the availability of suitable house sits for us in Europe will also be a factor.

And the other big question was ‘Where are you going.’ Nope, don’t really know the answer to that one either. We’ve organised a house sit on the Greek island of Syros for the whole of October, and we’ll be staying with my aunt in the Swiss Alps over Christmas, but other than that, everything’s up for grabs.

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