But this, hopefully, should be the last one (unless there's some sudden, calamitous, central heating mishap). All our boxes of memories and bags of 'it'll come in handy one day' are safely stored in a spare bedroom. Now begins the trickiest task of all, sorting through the collection to see if we really want to transport it to 59 degrees north.
There were a few quick wins with footwear (which was probably a dubious fashion choice in its time, never mind in another era) and an old pan rack, but the bulk of the stuff just sat on the floor and tried not to catch my eye. Will we really need 15 metres of stair carpet - in a bungalow? How many 1000 piece jigsaws are necessary for those long Winter nights?
I found a box of First Born's school work from her 'A' Level years. I recalled she had already told me that it was surplus to requirements. But it's wall-to-wall science and almost painful to consign to the recycling pile. I consoled myself by keeping any text books and with freeing up 42 punched pockets to be useful again. Whilst filling a recycling sack with the loose leaves of A4, most decorated with FB's neat handwriting, a sudden jarring of my senses brought me to a halt. Double checking, I realised that I had seen an envelope bearing a few words in my scribbled hand:
On looking inside the envelope, sure enough, tucked into one corner was a small sliver of a metallic substance.
It didn't take much deduction to work out that, at some point in the past, I had obviously supplied this tiny shard for a school project. Element-ary, really.
What I don't recall is the reason for the requirement.
However, a little further down the pile of papers, I came across a pamphlet of experiments with the intriguing title of...
When did that sneak into the National Curriculum?
I was going to post a photo of the whole front page, but I wouldn't want to contravene any anti-terrorism legislation and reveal details of the recipes for various types of ordnance.
With that task out of the way, I retreated to the garden for some fresh air, whilst Our Lass continued to pack for her journey northwards (what with her being the sole member of the Tense Towers Vanguard Squadron, with me being strictly Rear Echelon).
As I mowed the lawn for possibly the last time, I noticed that there were still a few splashes of colour in the garden: beneath a Hawthorn tree, several Cyclamen flowers braved the Autumnal winds; amongst the borders, bright white buttons of Feverfew shone in the low sunshine and, scattered around much of the Tense estate, there were still many clumps of Corydalis, which seems to provide a fanfare for nearly all of the growing season with its glorious yellow trumpets. I will miss Corydalis. Unless, of course, a stray seed or two clings to my boots and eventually finds itself on a rocky Orcadian ledge.