Daylight saving will end overnight, and in Paris it’s turning April. Time for us to be leaving Sydney, almost. This is our last Sunday at home, as I understand home to be. We’ve spent the morning as we often do in the weekend, sitting around the breakfast table with who-ever is here, pouring tea, spooning yoghurt onto muesli and fruit, making juice and coffee, phoning family in New Zealand, doing the Good Weekend quiz, chatting about the night before. No real need to be anywhere else but home.
Next Sunday we’ll be gone in our heads. The removalists arrive straight after Easter to put into storage everything in the house we don’t want to take with us and haven’t given away. Between now and then we’ll be taking our beloved cat Po over to her new owner Susan. For today though, she knows nothing about that, and that’s how it should be.
The crazy gold marigolds I’ve just picked for the kitchen table are also on borrowed time. I’ve cut back the Virginia creeper and pulled out green tomatoes, ancient silverbeet and shriveled-up beans but the marigolds defy me to uproot them until the last minute. They’re what’s left of summer, along with enough heat in the mid-morning sun to redden the skin, and enough time in the schedule to sneak in a chapter of a novel or as Pops is doing, set up an impromptu painting studio in the garden. Her verandah studio has gone.
Alex has painted over all those lovely layers of splashy paint she and her friend Luchi left on the planks, steps and masonry between her French doors and the entrance into Fred's old room further along the verandah. Fred has gone to Surry Hills, as young men do, leaving boxes of redundant uni text books and sporting trophies to be collected. He and Sam have set up house with cousin Bex in a shoebox terrace house. There’s no looking back.
I had thought that this new blog might have begun a few months out, anticipating the voyage. How to explain that what has occupied my mind since we came back from New Zealand in February has been mainly the leave-taking, not the adventuring. Alex has been steadily accumulating hardware for Enki – he showed me this morning a remote control for the autopilot which has just arrived by courier. Very excited, he was. I will be too, when the time comes. For now though, I am caught on the snags of this old life, not resisting the attachment and yet not panicked about my ability to break free.