Anyway, we've been home a few weeks now and after deciding to let our house out we've been busy "de-cluttering". So far this has involved giving various items of furniture/pots/pans/books/tools/percussion instruments/various bric-a-brac to friends and family. Selling some stuff no one wanted on Gumtree, where everyone who bought anything knocked me down on my price apart from a massive rugby player from New Zealand built like a small tank who bought the massage table for full asking price after we assured him it would not collapse under his weight. Loads of stuff went to those charity shops who weren't freaked out by the volume of stuff we would arrive with. Several trips to the waste dump and a skip took care of the rest.
Apart from the stuff we wanted to keep. Ah, the stuff we want to keep. That's a whole other story. We have a cellar room in our house where we can store stuff safely so for the last fortnight we've been packing things away and loading up the cellar in between trips to buy more plastic boxes, bubble wrap,shrink wrap etc.. Gradually the things we've lived with for years have gone somewhere or another and the rooms have emptied, the furniture, the pictures, photos, ornaments, books and all the other objects we've lived with for years have gone. Empty cupboards, empty shelves, walls bare.
It's all a bit sad but we console ourselves with the fact that in another month or so we'll be on the road again and whilst it's been a bit depressing getting rid of stuff it's also been a cathartic exercise. When we do get too old or infirm for this travelling lark we can go for the minimalist look when we settle down again! All the things we are missing now we never really think about when we are travelling and there are plenty of books to read on kindle devices and plenty of music to listen to on Apple Music, Soma FM and I've loaded up the MP3 player with old favourites.
The house is being redecorated and goes on the market to rent today and will be available to tenants from 1st September. Phil's sister has kindly "allocated" a room for us when we come back to the UK so we won't have to live in a supermarket car park so now I'm slowly working my way through the list of people and organisations I need to advise of a change of address.
We're taking a break in a week or so and visiting family in the north east of England and friends in Scotland and when we get back we can plan our journey down through France, Spain and Portugal before meeting up with old friends near Albufeira. Medium term we're looking to spend the winter in Spain again, come back to the UK in springtime and then back to France to try and follow the 2017 Tour de France, plenty of adventures to come, hopefully.