It’s been a tad hectic.

The final push on any project tends to see Oli putting in 17 hour days.


Normally I’m not quite so keen for him to do so.

But two things are driving my unusual tolerance of his frantically mental final push:

1) My ever expanding waistline signifying the imminent arrival of the newest member of the team

2) We haven’t been paid since January and really ought to get back to proper paid work given we have now run out of wonga and are living off familial hand outs

A third reason is we are just excited in a really bonkers sort of way to get on with our new lives at Rowan Farm.


My favourite time of day at Rowan: the sun setting behind Emily’s trees.

So it’s been all hands to the mill to get this gaff fit for human habitation.

It finally is.

And today is moving day.

In the excited, loud melee of packing and shifting, all of us shouting almost continuously at the top of our lungs throughout the house as we drive on with final jobs…

I almost didn’t notice the small, quiet, hesitant figure in the corridor.

I nearly ran into him.

Fortunately I stopped just in time. And looked down at the huge blue eyes looking up at me with trepidation.

“Rory,” I said, pausing, “Is it fun that we’re moving into our lovely new house? Or is it a little bit scary?”

“Bit scary,” he wobbled.


Managing moving house sensitively with a toddler is not straight forward.

Oli’s response was to promise to fill his new wardrobe with toys and sweets.

No doubt it will be me dealing with the crashing disappointment when it transpires clothes and shoes are what are ultimately destined to be housed in there.

Rory and I packed and labelled a special box of essential teddies, toys and a chocolate snowman to take to the house first.


We ceremoniously carried it up to his new bedroom.

In his true independent style, Rory sets about reassuring himself by also asking lots of questions.

He needs to know his list of important people are also coming with him on the move.

Dab Dab the rabbit. Ra Ra the lion. Mummy. Daddy. Chloe. Nessie, our cocker spaniel.

We cover the list extensively.

“Where’s Granny gone?”

“She’s at her home. She doesn’t live with us, darling.”

“Mummy coming?”




“Woah-ie (Chloe) coming too?”


“Dab Dab?”


“Baby Bumpkin?”

“Well the baby is sort of already packed in Mummy’s tummy, so yes.”

(At this the baby gives a reassuring thump in my cervix to emphasise the point).

“Dab Dab?”

“Yes my love he’s already on our tick list.”

“Daddy? Mummy…?”

Rory making sure to box up the essentials

Rory making sure to box up the essentials

Rory’s anxiety is obviously fairly normal for a two year old.

But in the midst of trying to cuddle some reassurance into his little body, I am struck by a sobering thought.

How does a mummy reassure her little man when fleeing Aleppo, the Yemen, Iraq?

We’re hiring professional packers. Moving five minutes up the road. To a magical new home.

And it’s a “bit scary”.

What do parents tell children who don’t have time to make sure Dab Dab’s on board?

And who are then met with hostility when they reach their destination.

If they reach their destination.

Our objectors still busy themselves photographing us, repeatedly calling out the enforcement officer (we’re now on first name terms with her) and refusing to return my greetings as they huff past.

And I’m bothered by that in the most pathetically first world problem sort of way.

I think I need to work harder to hold on to a tad more perspective.

Someone said to me this week, “God, you must be stressed to the eyeballs…”

I completely appreciate their empathy and concern.

But how unbelievably spoiled it would be, were that to be true.


One more sleep! Floorboard picnic supper in our now furniture-free old house.