I've developed a nesting instinct. You know, the urge to create a comfortable, happy environment to live in. Cleaning, tidying, mending. They say expectant mothers do it just before their babies are due. I can't remember if I did. Possibly the first time.
Before my first daughter was born I made curtains, cot covers, soft toys and decorations for the nursery. I didn't have any money and my husband was unemployed so making things was the only practical option. And in those days maternity leave was fixed so I had six weeks to fill between leaving work and the birth so sewing helped to pass the time.
But I digress. My recent "nesting urge" isn't because I'm expecting a baby. Not at my age! I put it down to my imminent retirement. The beginning of the rest of my life; a new phase: I'm preparing for my own rebirth, for my liberation and independence. So this is where I look to the Brexiters for inspiration. It seems to be another small area where our views and expectations overlap, despite me being an arch remainer, remoaner, saboteur, citizen of nowhere.
I am counting down the days until my income collapses by nearly two thirds and my easy access to the outside world ends. But I'm happy to trade it for my independence and to take back control of my own time. Taking back control! Just the anticipation feels great. I can understand what the Brexiters must feel. The pure exhiloration.
I'll be able to return my little place here at the Sticks to its former glory. "Before" in the good old days this farm supported whole extended families and their animals. Before we got lazy, that is, and gave up working the land for ourselves and went to work in those soft jobs in offices, it all just got too easy for some of us.
Now thanks to retirement and Brexit I've seen my chance to revive the good old days here at the Sticks, it has rekindled my nesting instinct and provided a vision of a brighter future. With my boundless optimism it is certain to be successful. No need to worry about reduced income. If my predecessors could do it, then so can I. No better time to start than now.
I set to work last weekend. I spent hours sorting through my outbuildings, looking for all the useful items from twenty years ago, the last time I really did my own work on the land, that I'd carefully stored away for later when I shackled myself to an international organisation. I'd need them again to start recreating the good old days.
Bags of fertiliser, piles of carpet tiles, two bicycles, boxes of spare floor tiles, tins of old paint, pieces of bent copper pipe (some of it had, unfortunately, become too closely acquainted with the fertiliser and decayed into green powder), roles of land drainage pipes, a heap of coal grown over with nettles, spare window panes, rusty gardening equipment, toothless saws, solid bags of cement, perished spray containers, out of date seeds, sections of bee hives, a settee, a bed balancing across the rafters, bookshelves warped with the damp, three sacks of plastic plant pots, endless bundles of bailer twine (tangled) and rusted pieces of electrical equipment that looked antique. And more.
Mmm. Twenty years is a long time. The stuff I imagined would help kick start my old life hasn't aged well. Even stuff that survived is obsolete. The glass is no use for my new double glazed windows and the Sticks is now in a smokeless zone so the coal is useless. It was a nice trip down memory lane but the next trip was to the local tip. Reviving the past is going to be more difficult than I thought. And to cap it all the door frames had rotted and fell out when I opened them.