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Monday 25th September 2017


I spent the first night in my new house proper (previously I have been sleeping in a room above the garage), but the rest of the family hasn’t made it over yet. It’s just me and my dog. Would I find that this 18th Century House is haunted? Or would I be too busy sleeping to notice if it was? 
It there were any ghosts around they kept themselves to themselves for now, perhaps scared off by my well-known desire to have sex with a ghoulie. 
It’s exciting to be finally in the house that we first saw around Christmas 2016, though a bit frustrating that our bedroom still isn’t ready. But we should be in there by the end of the week. It’s all coming together just in time.
And I don’t care about anything else, because we have a Hive thermostat that lets me turn on my central heating via my phone from anywhere in the world. Though I suspect I will be mainly doing it from my bed. That’s better than all the other crap we’ve had done. I love the future. Especially when juxtaposed with the past.
It was another packed day of life admin. First of all I took my car to get its wing mirror repaired. It was a costly error of judgement as it cost me over £500 (which is more than I spent on the first car I ever bought - the one I gave away in Edinburgh in the mid-nineties). But it is good that my stupidity should be punished and the three drives I had to make to Letchworth (last week to get it assessed and then today to drop it off and pick it up) were more costly, at this time when there is so much to get done. At least I saw a motorcycle shop selling Kawasakis as I took the dog for a walk as I waited for my father-in-law to pick me up in the morning.
There was a lot of dog walking today as this morning Phoebe and Wolfie accompanied my parents-in-law and their dog Huxley (Wolfie’s brother) on a long walk through some beautiful woods.  Wolfie and Huxley have been kept separate for a while as they play-fight rather too aggressively when in the same room, but they managed to exhaust themselves and their pretend anger on this long jaunt. And me and Phoebe too. I am making another attempt to get back to a reasonable weight with the My Fitness Pal app, so appreciated the hour of walking, but had only had a tiny breakfast and was really exhausted.
Later on I would join my father-in-law and Huxley for their evening walk - another 45 minutes through a different misty wood at twilight. They are doing much longer walks with their dog than I’ve been going for and I must have walked at least 6 miles over the course of the day (as I’d done two walks early in the morning). The dogs enjoyed the company and Wolfie liked being off the lead. And Phoebe, having wangled her way on the first walk despite the worries of her grandparents that we’d have enough on our plate with the dogs, was in great form too. 
The effort nearly destroyed me but it was worth it. I counted animal holes with my daughter and saw a leaf spinning around in a web and picked up conkers and stones which my daughter stored in her pocket like they were jewels. And who is to say that jewels are any better than stones and conkers.
In between times I lugged around boxes and moved and tidied the house. My Apple Watch must have wondered who had stolen it.
I think this move to the countryside was a good call. The house feels right, even though there is still much that is not right with it.
The stress might kill me, but the walking might save me. Let’s see if I die or become immortal and then we can make the decision about whether the countryside is all it is cracked up to be.

Episode 5 of As It Occurs To Me is now up to view on youtube.
Or you can just listen to it, by either closing your eyes on going to the usual British Comedy Guide/iTunes pages.

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