The last 10 days have been spent clearing out our family home in the Blue Mountains, which we sold recently and settles next week. I had underestimated the amount of work involved in sorting out 20 years of family life, including all the stuff J and I bought as a young married couple, living in London and then Hong Kong.
So much stuff. We made four runs to the tip, the trailer groaning with rubbish. We gave away loads and had a garage sale. There is simply no room in our flat in Maroubra for excessive possessions and the emotions I have felt in the last week or so have been more to do with a degree of sadness for the woman who bought things in the belief they would make her happy, rather than any sorrow about leaving the mountains.
We will always go back to the mountains. So much more important to us than our beautiful home are the friendships we have there, built through times of great happiness and deep sadness.
One gloomy, cold afternoon, the kids and I piled into the car and took off to the lake. The light was silvery grey, the water still. We spent a happy hour tramping around and taking photos, until there was no more light and the mist closed in.
For the gifts the mountains gave all of us.